London's Olympic Park draws on LWEC Planning Tool
A cool legacy thanks to local urban climate modelling.
The Olympic Park emerging from London’s East End provides an opportunity to leave a valuable legacy –and not just in sporting terms. The planting of trees and wetland plants, together with a general greening of the area, would help to counter the Urban Heat Island effect that is projected to become increasingly significant alongside projected climate change.
Using an innovative climate model, the LUCID programme (part of the LWEC-accredited Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate Programme) has shown that both the Olympic Park and its surroundings could benefit from the ‘green infrastructure’that will be put in place, in terms of significantly reduced local air temperatures.
Underlining green infrastructure’s potential as an adaptation measure, these results also demonstrate the usefulness of computer models as a planning tool.
“Models like ADMS (Atmospheric Modelling Dispersion System), which we used at the Olympic Park, give us a clearer understanding of how the Urban Heat Island effect –whereby urban areas are typically warmer than surrounding rural areas –could impact cities like London,”says Professor Mike Davies of University College London, who led the multi-organisation LUCID programme team.
Taking a city-wide, neighbourhood and street-scale view, LUCID (short for Development of a Local Urban Climate Model and its Application to the Intelligent Development of Cities) has focused both on predicting temperatures and on pinpointing how the Urban Heat Island effect could have an impact on comfort, health and energy use.