Neighborhood characteristics influence natural urban energy fluxes and the choices made by urban actors. This article focuses on the impact of urban density as a neighborhood physical parameter on building energy consumption profiles for seven different metropolitan areas in the United States. Primarily, 30 × 30 m2
cells were classified into five categories of settlement density using the US Geological Survey’s National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD), the US Census, and Census Block data. In the next step, linear hierarchical spatial and non-spatial models were developed and applied to building energy data in those seven metropolitan areas to explore the links between urban density (and other urban form parameters) and energy performance, using both frequentist and Bayesian statistics. Our results indicate that urban density is correlated with energy-use intensity (EUI), but its impact is not similar across different metropolitan areas. The outcomes of our analysis further show that the distance from buildings within which the influence of urban form parameters on EUI is most significant varies by city and negatively changes with urban density. Although the relationship between urban density parameters and EUI varies across cities, tree-cover area, impervious area, and neighborhood building-covered area have a more consistent impact compared to building and housing density.
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