Title: The effects of trees on micrometeorology in a real street canyon: consequences for local air quality

Authors: Silvana Di Sabatino; Riccardo Buccolieri; Gianluca Pappaccogli; Laura S. Leo

Addresses: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 6/2, 40127, Bologna, Italy ' Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, University of Salento, S.P. 6 Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy ' Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, University of Salento, S.P. 6 Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratories, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA

Abstract: This study analyses the effects of trees on local meteorology of a Mediterranean City (Lecce, IT) using field measurements and computational fluid dynamics simulations. Measurements were collected for 51 days in a street canyon with trees to cover different meteorological and foliage conditions. Building façades and ground temperatures were estimated from infrared images, flow and turbulence measured by ultrasonic anemometers. In the case of approaching wind parallel to the street axis, trees induce large wind direction fluctuations below tree crowns and velocities up to about 80% lower than those at roof top. This, combined with the obstruction by tree crown, lead to lower ventilation in the bottom part of the street, especially during nocturnal hours, and to in-canyon volume-averaged pollutant concentration about 20% larger than in the tree-free case. Ignoring trapping effects of trees, as typically done in many air quality models, may lead to underestimation of ground level concentrations.

Keywords: urban temperature; air flow; turbulence; pollutant concentration; trees; computational fluid dynamics; CFD; micrometeorology; street canyons; air quality; air pollution; cities; Italy; simulation; foliage; building facades; ground temperatures; wind directions; wind speed; tree crowns; ventilation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2015.076587

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2015 Vol.58 No.1/2, pp.100 - 111

Available online: 15 May 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article