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


Moonen, P., Defraeye, T.W.J., Dorer, V., Blocken, B.J.E. & Carmeliet, J.E. (2012). Urban physics : effect of the micro-climate on comfort, health and energy demand. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 1(3), 197-228. In Scopus Cited 113 times.

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The global trend towards urbanization 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.