Dynamic Thermal Comfort Model for Pedestrians

#Climate change, #ENVI-met, #Pedestrians, #Sustainable Cities, #Thermal Comfort, #urban heat Island Effects, #Urban Microclimate
Pedestrians in cities

Pedestrians will play an important role in future cities by providing an alternative form of transportation. Pedestrian-friendly cities feature wide walking spaces with safe design features, such as low-lighting or wide sidewalks, and accessible public transport. Thermal indices such as UTCI or PET for standing persons are mainstream tools. They assess outdoor thermal comfort because they measure the thermal comfort of an individual who is stationary and exposed to a particular micro-climate. They take into account physical parameters such as air temperature and relative humidity, radiation levels and air movement or clothing insulation factors. However, these indices cannot be used to assess the comfort of walking persons moving through different microclimates.

The reason is, that the thermal environment experienced by a moving person differs significantly from a stationary one. The walking person is likely to experience variable air velocity and temperature gradients orpoints of radiative balance, which are not easily accessible by these indices. Furthermore, walking persons are subject to physical exertion, which further influences their thermal comfort level while stationary people may not be. Our all-new feature, Dynamic Thermal Comfort Model for pedestrians, enables the assessment of pedestrians thermal experience as they navigate through urban environments.

New BIO-met: Dynamic Thermal Comfort Model for pedestrians

This new feature in BIO-met provides a unique opportunity to understand and analyse thermal comfort like never before. When looking at Dynamic Thermal Comfort for pedestrians, additional parameters such as sudden changes in skin temperature or in the body’s energy balance can be more governing to the comfort impression than long term static conditions. The new Dynamic Thermal Comfort Model allows you to design individual virtual walks through the simulated ENVI-met world, including visiting indoor locations or sitting outdoors. The reaction of the human body and resulting thermal comfort can be monitored interactively and analyzed in LEONARDO maps or Python scripts. Just click one button and watch the thermal comfort developments on the invididual level in the software interface or analyse walking routes with LEONARDO. Either way it´s a totally new perspektive on urban thermal comfort – seen from the pedestrian perspective in cities.

Significance in times of climate change

In times of climate adaption pedestrian comfort is especially important in areas that are seeing higher temperatures as a result of climate change, as people may be more inclined to walk around and be active if the environment is enjoyable. Additionally, the comfort of pedestrians can be affected by many environmental elements such as wind chill and humidity, and other atmospheric elements which can be monitored and optimized through the use of the Dynamic Thermal Comfort Model for pedestrians. In this way, cities can carefully plan pedestrian routes and design thermal comfort plans to ensure that pedestrians have a pleasant experience. This will help to create more sustainable cities while also encouraging people to be active and enjoy their public spaces.

In regards of climate adaption it is important to simulate the reaction of moving persons in cities because it will give a better understanding of how these people will interact and respond to the changing environment. Simulation is essential for developing strategies and policies that will help cities manage the impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels, increased flooding, and heat waves. Simulations can also be used to explore potential adaptation strategies, such as retrofitting existing buildings or implementing green public spaces. By understanding how people are likely to react to climate change, cities are better prepared to take adaptive measures to combat its effects.

Key Role in Climate Adaptation and Urban Planning

ENVI-met software plays a key role in climate adaptation by allowing the precise modeling of microclimate at a local level. With this software, one can accurately predict the temperatures, wind speeds, and air flows in urban areas, and also take into account how these conditions can be altered by the presence of buildings, vegetation, and other features. This information is invaluable for urban planners as it allows them to design cities and buildings that are better adapted to the local climate while also meeting sustainability goals. Additionally, ENVI-met also provides detailed information which can be used to assess the impact of climate change on local ecosystems and inform adaptive strategies.