Winner of the UNI LAB Award 2023
DaWei Chen is an undergraduate student who pursued a degree in the Department of Urban and Rural Planning at Beijing University of Technology. He began his academic journey in 2018 and recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2023.
During his undergraduate program, Dawei Chen acquired a diverse range of knowledge in urban planning. His studies encompassed fundamental planning concepts, the preservation of historical and cultural districts, and the influence of green spaces on historical areas. Additionally, he actively engaged in various competitions throughout his undergraduate years, achieving notable recognition and awards.
Towards the conclusion of his undergraduate studies, Dawei Chen collaborated with Professor Qingwen Rong on his thesis titled “Study on the Correlation between Green Spaces and Microclimate in the Historical and Cultural Blocks of Beijing Old City Using ENVI Met.” This research marked a successful culmination of his academic journey, resulting in his graduation. Currently, Dawei Chen is an active member of the workforce, where he continues to contribute his expertise.
Laudatio for DaWei Chen
“Dawei-Chen’s meticulous work bring attention to a fundamental challenge confronting historical cities amidst the impacts of climate change. Preserving historical cities necessitates a concurrent commitment to rigorous analysis. This approach underscores the importance of aligning conservation initiatives with a thorough understanding of the climatic implications, ensuring a balanced and sustainable preservation strategy for our cultural heritage in the face of evolving environmental conditions. The livability of a historical city is significantly enhanced by the influence of its microclimate.
“In the past years, the conservation of historic cities in China has been developing steadily, with the promulgation of the conservation regulations. In this case in Beijing, the conservation of historical and cultural cities and blocks has become an important task. This project focuses on a quantitative exploration of the precise correlation mechanisms between various forms of greenery and microclimate. Enriched through field investigations, 3D data collection, microclimate simulations utilizing ENVI-met, and quantitative model analyses, the study compares simulated microclimate data with measured data.
The objective is to furnish a scientific foundation for the renewal of green spaces and the regulation of microclimates within historic and cultural blocks. This comprehensive approach aims to offer insights that can inform and guide strategic decisions in the enhancement of urban greenery and the sustainable management of microclimatic conditions within historically significant areas.”
Architect and Professor/ Chair of Construction Technology and Sustainable Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Seville and Head of the SATH research group (Sustainability in Architecture, Technology and Heritage)
In the past 40 years, the conservation system of historic famous cities in China has been developing steadily, with the promulgation of the conservation regulations and the formulation of measures for historic and cultural blocks in Beijing, the conservation of historical and cultural cities and blocks has become an important task for the development of the capital during the 14th Five-year Plan period.
Microclimate plays an important role in improving the livability of historical and cultural blocks, the suitability of crowd activities and building conservation, it is becoming an important research direction to adjust the microclimate of historical and cultural blocks by using different greening elements.There are numerous historical and cultural blocks distributed in the old city of Beijing. Existing research has proven that the green layout mode and form composition can directly affect the activity suitability and livability of historical and cultural blocks by affecting the microclimate, and have a significant impact on the preservation status of the block’s heritage group.
However, existing research mainly focuses on analysis based on two-dimensional image data collection and software platform 3D simplified simulation methods, and the exact mechanism of the impact of greening on microclimate and the identification of key morphological parameters are still being explored.
This project focuses on the quantitative study of the specific correlation mechanism between greening forms and microclimate, and synthetically applies the methods of field investigation, 3D-data collection, microclimate simulation based on ENVI-met and quantitative model analysis, etc. , by comparing the simulated microclimate data with the measured data, the specific mechanism and related parameters of different greening elements affecting microclimate were obtained by qualitative and quantitative analysis, in order to provide a scientific basis for the greening renewal and microclimate regulation of the historic and cultural blocks .
Numerous studies on historical and cultural blocks in old Beijing have emphasized the crucial role of microclimate in enhancing livability, suitability for communal activities, and preservation of the architectural heritage within these blocks. Greening practices have been identified as a powerful tool for regulating microclimate and, subsequently, improving the overall environment within these historical areas.
Our study sought to consolidate contemporary research on the connection between green infrastructure and microclimate, both domestically and internationally. We selected fifteen representative streets from various historical and cultural blocks in old Beijing as our subjects. We conducted three-dimensional data collection of green infrastructure and comprehensive microclimate measurements.
The acquired data allowed us to define the overall environmental parameters for our microclimate numerical model. We verified the suitability of ENVI-met software for studying the correlation between green infrastructure and microclimate in these unique blocks. Additionally, we demonstrated the role of three-dimensional data collection and voxel modeling in enhancing the precision of microclimate simulations.
Through a comparison of simulated and measured data, we fine-tuned and optimized our microclimate models for all the sampled blocks. Subsequently, we employed cluster analysis to identify key elements of green infrastructure that significantly affect microclimate. By subjecting these elements to multiple operating condition simulations and range normalization, we quantitatively studied their specific mechanisms and critical parameters influencing microclimate.
Our findings lay the foundation for evidence-based green renewal strategies aimed at enhancing human comfort in these neighborhoods. Key achievements of our study include:
Successful completion of three-dimensional data collection and voxel modeling of green infrastructure across 15 sampled streets in old Beijing. Our voxel modeling approach, based on three-dimensional data, exhibited higher accuracy and simulation results more closely aligned with real-world conditions, facilitating the quantitative analysis of the impact of various green infrastructure elements on microclimate.
Clarification of the specific mechanisms through which different green infrastructure characteristics affect microclimate. We ranked the impact of five crucial elements, revealing that altering green layout spacing, shrub planting density, and crown width were the most effective means of regulating atmospheric temperature. Similarly, adjustments to the lowest branching point height and green layout spacing were identified as key for regulating relative humidity. Crown diameter and leaf area density (LAD) had a relatively lower impact on humidity and wind speed, while reducing green layout spacing emerged as the most comprehensive microclimate regulation strategy.
Proposing scientifically informed strategies for block greening and renewal, and their application to selected blocks. These strategies include modifying green layout spacing, selecting appropriate tree species, and incorporating shrub planting. We applied these strategies individually to block samples, providing a valuable reference for future greening and renewal planning and design efforts in these historical and cultural blocks.