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Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082859

GHG Emissions Reduction through Urban Planners’ Improved Control over Earthworks: A Case Study in Finland

1
Department of the Built Environment, Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 14100, FI-00076 AALTO, Finland
2
Department of Architecture, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, P.O. Box 16500, FI-00076 AALTO, Finland
3
Ramboll Finland, P.O. Box 25, FI-02601 Espoo, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition towards Low-Impact and Regenerative Human Settlements)
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Abstract

Most climate change mitigation schemes in urban planning concentrate on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the distant future by altering the urban form and encouraging more sustainable behaviour. However, to reach climate change mitigation targets, a more immediate reduction in GHG emissions is also needed as well as a reduction in GHG emissions in other fields. This article evaluates the important role of earthworks in the prompt and substantial reduction required for GHG emissions. The research includes a single case study and three focus group interviews. The results of the case study reveal the magnitude of possible emission reductions through urban planners’ control over earthworks, whereas the findings of the focus groups shed light on the relevance of the findings beyond the single case. Three urban planning solutions were implemented in the case area to reduce GHG emissions from earth construction, resulting in the saving of 2360 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Notable savings were also achieved in other emission categories. Such a successful management of rock and soil material flows requires a strong vision from the urban planner, cooperation among many different actors, and smart decisions in multiple planning phases. Furthermore, numerical data is needed to confirm the environmental benefits if the coordination of earthworks is to be widely included in regional climate change mitigation strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental sustainability; climate change mitigation; greenhouse gas emissions; urban planning; earthworks; case study; focus groups environmental sustainability; climate change mitigation; greenhouse gas emissions; urban planning; earthworks; case study; focus groups
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Säynäjoki, E.-S.; Korba, P.; Kalliala, E.; Nuotio, A.-K. GHG Emissions Reduction through Urban Planners’ Improved Control over Earthworks: A Case Study in Finland. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2859.

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