Architecture

Skylines: more than meets the eye

New York City is renowned for a large and varied collection of skyscrapers. Just months ago, London celebrated the completion of the tallest building in Europe, The Shard.  We admire high-rise building for their architectural, cultural, and often historical significance. But have you ever considered how these neck-archers could affect your health or the evironment?

High rise towers in big cities block air flow. This can result in poor ventilation and an increase in air pollution, according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Large quantities of concrete and steel absorb and then release more heat into the atmosphere. This is what makes cities generally warmer than suburban areas, and is known as Urban Heat Island phenomenon. According to research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it can affect human health and quality of living.

The film featured in this post was created by Elfy Chiang for the Wellcome Trust (original blog post). Dr Vladimir Jankovic of the University of Manchester, gives his perspective on this issue and suggests how we can improve climate in urban spaces. Chiang hopes that her film will raise awareness of a largely relevant issue to many city dwellers.

By Katherine

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