Urbanflow: Designing Comfortable Outdoor Areas

The UrbanFlow optimization process changes design parameters to avoid heat pockets and improve outdoor comfort.

Design decisions in urban planning have to be made with particular carefulness as the resulting constraints are binding for the whole architectural design that follows. In this context, investigating and optimizing the airflow in urban environments is critical to designing comfortable outdoor areas, as unwanted effects such as windy areas and the formation of heat pockets have to be avoided.

Our UrbanFlow framework enables interactive architectural design, allowing for decision-making based on simulating urban flow. Compared to real-time fluid flow simulation, enabling interactive architecture design poses an even higher computational efficiency challenge as evaluating a design by simulation usually requires hundreds of time steps. This is addressed based on a highly efficient Eulerian fluid simulator in which we incorporate a unified porosity model, which is devised to encode digital urban models containing objects such as buildings and trees.


Daoming Liu, Florian. Rist, and Dominik L. Michels, "Urbanflow: Designing Comfortable Outdoor Areas", Annual Modeling and Simulation Conference (ANNSIM), Hamilton, ON, Canada, 2023, pp. 628-644.