Stagnant airflow and urban heat island effects threaten human comfort and health in high density cities such as Hong Kong. There is a practical need to reduce heat stress and air pollution in the public realm during urban development supported by simulation tools. Existing performance simulation methods tend to be overly complex and computationally demanding, limiting their usefulness for the design team at early stage; The design process, detached from the timely feedback of performance simulation, often rely on the practitioners’ intuition or personal experiences, which may not always yield the best solution for the particular site. To address the above gap, a novel simulation-design workflow is developed in this study in order to advance sustainable urban design in Hong Kong. Rapid performance simulation tools have been linked with Genetic Algorithms in order to iteratively optimize the urban design schemes based on selected performance criteria. A human-computer workflow has also been applied in parallel in order to ensure compliance with practical constraints such as zoning, building code, and development priorities. The workflow has been preliminarily tested in a real-world urban redevelopment project in Hong Kong with marked improvement in environment performances. The outcomes of this study will contribute to research literature in performance simulation and optimization technologies; it is also expected to provide new tools to enhance sustainable urban design practice in Hong Kong.
About the Speaker
Ms. Tongping HAO is a second-year PHD student in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong. She obtained her Master’s degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Bachelor’s degree from Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai. Before joining the department, HAO worked as a green building engineer on building performance assessment and sustainable design projects in Hong Kong. Her research interests include urban microclimate, urban modeling, computer simulation and design optimization.
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