Volume 7 (2008) Issue 1 Pages 93-99
An urban design which reduces snow problems is one of the most important approaches in heavy snow and cold climate cities. In this paper, the author evaluated the urban design for the new Wakkanai Station redevelopment project in Hokkaido, Japan. Wakkanai City is the northernmost city of Japan, and is located in a strong snowstorm area. Two types of station design, the Trapezoid type and the Curved-surface type were tested in snow simulations using a wind tunnel that belongs to the Hokkaido Northern Regional Building Research Institute.
Comparing the two types of Wakkanai Station redevelopment design, the Curved-surface design is better suited to alleviate the negative impact of snowdrifts on the pedestrian pathway. The formation of snowdrifts in the public areas will be less likely to occur due to obstructions, and there will be better access for passenger transfer and better approach for public transportation and private vehicles. But some provision for the shelter of pedestrians from strong wind should be included in the redevelopment plan.
The results of this simulation will be reflected in the station redevelopment planning and design of this project. This urban design study with snow simulations might provide the most progressive approach.