If Governor Arthur Phillip had angled George Street and other Sydney streets 20 degrees anticlockwise – to shelter them in the lee of the wind – it would have lessened prevailing winds that can turn these streets into wind canyons.
“About 20 degrees anticlockwise from present alignment would have been better to minimise channelling of prevailing winds. So, George Street aligned to run more SSE-NNW,” said Dr Matt Glanville, the founder of CPP Wind in Australia.
A masters world champion cyclist with a PhD in wind engineering, Glanville has been taming winds in Sydney and other cities for nearly 30 years. CPP’s laboratory in St Peters contains a scale model of Sydney’s CBD that includes buildings his company has tested in their wind tunnel.
His company also advised the City of Sydney on changes to wind standards introduced last December.
Glanville got a taste for wind as a boy riding BMX bikes. When he saw the movie Breaking Away he was hooked and started road racing.
“It’s a guilty pleasure of mine to head out to the national park away from traffic during strong synoptic tailwinds and attack Strava [a cycling app] records on the open roads,” he said.
Developing a sixth sense for wind and aerodynamics had been a definite advantage in the sport of cycling; particularly when it comes to “drafting”, riding closely behind another cyclist, he said.
“To further compound our challenge, the faster we go, the less…