Air flows and pollution.
The research of Simone Ferrari.
The researcher’s article
The city: buildings, microclimate and pollution.
Every city has its historic and architectural peculiarities, but that’s not only a matter of style. These peculiarities make whole regions unique and tell about the past, power relationships, and the way how societies evolved. But palaces, buildings and city clusters, modern and less recent, can tell a lot about the stylistic and historical importance of urban centres, and as well they are a signal of the state of health of the cities.
If you tell a story, then everything changes.
Listen to Simone Ferrari
The shapes that characterise the houses in the city have an impact on the environment. The roofs of the houses, the structures of the buildings might favour the ambient air concentration of pollution. Designing new conurbations that consider the winds and their direction opened an interesting debate that will affect the education of future engineers and architects.
Professor of Fluid Mechanics and Microclimatics in Urban Environments.
Research field in reference to the short film: air pollution (referred to the fog).
Simone Ferrari teaches Fluid Mechanics and Microclimatics in Urban Environments at University of Cagliari. His research inspired the realisation of the first episode of the The Shifters series. There are clear references in the setting where the characters Bruno and Lorenzo live: desolated places, far away from the city centres of nearby villages, surrounded by a thick blanket of fog, caused by pollution.
Download scientific papers
Perhaps not everyone knows that the urban tissue influences the way air circulates between the buildings. The architectural organisation, in fact, has an impact in the distribution of air flows. The shape, the dimension and the position of the buildings and more in general the urban architecture affect the movement of air, the ventilation and the concentration of airborne pollutants. Scientists, in dealing with the relationship between the shapes of buildings and the displacements of air, explain how the buildings themselves have a part of responsibility in the forming of turbulences, as a result of the air flows that are created between one building and the other. More specifically, they call the phenomena related to these circumstances urban canyons, referring to the ventilation routed and flanked on both sides by tall buildings, such as skyscrapers, which thus create a canyon-like environment.
The studies carried out also deepen the role of roofs in ventilation and air exchange. Some types of roofs, in fact, perform this function very well; others, however, may be an obstacle. Double-pitched roofs, for example, are designed to encourage air recirculation and encourage the dispersion of pollutants, humidity and heat improving, thanks to their shape, the quality of the air in urban and industrial areas.
However, this type of roof, in the presence of a chimney positioned in a specific way and characterised by an equal specific shape and a precise size, no longer contributes to ventilation, preventing, among others, the dilution of pollutants into the air, which therefore remain trapped between the corridors created by the buildings themselves.
Similar Urbanistic Typologies and Morpho-Metric Parametrization: Analisys of a Possible Date of Construction Based Classification
On the effect of gable roof on natural ventilation in two-dimensional urban canyons
Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 2017
Urban areas parameterisation for CFD simulation and cities air quality analysis
Int. J. Environment and Pollution 2019
Impact of rooftop stack configuration on 2D street canyon air quality
IOP Publishing 2018
Read more on the same theme
The industrial fabric and the urban fabric coexist, they intertwine at close distance. In some cases, they are separated only by a few hectares of agricultural land.