CLIMATE & COMMUNITY

Understanding the energy & emission impacts of development patterns

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www.climateandcommunity.ca is an educational web project about community planning for climate change mitigation in Columbia Basin. Visitors to the site experience an interactive introduction to energy and emissions issues in Columbia Basin communities. Users can explore planning options through aerial and street level visualizations and learn about the associated dwelling types, mobility, energy and emissions attributes. At the conclusion, users compare their selected option against community planning priorities such as dwelling diversity or walkability.

500 People

Climate & Community investigates the energy and greenhouse gas emissions impacts of adding 500 new people to different patterns of development, including suburban single family neighbourhoods, denser neighbourhood centres and a downtown core.

Development Patterns:

- Suburban

- Neighbourhood Centre

- Downtown

This ElementsLab research project was funded by the Columbia Basin Trust and the City of Revelstoke.

Neighbourhood Centre:

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Suburban Single Family Neighbourhood

This option accomodates growth by expanding the town boundary and converts undeveloped land to urban uses requiring construction of new municipal infrastructure (roads, utilities, schools etc.). Suburb is the least efficient option, housing 500 people within the largest land area — over 5 times greater than that of the Downtown option. With no services, walkability in this neighbourhood is poor, and single family houses are much less energy efficient than multi-family forms.

Walkability:

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Walking Trips: 0%

Vehicle Trips: 100%

Vehicle Kilometres/Household: 38,000

Energy and Emissions:

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Energy Demand: 24,450 GJ/year

Per capita emissions: 12.9 CO2eT/capita/year

0% reduction in per capita emissions

Neighbourhood Centre

This option reduces pressure to convert undeveloped land to urban uses and to build new municipal infrastructure (roads, utilities, schools etc.). Neighbourhood Centre is the second most efficient option, accommodating 500 people in a land area about 50% greater than the downtown option but about 3 times smaller than that of the suburban option. It has better walkability than the suburban neighbourhood, leading to fewer vehicle trips. Its multi-unit residential buildings also have better energy performance, leading to fewer emissions.

Walkability:

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Walking Trips: 20%

Vehicle Trips: 80%

Vehicle Kilometres/Household: 17,500

Energy and Emissions:

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Energy Demand: 17,800 GJ/year

Per capita emissions: 6.2 CO2eT/capita/year

-52% reduction in per capita emissions

Downtown Core

Downtown is the most efficient option, accommodating 500 people within the smallest land area — over 5 times smaller than that of the Suburban option. This more compact housing form is much more energy efficient, and the proximity to daily services such as food stores makes it a much more walkable neighbourhood than either the suburan neighbourhood, or the neighbourhood centre.

Walkability:

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Walking Trips: 36%

Vehicle Trips: 64%

Vehicle Kilometres/Household: 11,350

Energy and Emissions:

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Energy Demand: 13,350 GJ/year

Per capita emissions: 4.2 CO2eT/capita/year

-68% reduction in per capita emissions