Pedestrian Comfort and Safety

Orchestrating wind, sun, humidity and temperature to create pleasant outdoor spaces

City street with sidewalks and trees.

Quirks of local climate can spoil the experience of an otherwise excellent design. (Think of a lovely, seaside dining terrace—where strong winds blow at sunset.) But those quirks can also be exploited to improve human comfort and safety.

Shade created where people need it, breezes brought into overheated corners, windbreaks positioned on high terraces—little fixes can have big benefits. With correct data and planning, the interplay among wind, sun, humidity and temperature can be orchestrated to create a pleasant experience for patrons and passers-by.

Our service

We evaluate how comfortable people will be around your project. Our goal is to help you create a project—an outdoor environment, a development, a stadium, a community—that is physically better suited to the pedestrian, patron or participant experience.

We’re experts in identifying the little things that can change how people experience an outdoor space. We can reconstruct or predict the weather in the immediate vicinity of your location, at any moment, anywhere in the world. We can model exactly how the wind will flow around building features and exactly where and when shadows will fall. Through years of experience working in a wide variety of climates, we know how to adapt standard comfort metrics to accurately reflect human experience of cold, heat and humidity.

The following are some examples.  

  • A design for a residential tower sports a bold, skyline-defining feature and an exclusive rooftop terrace. However, we find that this feature will create wind vortexes that will make the terrace unusable. We can quickly test modifications in our models to find a shape that retains the desired aesthetic while promoting occupant comfort on the terrace itself.
  • An office building’s courtyard gets unbearably hot at midday, so workers can’t enjoy lunch outdoors. We can show how to position a “wind scoop” to direct prevailing winds, creating breezes in areas where normally there wouldn’t be any.
  • Sports fans or athletes get too hot or too cold at the stadium. We can adjust the shaping and siting of a stadium to balance sun, shade and wind to keep both patrons and athletes comfortable during more of the game or match—and for more of the season.

Typical Projects

  • Residential areas
  • Hotels
  • Condominiums
  • Office buildings
  • Stadiums Planned communities