Evaluating the role of vegetation on the ventilation performance in isolated deep street canyons

Wai Yin Ng, Chi Kwan Chau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Vegetation is generally considered as an essential component for a sustainable city as it helps improve its microclimate environment and reduce greenhouse gases emissions. However, there is some evidence suggesting that adverse effects may be caused by tree-planting in shallow urban street canyons. Accordingly, we intended to investigate whether similar observations are found for different canyon geometries, i.e., canyons with aspect ratios higher than 1. Also, we attempted to investigate how the air quality varies with different tree planting densities by using CO as a representative for gas pollutant emitted from vehicle sources. The findings derived from CFD models indicate that tree planting elevates the CO levels inside canyons. Increasing the tree planting density can deteriorate the ventilation performance of canyons and to a greater extent for those with lower aspect ratios. However, the change in ventilation performance is less sensitive to a change in tree planting density at high planting densities. Accordingly, the decision in relation to tree planting in deep canyons should be weighed against other benefits like cooling effect, and energy saving. The findings should be of great value to urban planners in planning a sustainable city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-110
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environment and Pollution
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Air quality
  • CFD
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Deep street canyons
  • Pollutants dispersion
  • Tree-plantings
  • Vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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