Air pollution Analysis: Analysing local air quality for healthy cities

Air quality conditions.

Traffic is the primary source of air pollutants in urban areas, posing significant health risks to humans, animals, and plants. Airborne pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and chemically active gases such as NO and NO2 can travel long distances through wind transport, causing pollution even far from the original source. Integrated modeling analysis is needed to better understand and address this issue.


Vegetation elements such as trees, hedges, and green facades play a critical role in controlling pollutant dispersion. However, assessing the complex interactions between green elements, airflow, turbulence, and pollutant deposition cannot be done simply. The ENVI-met software enables the estimation of the benefits of complex nature-based solutions by integrating pollutant dispersion modeling with high-resolution vegetation modeling.

Air pollution.

Air pollution is not just an outdoor problem. Opening windows or using air conditioning can bring outdoor pollutants indoors. The quality of the air you get when you open your window depends on the microscale wind patterns around the building. The ENVI-met software analyzes wind flow and pollutant transport for each facade segment of a building with a resolution down to one meter.

Analyzing Air Pollution through Simulation of Site-Specific Scenarios:  High-Resolution Modeling Case Study


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Analysis of air pollution by simulating site-specific scenarios

ENVI-met’s pollution dispersion module allows you to simulate the synchronous release, dispersion and deposition of up to six different pollutants including particles, passive gases and reactive gases.

Sedimentation and deposition on surfaces and vegetation are taken into account, as well as photochemical reactions between NO, NO₂, and Ozone (O₃). ENVI-met also accounts for the release of BVOC through plants.

The results can be used to better understand the dynamics of local pollutant dispersion and guide the development of urban streetscapes for the improvement of air quality and human health.

Improving Outdoor Thermal Comfort through Comprehensive Modeling Analysis

Urban Heat Island.

The urban heat island phenomenon involves varying degrees of heat accumulation within neighborhoods and entire districts. To fully understand the thermal behavior of a city at the block or neighborhood level, it is critical to perform dynamic simulations that account for all causal elements. These elements include surface and wall temperatures, wind flow patterns, vegetation transpiration, and soil moisture. By integrating all of these factors into the simulation process, ENVI-met software provides a multi-perspective analysis of the urban system, encompassing building physics, vegetation health, and human thermal comfort.


Urban neighborhoods are a patchwork of microclimates. The variety of materials, buildings, and vegetation create a patchwork of very different microclimates within close proximity. Shaded backyards and urban parks can provide cool pockets and recreational areas even in hot summer conditions. To understand and analyze the impact of redesign and mitigation strategies, a continuous simulation of at least 24 hours must be run to capture all the different heating and cooling effects in an urban area.

Human Thermal Perception.

Human perception of temperature is influenced by meteorological factors such as wind, solar and thermal radiation, air temperature, and humidity. To gain insight into how humans experience thermal conditions, biometeorological models are used. For example, ENVI-met’s BIO-met module calculates the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET), which relates outdoor conditions to an imagined indoor environment. In addition, the Dynamic Thermal Comfort tool simulates and evaluates the thermal comfort experienced by a moving pedestrian.

Holistic analysis of vegetation and thermal comfort of people:

High-Resolution Modeling Case Study

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Holistic analysis of vegetation and thermal comfort of people

ENVI-met allows you to analyse the design impacts on the local environment, through the specification of ground plane and building materials, and the implementation of vegetation on walls or roofs of any conceivable configuration to help mitigate factors such as urban heat stress.

The software automatically calculates mean radiant temperature when running simulations and can be analysed using the included data visualizer, Leonardo.

In addition, with the post-processing tool BIO-met you can calculate human comfort indices such as PMV (Predicted Mean Vote) and PET (Physiological Equivalent Temperature), which summarizes the impact of the four main atmospheric variables: Air Temperature, Radiative Temperature, Wind Speed and Humidity.

Discover more Key Areas of Analysis: Exploring ENVI-met’s Insights for Urban Climate and Climate Adaptation