Further to our previous large-eddy simulation (LES) of flow over a staggered array of uniform cubes, a simulation of flow over random urban-like obstacles is presented. To gain a deeper insight into the effects of randomness in the obstacle topology, the current results, e.g. spatially-averaged mean velocity, Reynolds stresses, turbulence kinetic energy and dispersive stresses, are compared with our previous LES data and direct numerical simulation data of flow over uniform cubes. Significantly different features in the turbulence statistics are observed within and immediately above the canopy, although there are some similarities in the spatially-averaged statistics. It is also found that the relatively high pressures on the tallest buildings generate contributions to the total surface drag that are far in excess of their proportionate frontal area within the array. Details of the turbulence characteristics (like the stress anisotropy) are compared with those in regular roughness arrays and attempts to find some generality in the turbulence statistics within the canopy region are discussed
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