Cities & Health

Air Pollution

It is common sense that clean air is essential for the well-being of humans, animals and plants. But high traffic density, fuel combustion, biomass burning and industries are creating a mixture of air pollutants that are major risk to health. Even when the emission situation is not that severe, the combination of pollutant sources and poorly aerated areas can quickly lead to the accumulation and local enrichment of air pollutants in excess of air quality standards.

Simulate the release, dispersion and deposition of pollutants under different urban design and planning scenarios to guide mitigation efforts using green infrastructure solutions.

ENVI-met aids in the analysis of air pollution by simulating site specific scenarios.

The pollution dispersion model of ENVI-met allows the synchronous release, dispersion and deposition of up to six different pollutants including particles, passive gases and reactive gases. Sedimentation and deposition on surfaces and vegetation is taken into account, as well as photochemical reactions between NO, NO2, and Ozone (O3). The software also accounts for the release of (B)VOC through plants.

The results can be used to better understand the dynamics of local pollutant dispersion and guide the development of urban streetscapes for the improvement of air quality and human health.


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Thermal Comfort

In the context of urban microclimates, thermal comfort is the key indicator to describe peoples’ subjective experience of temperature in open spaces. It summarizes the impacts of sun, wind, air temperature and humidity on thermal sensation.

The Urban Heat Island is a phenomenon that can range from small hot spots in a street up to entire quarters of a city.

To understand the thermal performance of a city at block or district level, a holistic  simulation of all elemental and architectural factors must be performed.


Different thermodynamic models in ENVI-met allow a holistic evaluation of thermal comfort.

The ENVI-met system allows for the analysis of design impacts on the local environment, the specification of ground plane and building materials, and the usage of vegetation on walls or roofs in any thinkable configuration to help mitigate factors such as urban heat stress.

The software model automatically calculates mean radiant temperature when running simulations and can be viewed using the included data visualizer, Leonardo.

Human comfort indices such as PMV (Percent Mean Vote) and PET (Physiological Equivalent Temperature) can be calculated by the post-processing tool BioMet, which summarizes the impact of the four main atmospheric variables: Air Temperature, Radiative Temperature, Wind Speed and Humidity.


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