Experimental studies on pollutant dispersion in streets with vegetation

Trees in the streets provide several advantages to the urban environment, including temperature reduction, carbon dioxide capture and rainwater absorption. Nonetheless, the impact of trees on wind speed and turbulent dispersion in the street largely remains unknown. This impact is influenced by factors such as the shape and size of the foliage and the trees position along the streets.

To examine these phenomena, DIATI air quality research group conducts experimental studies in the wind tunnel of the LMFA laboratory at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon. Thanks to the reproduction of an urban canopy with tree-lined avenues inside the wind tunnel, it is possible to measure wind speed and pollutant concentration, and to explore the influence of vegetation on the dispersion and distribution of pollutants along the streets.

The measurements collected in the framework of this research are available at this link.

Pollutant concentration measured inside a street canyon reproduced in the wind tunnel without (image above) and with (image underneath) lateral tree rows.

PhD thesis: Annika del Ponte

Researchers: Sofia Fellini, Luca Ridolfi, Lionel Soulhac, Massimo Marro, Pietro Salizzoni,

References: Fellini, S., Marro, M., Del Ponte, A. V., Barulli, M., Soulhac, L., Ridolfi, L., & Salizzoni, P. (2022). High resolution wind-tunnel investigation about the effect of street trees on pollutant concentration and street canyon ventilation. Building and Environment, 226, 109763.