UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The relationship between urban form and GHG emissions Senbel, Maged; Church, Sarah


The design of our cities and towns has a direct impact on our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Local governments have the ability to respond to the challenges posed by climate change through specific planning and development practices. Strategies such as densification and mixed-use development, reduced distances between housing and employment, and improved transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure all play a role in reducing GHG emissions.The configuration of land use, density, transportation networks and other relationships between buildings, roads, and infrastructure directly influence how much energy and materials we use to live, work, shop, and play. This report synthesizes research demonstrating the direct link between urban form and levels of energy consumption, with their resultant GHG emissions, and provides a number of examples of community responses to the challenge of reducing GHG emissions. The examples cover a number of Canadian communities, with a focus on B.C.

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