Urban Winds - The safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles in highly turbulent urban wind flows

Urban Winds

A volunteer walking in the windThe interaction of incoming wind with high-rise buildings can lead to dangerous wind conditions in towns and cities. These gusty environments are hazardous, and have resulted in fatalities.

Prospective high-rise developments currently undergo an assessment of the effect they will have on the local wind environment. Experience shows that these assessments do not always satisfactorily model the winds which occur once construction is complete, and acceptability is usually based on fairly arbitrary definitions of "comfort".

The Urban Winds project, run by the Department of Civil Engineering Wind Engineering Group, aims to develop a risk-based framework which will take into account both the wind field a building will generate, and the type of user of the surrounding area. This complex project incorporates wind tunnel modelling, computational fluid dynamics and full-scale tests to improve our understanding of how gusty urban environments affect pedestrians, cyclists and high-sided vehicles such as vans.

We are looking for volunteers to take part in the full-scale tests! For more information, see "Get Involved".

This project is funded by the EPSRC through grant number EP/M012581/1. The research team would like to express their gratitude to the EPSRC for their support for this work.

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