On the daytime micro-climatic conditions inside an idealized 2D urban canyon

P. J.C. Schrijvers*, H. J.J. Jonker, S. R. de Roode, S. Kenjereš

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigated the surface temperature, air temperature and mean radiant temperature inside an idealized 2D street geometry during daytime. The goal was to unravel the relative impact of radiative transfer, heat conduction and ventilation to the urban heat budget. A building-resolving simulation model has been used, which represents these processes at a 1 m spatial resolution. Different combinations of the canyon height to width ratio (H/W) and physical mechanisms were investigated. Shortwave radiation is the main source of energy, and for small H/W can be higher at the canyon ground level compared to flat terrain due to multiple reflections. The longwave trapping effect has the second largest contribution and becomes relatively more important with increasing H/W ratio. The influence of the interior building temperature is small. Surface temperature and mean radiant temperature are closely related, since both are largely controlled by radiative properties. No straightforward relation was found between surface temperature and air temperature, since air temperature is dependent on the competing mechanisms of forced and natural convection. A small increase in air temperature inside the canyon was observed compared to the ambient temperature above roof level. The inclusion of all key physical processes in high detail resulted in large computational requirements. If multiple reflections by the building facades are small, the more traditional, yet much simpler view factor approach will strongly reduce the computational costs as compared to the Monte Carlo technique. The influence of using the view factors on the results must be investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106427
Number of pages13
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Mean radiant temperature
  • Surface energy balance
  • Urban comfort
  • urban heat island


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