Beijing Says New Wind Corridors May Finally Solve The City’s Notorious Pollution Problem

Charles Liu , July 2, 2014 2:23pm

smoggy tiananmen squareBeijing wants to alleviate its poor air quality – and provide relief to its long-suffering residents –  by developing special new “wind corridors”, reports MSN.

Liu Chunlan, the head of the Beijing Municipal Environment and Ecology Institute and the Research Institute for the City Environment, said her team is researching wind routes in the capital and is looking to make changes to Beijing’s overall master plan.

The wind corridors will provide room for the wind to circulate by altering the heights of buildings and preventing groups of buildings from being built close together. The objective is to utilize wind from outlying districts and direct it to the city on days when smog accumulates.

The idea of harnessing the wind to alleviate smog conditions first reached the public’s attention last year, and has been steadily gaining acceptance since. A mini-circuit of Chinese cities looking to use wind corridors include Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Shaoxing and Fuzhou. As well, Wuhan wants to employ wind corridors to lower summer temperatures in the city.

 

wind corridor

Pictured: science.

Beijing’s ultimate goal is to reach a tolerable PM 2.5 standard of 35 milligrams per square meter by 2030, according to Pan Tao, the director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Research Academy.

Pan said that Beijing had an average annual level of PM 2.5 at 89.5 milligrams per square meter in 2013.

Despite the optimism, Yang Baojun, chief planner of the China National City Planning Design Research Center doubts if the plan will be able to do much:

At present, the urban area of Beijing has grown out to five and six ring roads. Designing a wind corridor will prove to be difficult.

Yang said that Beijing’s bad air is due to surrounding factories and the ineffectual use of coal. Complicating matters is that Beijing is located in a valley, one that is ringed by mountains that can only be seen on days with clear visibility.

Photo: ndb, yunnan.cn

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor