Energy and the form of cities: the counterintuitive impact of disruptive technologies

Ahmadian, Ehsan, Byrd, Hugh, Matthewman, Steve , Mills, Glen, Christine, Kenny and Sodagar, Behzad (2018) Energy and the form of cities: the counterintuitive impact of disruptive technologies. Architectural science review . ISSN 0003-8628

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This paper reviews the historical research that has led to widespread policies on compact urban form, in par- ticular, residential development, and collates evidence that demonstrates that dispersed urban form may be more energy efficient than compact form. This is counterintuitive but is supported by both challenging the conventional modelling of energy use of buildings as well as case studies with empirical evidence. The conclusion is that policies on urban form should be driven not by existing technologies but by the disrup- tive technologies of the future. The increased use in distributed energy generation in urban areas (generally roof-mounted photovoltaics), the growth in ownership of electric vehicles and the potential introduction of smart and micro-grids and the possibility of virtual power plants is changing the impact that energy has on built form and conflicts with current policies for denser, contained and compact development.

Additional Information:© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords:urban form, disruptive technologies, energy modelling, compact cities, transport energy, urban sprawl
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K460 Transport Planning
J Technologies > J910 Energy Technologies
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K440 Urban studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:33950
Deposited On:31 Oct 2018 12:50

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