In this experimental work both qualitative (flow visualisation) and quantitative (laser Doppler anemometry) methods were applied in a wind tunnel in order to describe the complex three-dimensional flow field in a real environment (a street canyon intersection). The main aim was an examination of the mean flow, turbulence and flow pathlines characterising a complex three-dimensional urban location. The experiments highlighted the complexity of the observed flows, particularly in the upwind region of the intersection. In this complex and realistic situation some details of the upwind flow, such as the presence of two tall towers, play an important role in defining the flow field within the intersection, particularly at roof level. This effect is likely to have a strong influence on the mass exchange mechanism between the canopy flow and the air aloft, and therefore the distribution of pollutants. This strong interaction between the flows inside and outside the urban canopy is currently neglected in most state-of-the-art local scale dispersion models
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