New Housing Developments: A Localisation Strategy considering Energy-Efficiency from an Urban Structure and Transport Perspective for the city of Falun
Abstract: There are several considerations when planning new housing developments, and resultant problems require critical analysis. This thesis has focused on studying some part of the potential issues in the case of a project in the city of Falun. The focus has been on energy and greenhouse gases (GHG)-efficient structures, through the analysis of the relationship between the transport system and residential development that can contribute to the reduction in emission’s harmful effect on human health and the environment. The overall aim has been on the sustainable location of housing with regards to transport energy, and it included the review of densification in the development of city planning as a measure. These courses of action, together with other considered measures been explored, are to provide solutions which can contribute to the livability, a greener environment and lower the levels of GHG, as well as the use of energy from transport. Densification is a significant concern when planning for future infrastructure and developments in a city. It is not just about housing; dense cities use less energy and the denser a city, the more sustainable they set to be. The significance of the transport system in an urban environment is enormous due to the level of its impact as a major user of energy, specifically petroleum product consumption. It is essential to note the importance of the effect that GHG and energy use from transport has on the health and wellbeing of city inhabitants, the society, as well as humans in general. Therefore, it is most important to strive to reduce the need for energy use from transport and to lower the levels of transport GHG. The city of Falun is planning for new housing development, with comprehensive plans for future urban development of areas within and around the city. There is a current proposal for the densification of central areas; however, they are also proposing new large areas on the periphery, which may be counter-productive from a transport point of view. This circumstance could lead to more car travel within and around the city, which leads to increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel use, and in turn, increased in environmental pollution. Thus, the thesis purpose has been to investigate the energy use and carbon dioxide emissions in related scenarios. The aim is studying the proposed new housing development potentials to reduce car travel through an urban strategy measure such as smart growth; therefore, the selection of the following research questions below: • Will the proposal in the detailed, comprehensive plan lead to transportation that is more or less energy-efficient than today? And Is the proposed development in line with previous empirical findings in the research literature? • Can the amount of car travel be reduced by planning for a different location strategy for future residential development in Falun? • Can this analysis be made roughly using simple tools that are easy to use for urban planners or architects (not only for advanced GIS-engineers and researchers) iv A literature review facilitates reflection on these issues and studies measures for strategies which could be a better alternative when exploited in such or similar situation for preferable development. Thus, it’s exploitation in the thesis work. This research has been carried out by performing an investigation of the new housing development proposal, specifically through analyses of the assumed additional usage of passenger cars in the ongoing planned area. Possible alternatives are, therefore, examined, e.g. in the frame of options such as spreading the housing system into more centrally located and connecting areas, improving the relationship between the public transport system and new residential development so they could work in tandem. From the carried-out work, it has possible to be able to identify some disharmony in the ongoing development plans as part of the possible future problems, i.e. the case of possible unexploited solution for air pollution from transport energy, related issues, and so on. An in-depth interview with two of the Falun city office staffs and planners also opens-up on the problems of decision-makers and land use policy. Also, site visits provide the perspectives of present and potential owners who participated in an impromptu interview. Meanwhile, the presented results show that the overall total energy usage becomes higher per person with the Falun city´s ongoing-planning proposal, but lower with the designed alternative planning scenario. The results were derived through calculations, using the “Model for calculating energy use and carbon dioxide emissions in different scenarios’’ for generating scenarios that take modal split into account as seen in the data, calculation and result’s chapter, further in the thesis.
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