5.1 Make planning system drive territory’s energy transition
Urban planning as a way of reducing energy use
The problem at handSustainable energy and urban planning often ignore one another, despite being closely interrelated. Urban planning decisions over-determine energy use in the housing and, above all, the transport sectors, even though urban planners are rarely aware of it. By segregating urban functions, zoning increases travel needs for moving from one function to another. Urban sprawl increases distances and therefore fuel consumption as well as households’ fuel poverty. Depending on its design, a city or a neighbourhood will encourage or discourage energy efficiency and renewable energy use. Urban planning decisions can influence how easy it is to cycle to work.
An increasing number of local authorities are committing to energy use and emission reduction objectives. But they stand no chance of reaching them if urban planning is not used constructively.
ProposalUse urban planning as a tool for controlling the territory’s energy use.
This means assessing the impact of urban planning decisions on energy use, both in terms of resources and emissions, at peri-urban, urban and district levels. This involves limiting urban sprawl, densifying constructions around service and transport hubs, building heat networks, avoiding the construction of new infra-structures, building a pedestrian path network and integrating energy issues in planning permission.
Conditions for success
Cities and towns that show the way
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Energy Cities, Local authorities in energy transition.