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District Heating and Cooling

Annex XI Project 02

The Research / IEA DHC Annexes / 2014-2017 / Annex XI / Annex XI Project 02

Plan4DE: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by optimizing urban form for district energy

Evaluation of an archetypical neighbourhood using Plan4DE


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Lead Country: Canada

The way in which cities and towns develop has a major influence on energy consumption. Cities which are more spread out result in increased vehicle use whereas compact cities enable walking and cycling. 

District energy, a key strategy for reducing GHG emissions and creating energy security, is much more cost effective in a compact city than in a sprawling city. Furthermore, it is very challenging and costly to transform a sprawling city into a compact city because of the investments in buildings, roads and other infrastructure, an idea known as path dependence.

Current land-use decisions by urban planners are thus influencing whether or not district energy will be possible in the future. Urban planners, however, seldom consider district energy in city planning due to a lack of knowledge and because they have few tools to do so.

This project aims to create a tool that will enable planners to consider the impacts of land-use plans on the feasibility of district energy and to develop standard land-use patterns that will enable district energy. In other words, the project hopes to help planners rule-in the option of district energy rather than ruling it out. 

Project contact:

Yuill Herbert

Sustainability Solutions Group,
Visiting address:
11 Alex Cox Rd
Tatamagouche, NS B0K 1V0, HALIFAX

Phone: +1 (250) 213-9029

Email:  yuill@sustainabilitysolutions.ca