For pedestrians, windy conditions can be uncomfortable or even downright dangerous. And while you might expect the buildings of an urban environment to protect people from the wind, that’s not always the case. The image above shows a simulation of ground-level wind conditions in Venice on a breezy day. While many areas, shown in blue and green, have lower wind speeds, there are a few areas, shown in red, where wind speeds are well above the day’s average. This enhancement often occurs in areas where buildings constrict airflow and funnel it together. The buildings create a form of the Venturi effect, where narrowing passages cause local pressure to drop, driving an increase in wind speed. Architects and urban designers are increasingly turning to numerical simulations and CFD to study these effects in urban environments and to search for ways to mitigate problems and keep pedestrians safe. (Image credits: CFD analysis – SimScale; pedestrians – Saltysalt, skolnv)
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