From the title of this post you might have guessed that I am not an architect, or have too firm a grasp of physics for that matter. What I do know is that tall buildings create wind tunnels, which sucks for the people on the ground. Especially those of us in skirts and dresses… (Pro-tip for city newbs, remember those cute shorts you never get to wear because it’s always “too cold”? Here’s your chance!)
I’m sure people who do study physics know why this happen. I know that skyscrapers are tested for wind load to make sure they can stand up to high winds, but why don’t we do anything about the resulting wind tunnels that are created? Is this factor even taken into consideration when developing plans for a new building? Or is there anything that can be done?
Without any substantial knowledge on this phenomenon, I’ve created a few mock ups:
Or, in the case of buildings already in existence, perhaps something can be done to break up the wind? Or, at the very least, take advantage it. Just think if wind turbines were small enough to be attached to the outside of a building! They could be attached to light poles, sign poles, have their own designated poles installed. We could paint them and call it art!
It’s the best of all possible worlds, we could be creating great green energy AND beautifying the city! Nobody could argue that power would only be generated a faction of the time because it’s always windy. Environmentalists might raise a stink because wind turbines kill birds. And it’s true, the huge windmills you see on the Altamont pass are notorious for decapitating various birds, (some of them endangered, blah blah blah), but there’s a flaw in their argument.
Perhaps the happiest accident of all, these as-of-yet uninvented turbines will be small enough to kill the only birds that live downtown. And I’m not talking about the Parrots, they generally stay away from tall buildings. I’m talking about pigeons! Filthy, stupid, inbred flying vermin. They really are the worst animal on the face of the earth. Even rats are better. Rats at least eat actual food. And if one of their own was as retarded as a pigeon they would kill him. And then, probably eat him, because they are rats, and rats roll hard. But their still not as bad as pigeons.
I once saw a pigeon that had a missing foot and then somehow managed to stick it’s stump into a turd ball of some sort. Maybe it’s smarter than I give it credit for, and it did that on purpose because the turd ball created stability, but probably not. It was the most wretched looking creature I’ve ever seen. I’ve never wanted to put something out of its misery so bad in all my life. And this was when I was living in the outer Richmond. It’s supposed to be nice out there.
After that I lived in the Tenderloin, and I’d see these old crazy grandma’s feeding the pigeons and I just want to yell at them. Of course, being old and crazy and living on the streets of the Tenderloin, I’ll either speak their language, or they’ll take their crazy to a whole new level I’m not willing to experience.
You know I used to think pigeons were cute? Growing up, in the country, pigeons were just the poor man’s dove. They made pretty cooing sounds and had shiny, iridescent feathers. My cousins would actually shoot them and then eat them. Like they were some foreign delicacy. Yet city pigeons somehow go from being squab to flying poison bags. The homeless don’t even touch city pigeons because they know it would be certain death.
Anyway… there might be a quick backlash because of all of the mangled pigeon corpses littering the ground, (I won’t mock that up), and the city might have to step up their street cleaning plans in the first months after the tiny turbines are installed. But that will only last as long as pigeons remain. Which, one would hope, will not be long. Then San Francisco would be a pigeon free, manageably breezy, clean energy paradise!