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Sustainability 2012, 4(6), 1309-1328; doi:10.3390/su4061309

Urban Planning for a Renewable Energy Future: Methodological Challenges and Opportunities from a Design Perspective

1
Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 1, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
2
Landscape Architecture Group, Environmental Sciences Department, Wageningen University and Research, Droevendaalsesteeg 3, 6708PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 May 2012 / Revised: 11 June 2012 / Accepted: 11 June 2012 / Published: 18 June 2012
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Abstract

Urban planning for a renewable energy future requires the collaboration of different disciplines both in research and practice. In the present article, the planning of a renewable energy future is approached from a designer’s perspective. A framework for analysis of the planning questions at hand is first proposed. The framework considers two levels of inquiry: the technical environmental aspect, and its wider embedding in sustainable development. Furthermore, life cycle analysis and exergy studies are discussed for their application potential in design. An altered trias energetica as proposed in earlier publications appears to remain a robust concept for low exergy, renewable energy based urban design. When considering sustainable development, environmental assessments shall be completed by an inquiry of the socio-cultural, economical, juridical, aesthetical and ethical aspects characterizing the planning or decision process. The article then presents a number of practical design principles that can help envisioning a built environment that can be sustained on the basis of renewable energy sources. In accordance with the altered trias energetica concept, elements of passive urban energy design, exergetic optimization of energy provision systems and the sourcing of renewable energy are identified, and their respective potentials assessed. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy transition; built environment; renewable energy; sustainable urban development; energy potential mapping; regional planning; sustainable energy landscape; energy-conscious design energy transition; built environment; renewable energy; sustainable urban development; energy potential mapping; regional planning; sustainable energy landscape; energy-conscious design
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vandevyvere, H.; Stremke, S. Urban Planning for a Renewable Energy Future: Methodological Challenges and Opportunities from a Design Perspective. Sustainability 2012, 4, 1309-1328.

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