Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Climate-Sensitive Urban Design Measures for Improving the Wind Environment for Pedestrians in a Transit-Oriented Development Area

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Climate-Sensitive Urban Design Measures for Improving the Wind Environment for Pedestrians in a Transit-Oriented Development Area

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study examines the blocks around the main station of the Kaohsiung Railway Underground Project in which the 400 m around station will be redeveloped. Two concepts, sustainable urban design and TOD (transit oriented development), were integrated to develop a new planning approach called the original Green-TOD. Among the key issues of Green-TOD, the relation between pedestrian space design and air ventilation is a crucial issue for providing pedestrians with amenities in a tropical climate like Kaohsiung. In this study, wind speed and wind direction, which were selected from the two main high traffic periods during the summer, served as the primary simulation settings of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and wind distribution between roadside-based and street-block-based developments were compared. Major implemented policies for urban design, including the incentives for floor area ratio (FAR), building mass and layout, and open space design measures, are explicitly addressed as well. The results of the CFD simulation show the quality of the ventilation can be improved through land-use control measures.

Keywords: Wind environment, Pedestrian space, CFD (computational fluid dynamics), TOD (transit oriented development), Urban design, FAR (floor area ratio)

1. Introduction

Transit oriented development (TOD) is a planning concept that aims to provide livable and sustainable urban environments through developing mixed land use and better pedestrian environment within walking distance of public transit stations. In general, the basic ideas of TOD is to design a relatively high density, compact and mixed-used urban form, and to provide high quality, efficient mass transportation services together with a pedestrian friendly environment (Cervero, 2002; Loo et al., 2010; Sung & Oh, 2011). On the district level in particular, TOD aims at creating compact and compatible mixed land use and developmental patterns within walking distance of rail stations. It is advocated that, around the stations, various daily services and residential buildings are built according to appropriate urban design control in hope of attracting ample and diversified population and urban activities (Atkinson-Palombo & Kuby, 2011; Bernick & Cervero, 1997; Calthorpe, 1993).

A high density development in urban areas, however, affects the ventilation of buildings as well as the comfort and safety of pedestrians. Tall and bulky high-rise building blocks with limited open spaces between them, uniform building heights, and large podium structures lead to lower permeability for urban air ventilation at the pedestrian level (Ng, 2009). Five classifications of the pedestrian wind speed were assigned in Hong Kong (Yuan et al., 2012). These classifications denote stagnant (v<0.3m/s), poor (0.3

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