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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sun, Wind, and Comfort A Study of Open Spaces and Sidewalks in Four Downtown Areas


This report describes a study by the U.C. Berkeley Environmental Simulation and Building Technology Laboratories of development in downtown San Francisco and its consequences for street level sun, wind, and thermal comfort conditions. The study grew out of San Francisco residents' increasing concerns about the quality of the downtown environment,and is related to the measures now being considered to implement the San Francisco Downtown Plan.

This study continues the work presented in the Simulation Laboratory's 1983 report, Sun and Light for Downtown San Francisco. That research concerned itself with the shadowing produced by downtown buildings, and recommended procedures and standards for preserving sunlight on downtown sidewalks and open spaces. This research takes the next steps, considering the effects of buildings on both sun and wind conditions at street level and evaluating the combined effects of these conditions on pedestrian comfort. Rather than considering just the effects of individual buildings, it evaluated the cumulative effects of area-wide development.

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