The configuration of an urban street canyon plays an important role in determining local microclimate including pedestrian level wind environment (PLWE). The semi-closed U-type street canyon has been widely used in high-density trans-oriented-development urban design for providing private space. However, a quantitative evaluation on PLWE of the U-type street canyon is still absent to date. This study quantitatively assesses PLWE of the U-type canyon via particle image velocimetry tests in a wind tunnel. A range of canyon aspect ratios (the ratio of the canyon height to width) and length ratios (the ratio of the canyon length to height) were investigated. The wind flow inside and in the vicinity of the street canyons was measured and analysed under the perpendicular, oblique and parallel approaching wind directions. It was found that the U-type canyon shows a higher PLWE inside canyon on the open side while a lower PLWE inside canyon on the closed side. Compared to parallel canyon, there is a significant enhancement of PLWE in the centre of the U-type canyon and in some spots on the leeward side of the canyon. This is further strengthened with increasing the canyon aspect ratio and length ratio. Nevertheless, the U-type canyon exhibits a lower wind speed at the pedestrian level than that of the parallel canyon both inside and in the vicinity of the street canyons in general especially under parallel wind direction. It is believed that these findings are greatly beneficial to build sustainable cities with a high quality PLWE.
- Pedestrian level wind environment
- U-type street canyon
- Parallel street canyon
- Particle image velocimetry
- Wind tunnel test