Urban Forests Save Energy By Taming Urban Winds

To study the effect of trees on wind, the researchers built an incredibly detailed model of a Vancouver neighborhood by scanning every building, street, and tree using LIDAR technology and combining that with wind data that’s accurate down to a 1.6 feet from a University of British Columbia research tower. Using the data and an algorithm they developed to model wind speed, the scientists were able to create a virtual model using supercomputers in Switzerland. They found that when running the model without any trees, the wind speed increased by a factor of two. (Click on title for full story.)