Developers in the City of London will soon have to be conscious of how their skyscraper designs will affect cyclists and pedestrians after growing concerns that these tall buildings are creating a wind tunnel effect.
The new rules will require developers to provide comprehensive safety assessments on how the design could potentially affect people at street level, putting models of their designs into wind tunnels or using computer simulations. Any wind over 18mph will now be deemed as “uncomfortable”..
The City skyline has been changing at a dramatic pace recently, a pace which is only set to increase. There are currently a further six under construction and seven have received planning consent, resulting in 13 more skyscrapers by 2026.
According to the City of London Corporation, the move was not in response to any particular incident, but a spokesperson said they had been “monitoring high-rise buildings” closely.
The negative impact of skyscrapers on wind speeds is perhaps most noticeable in Leeds, where Bridgewater Place tower caused multiple road closures and even the death of a pedestrian when a lorry was blown on its side.