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Guide 4: Energy and Climate Change

Garden City Standards for the 21st Century

Practical Guides for Creating Successful New Communities 

Guide 4: Planning for Energy and Climate Change 

Download the guide here

Garden Cities are exemplars of sustainable living, and as such they have to deal with the overwhelming challenge of climate change. It is hard to overemphasise how climate change affects every aspect of planning for new and renewed places – from site selection in termsof flood resilience to very detailed building-scale measures that can help to secure urban cooling or effective deployment of district heating.

Responses to the multiple impacts of climate change need to be embedded in design and delivery concepts from the very conception of a new community. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions remains the key priority for our collective future, but decentralised and community-owned energy generation, based on a model familiar in other parts of Europe,can also offer long-term income streams to help fund the wider enterprise of place-making.

This Practical Guide emphasises the critical importance of climate change in the aftermath of the historic agreement reached at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015. It sets out the challenges resulting from recent changes to planning policy and in financial support for renewable projects, but it makes clear that there remain opportunities to develop profitable renewable energy systems in new places. This Practical Guide has three main messages:

  • Planning for climate change is the single biggest challenge we face in building new places.
  • New Garden Cities can be and must be exemplars of zero-carbon and energy-positive new development.
  • To achieve this exemplar ambition, energy planning and spatial planning must be fully integrated.

This Practical Guide considers headline issues in planning for renewable energy, provides an overview of energy planning principles, and signposts policy resources produced by otherorganisations. The TCPA SPECIAL project is a particularly useful source of good practice from elsewhere in the EU and deals in greater detail with issues such masterplanning for energy.

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