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Sustainable Energy Planning and Low Carbon Development

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In the next years a large-scale and inevitable shift away from the fossil- and nuclear-powered economic model will take place. Today, the growth and operation of cities and urbanized areas absorbs roughly three-quarters of the world's fossil fuel production. This is a staggering amount given that fossil fuels supply 75% of total global commercial energy use and accounts for the 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in atmosphere. Fossil fuel use and carbon emissions are increasing at a rapid rate. Economic regions, nations and cities worldwide will soon be under great pressure to find alternative sources. Because of the fatal triad of carbon emissions induced climate change, fossil fuel depletion and mounting environmental damage due to the use of oil and coal cities will have to be powered differently. Besides the introduction of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency solutions cities will also have to be re-engineered in terms of their transport and land-use systems, their facility and urban design principles and the very use patterns they engender (Droege 2002, 2007, 2008).

The module gives an introduction on how to plan and develop urban settlements and communities from the Sustainable Energy and Low Carbon points of view. The first part of the module introduces the students to the main definitions related to the Sustainable Energy concept and Low carbon development. Secondly the module guides to the acquisition of the main concepts related to the Sustainable energy planning and Low carbon development The third part introduces to a set of tools to apply the concepts to real contexts. In particular examples, exercises and case studies are provided as well as links to existing operational tools and relevant literature.

Module Objectives

  1. To understand the definitions and keywords of Sustainable energy planning and Low carbon development.
  2. To introduce to the key concepts of Sustainable energy planning and Low carbon development and to their integration in the traditional urban planning discipline.
  3. To introduce to the main urban planning tools for the Sustainable energy and Low carbon development.
  4. To conduct empirical case studies to critically reflect and discuss the key topics of Sustainable energy planning and Low carbon development.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Acquire the definitions and the keywords of Sustainable energy planning and Low carbon development.
  2. Understand the key concepts behind the Sustainable energy planning and Low carbon development targets.
  3. Gain an understanding of the most important urban planning tools for the Sustainable energy and Low carbon development.
  4. Apply the theoretical knowledge on case studies discussing the place-specific characters of the Sustainable energy and Low carbon development.

For more information about the module, contact the module developers Dr. Daniele Vettorato (daniele.vettorato@eurac.edu) and Garfield Wayne Hunter (garfield.Hunter@eurac.edu), European Academy of Bolzano, Italy.

Creative Commons

All SUSTAIN materials are subject to the basic terms and conditions in accordance with the Creative Commons license agreement. Users should give credit to the SUSTAIN Project as well as to the module developer. Furthermore, users are not allowed to use any module material for commercial purposes without permission from the SUSTAIN Project and module developer.