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Eco-towns can be beacons of best practice in new zero carbon development - creating communities that are environmentally, socially and economically sound. Eco-towns should be exemplar developments in terms of effective approaches to the holistic provision of energy and other services, and they should draw from the latest advances in promising low and zero carbon technologies in the UK and around the globe, as highlighted in this Worksheet and the case studies it presents.
A major advantage of eco-towns is that low and zero carbon solutions can be laid down across a whole town, so that individual buildings can be incorporated in combined solutions, rather than each building being developed in isolation. As new, linked settlements of 5,000-20,000 homes and with a good range of associated facilities - schools, community and commercial buildings, and public and green spaces - eco-towns provide the scope and scale to allow developers to convert innovation into cost-effective products and become market-leaders in the zero carbon housing market. Eco-towns should be exemplar in terms of supplying energy efficiently, promoting renewable energy generation and minimising energy consumption throughout the year, and they should demonstrate how planning can make a significant and positive difference to controlling carbon emissions. To achieve this goal, carbon awareness - an understanding of the relationship between development decisions, energy use and carbon emissions - should be high throughout the planning and design processes.
Eco-towns as a whole must be zero carbon. This Worksheet looks at what that means and explores the principles of developing a zero carbon strategy for an eco-town. This guidance is intended not just for eco-town developers and planners, but also for those who will manage the new settlements and work with the new communities.