Urban physics : effect of the micro-climate on comfort, health and energy demand

Article English OPEN
Moonen, P. ; Defraeye, T.W.J. ; Dorer, V. ; Blocken, B.J.E. ; Carmeliet, J.E. (2012)
  • Publisher: Elsevier BV
  • Journal: Frontiers of Architectural Research, volume 1, issue 3, pages 197-228 (issn: 2095-2635)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.foar.2012.05.002
  • Subject: Architecture

The global trend towards urbanisation explains the growing interest in the study of the modification of the urban climate due to the heat island effect and global warming, and its impact on energy use of buildings. Also urban comfort, health and durability, referring respectively to pedestrian wind/thermal comfort, pollutant dispersion and wind-driven rain are of interest. Urban Physics is a well-established discipline, incorporating relevant branches of physics, environmental chemistry, aerodynamics, meteorology and statistics. Therefore, Urban Physics is well positioned to provide key-contributions to the current urban problems and challenges. The present paper addresses the role of Urban Physics in the study of wind comfort, thermal comfort, energy demand, pollutant dispersion and wind-driven rain. Furthermore, the three major research methods applied in Urban Physics, namely field experiments, wind tunnel experiments and numerical simulations are discussed. Case studies illustrate the current challenges and the relevant contributions of Urban Physics.
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