London wants new skyscrapers to protect cyclists from wind tunnels


boris 2019

Mr Boris JOHNSON, UK Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and the Commonwealth. Copyright: European Union Event: 2017 Brussels Conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Rosamond Hutt, Senior Writer, Formative Content


London has introduced tougher rules for building new high-rises in its financial district that take into account the impact of wind conditions on cyclists and pedestrians.

It is the first time in the UK that the effects of windy microclimates on cycling comfort and safety have been considered, according to the City of London Corporation, the governing body of London’s Square Mile financial district. It also points out that the criteria could form the basis of national and international standards.

London’s skyline has changed dramatically in recent years – the Gherkin, the Walkie-Talkie and the Cheesegrater are examples of famous new additions – and another 13 skyscrapers, including one expected to be 290 metres high, are set to spring up in the Square Mile by 2026.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about the future of cities?

Cities represent humanity’s greatest achievements – and greatest challenges. From inequality to air pollution, poorly designed cities are feeling the strain as 68% of humanity is predicted to live in urban areas by 2050.

The World Economic Forum supports a number of projects designed to make cities cleaner, greener and more inclusive.

These include hosting the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, which gathers bright ideas from around the world to inspire city leaders, and running the Future of Urban Development and Services initiative. The latter focuses on how themes such as the circular economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be harnessed to create better cities.

Urban microclimates

Tall buildings can generate wind tunnels and downdraughts which occur when wind hits a tower and is pushed downwards.

These gusty microclimates make cycling, walking and sitting down in public spaces unpleasant, and in extreme cases can destabilize pedestrians and cyclists and push them into the paths of vehicles.

Under the new standards, proposed buildings in the Square Mile between 25 and 50 metres tall will have to undergo wind tunnel testing or computer simulations. And those over 50 metres will have to do both with assessments carried out by a separate independent consultant.

Wind speeds of more than 8 metres per second have been reclassified as “uncomfortable” rather than “business walking conditions”, and speeds of over 15 metres per second are deemed hazardous for pedestrians. For areas with restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating, 2.5 metres per second is an acceptable level.

 

Greater consideration will be given to spaces around schools or elderly people’s homes to prioritize the needs of more vulnerable groups in society, the City Corporation said.

The more robust assessment is part of a plan to make the City a safer and more comfortable place for pedestrians and cyclists, and to promote walking, biking and other outdoor activities. Last year, the average number of journeys by bicycle increased by 6.2% compared to 2017, according to Transport for London.

The volume of cycling journeys increased by 6.2% in 2018.
Image: Transport for London

“With the number of tall buildings in the Square Mile growing, it is important that the knock-on effects of new developments on wind at street-level are properly considered,” said Alastair Moss, Chair of the City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee.

“These guidelines mark another significant step that the City Corporation is taking to put cyclists and pedestrians at the heart of planning in the Square Mile, prioritizing their safety and experience.

“From the Transport Strategy to the City Plan, we are ensuring that our streets are a comfortable and pleasant place to live, work and visit.

“We hope these groundbreaking guidelines can create a blueprint for others by delivering safer, more enjoyable streets that meet the evolving needs of this great City.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Chart of the day: This is what violence does to a nation’s GDP

Parliament supports plans to improve quality of tap water and cut plastic litter

EU-China: Commission and China hold first High-level Digital Dialogue

Egypt is building one of the world’s largest solar parks

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

OECD presents analysis showing significant impact of proposed international tax reforms

How Google is fighting fire with real-time mapping data

New UN finance panel to push Global Goals forward

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

Have we reached peak smartphone?

It’s time to move: 5 ways we can upgrade our SDG navigation systems

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Sardinia’s La Pelosa beach is charging tourists an entry fee to protect its dunes and vegetation

A roadmap for destination management in the digital economy

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

Crackdown on Christians in Eritrea spurs UN expert to press Government ‘to live up to its international commitments’

From underestimation to valorization: how mobile technology is transforming global health

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

DR Congo: Restore internet services as ‘a matter of urgency’, urges UN expert

Human Rights and Democracy: striving for dignity and equality around the world

Who is to pay the dearest price in a global slowdown?

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

Brazil: A strategic partner for the EU

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

‘Terminator’ warlord Bosco Ntaganda sentenced to 30 years in prison for DR Congo atrocities

How China’s sponge cities are preparing for sea-level rise

More international support needed to curb deadly measles outbreak in DR Congo

What makes a great CEO? The people they surround themselves with

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for decisive action on security priorities

#Travelgoals: why Instagram is key to understanding millennial tourism

A fundamental transport transformation: Commission presents its plan for green, smart and affordable mobility

Millions of Afghans have ‘voted not just for a president, but also for democracy’, UN Assembly told

The big challenge of leadership and entrepreneurship in Europe

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

How data can help mining companies tackle their trust deficit

A brief history of vaccines and how they changed the world

COVID-19 poses a dramatic threat to life in conflict zones

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

They have more than 30 words for “apple core”, and other things you didn’t know about Switzerland

What next after more sanctions against Russia, will the Ukrainian civil war end?

Should tech companies pay us for our data?

Migration: Better travel safe than sorry

Why developing new antibiotics is a matter of life and death

Darfur peace process at a ‘standstill’ as demonstrations against Sudanese Government continue

Human traffickers in Libya are posing as UN staff, says Refugee Agency

UN welcomes progress in former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia naming dispute

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Women and girls in science – from aspiration to reality

EU values in Hungary and Poland: debate on recent developments

Technology can help us save the planet. But more than anything, we must learn to value nature

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

EP negotiators: recovery plan crucial, but do not trade long-term for short-term

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s