Advanced Numerical Methods for Complex Environmental Models: Needs and Availability

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High air pollution levels pose a significant threat to plants, animals and human beings. Efforts by researchers are directed towards keeping air pollution levels below well defined ‘critical‘ ...
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Studying the Air Quality and the Influence of Climate Changes on Our Environment Part A: Air Quality Modeling at Street-Scale

Pp. 327-364 (38)

Carlos Borrego, Jorge H. Amorim, Oxana Tchepel, Ana M. Costa and Ana I. Miranda

Abstract

The enhanced understanding of the symbiosis between urban planning, traffic dynamics and local air quality is a needed goal towards the ultimate objective of promoting healthier and sustainable cities. This chapter is focused on the most powerful tool currently available for the assessment of air quality at the street-scale (i.e., at the pedestrian level): the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models. A brief overview of the numerical concept applied in the simulation of turbulent flows and dispersion processes is given. Major questions in the CFD modeling of urban environments are highlighted: the role of vehicle emissions estimation, the contribution of background concentrations to local air quality levels, and the capability of these tools to assess the impacts of urban planning strategies and scenarios. Examples of the application of a CFD model to real urban cases are given for the cities of Lisbon (Portugal) and Helsinki (Finland).

Keywords:

Urban environments, urban planning scenarios, road transport emissions, emission control measures, emission modeling, air pollution, urban air quality, urban sustainability, pedestrians exposure, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models, fluid dynamics, Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes Equations, data analysis in frequency domain, Kolmogorov-Zurbenko (KZ) filter, exhaust emission, emission factor, background concentrations, turbulence modeling, vegetative canopies, air pollutants dispersion.

Affiliation:

Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) & Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.