Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 231–259 | Cite as

The role of radiative-convective interaction in creating the microclimate of urban street canyons

  • Hanna Swaid


An approximate sky view factor (SVF) has been developed, which is capable of estimating the mean rate of net longwave radiant energy loss from urban street canyons. Reduced scale models of typical canyon geometries were used in outdoor tests to verify the predictions of radiant fluxes obtained using the proposed SVF.

Air-surface temperature differences from the scale models are used together with hypothesized within-canyon airflow patterns to determine some quantitative characteristics of the wind field in canyons. Simple correlations are proposed for the relationship between mean in-canyon and pedestrian-level flow speeds on the one hand, and the ambient (above roof-level) wind speed on the other hand. As expected, the height/width ratio of a canyon controls the form and magnitude of the flow within.


Wind Speed Energy Loss Radiant Energy Wind Field Scale Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



constant used in Equation (3) for Brunt number calculation


area of the surface (m2)


constant used in Equation (3) for Brunt number calculation


longwave radiosity at the surface (W m−2)


Brunt number


view factor from surfacei to surfacej


area of the built-up portion of a neighbourhood (m2)


average height of canyon walls (cm)


convective heat transfer coefficient at the surface (W m−2 K−1)


longwave irradiance at surfacei (W m−2)


incoming longwave radiative flux at the surface (W m−2)


outgoing longwave radiative flux at the surface (W m−2)


net rate of outgoing longwave radiation from the surface (W m−2)


the number of surfaces forming an enclosure


overall net radiatn energy outflow from the canyon (W)

\(\bar q\)

approximate mean rate of radiant energy loss to the atmosphere at the canyon facets (W m−2)


conductive heat flux (W m−2)


convective heat flux at the surface (W m−2)



mean value over the canyon surfaces

e, w

east wall, west wall


canyon floor


canyon top opening

w1, w2

wall 1, wall 2


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanna Swaid
    • 1
  1. 1.National Building Research InstituteTechnion, Israel Institute of TechnologyTechnion City, HaifaIsrael

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