Modeling of urban wind ventilation using high resolution airborne LiDAR data

Fen Peng, Man Sing Wong, Yiliang Wan, Janet Elizabeth Nichol

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This study has developed a GIS-based model for estimating the frontal area index (FAI) of buildings, infrastructure, and trees using very high resolution airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data, which can also be used to investigate the “wall effect” caused by high-rise buildings at a finer spatial scale along the coasts in the Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong. New algorithms were created by improving previous algorithms utilizing airborne LiDAR data in raster unit, as well as considering the backward flow coefficient between windward and leeward buildings. The ventilation corridors estimated by FAI and least cost path (LCP) analysis were analyzed. The optimal ventilation corridors passing through the Kowloon peninsula were observed in the east-west and west-east directions. In addition, these ventilation paths were validated with a computer fluid dynamics (CFD) model i.e. Airflow Analysis in ESRI. The newly developed model calculates finer FAI with greater accuracy when compared with vector-based building polygons. This model further depicts buildings, infrastructure, and trees which are considered as obstacles to wind ventilation. The results can be used by environmental and planning authorities to identify ventilation corridors, and for scenario analysis in urban redevelopment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Airborne LiDAR
  • Computer fluid dynamics
  • Frontal area index
  • Least cost path
  • Ventilation corridor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecological Modelling
  • General Environmental Science
  • Urban Studies


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