Paris or Manhattan: what type of city is best suited to reducing emissions? – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology
This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.
Author: Jatinder Sidhu, writer, educational content
- A new report has looked at greenhouse gas emissions over the entire life cycle of a building, including construction and maintenance.
- He suggests that high-density, low-rise cities such as Paris may be the best at reducing emissions.
- The net zero goals have largely targeted operational energy consumption, not building-related emissions.
As humanity grapples with the climate crisis, consensus has grown that increasing urban density is a greener way of life.
But according to new research published in the journal Urban sustainability, the most effective way to build a sustainable city is not high-rise buildings, but high-density low-rise buildings.
“Our results show that density is indeed necessary for a growing urban population, but height is not,” said lead author and professor at Edinburgh Napier University, Francesco Pomponi.
“So it looks like the world needs more Paris and less Manhattan – as much as I love New York – in the coming decades.”
Low waist, high density https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=facebook.com%2Fworldeconomicforum%2Fvideos%2F1818305771694634% 2F & width = 640 & show_text = false & appId = 1085482764806408 & height = 360
Researchers looked at greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the entire life cycle of a building, including the construction and maintenance of structures.
They concluded that tall, high-density buildings increase GHG emissions by 154% compared to low-rise and high-density buildings; while low density housing required 142% more land.
The researchers say that the design of the urban environment has mainly focused on the operational use of energy – which is becoming increasingly efficient – and has not properly taken into account “embedded” energy. It is about “the energy and emissions that are used or generated during the extraction and production of raw materials, the manufacture of building components, the construction and deconstruction of the building and transportation. between each phase ”.
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With 2.5 billion more people expected to reside in cities by 2050, the debate over the most efficient way to house people is critical.
Urban areas account for 78% of global energy consumption, and city leaders around the world say they want to take responsibility and do more to reduce carbon emissions.
Transportation and buildings are among the biggest contributors – the construction industry is responsible for around 40% of all carbon emissions. Cities
What is the World Economic Forum doing to promote sustainable urban development?
Cities are responsible for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and are home to more than half of the world’s population, a number that will grow to two-thirds by 2050. By becoming greener, cities could contribute to more half of the emission reductions needed to keep global warming below 2 ° C, which would be in line with the Paris Agreement.
To achieve zero net urban emissions by 2050, the World Economic Forum is joining forces with other stakeholders to lead various initiatives to promote sustainable urban development. Here are a few :
To learn more about our initiatives to promote zero carbon cities and see how you can participate in our efforts to facilitate urban transformation, contact us here.
So what are the solutions?
Los Angeles has, as part of California’s Green New Deal policy, adopted guidelines to reduce GHGs from building materials. It is “the first local government to regulate the global warming potential of steel, flat glass and mineral wool purchased by the city”, according to the C40 group of nearly 100 cities engaged in the fight against change climate.
In Norway, the city of Oslo has a zero emission target for municipal construction sites by 2025, extending to all construction sites by 2030. This means that construction equipment will have to switch from fuels. Fossil to Electricity – 98% of Norway’s electricity comes from renewable sources.
The C40 group says it is not enough for buildings to be net zero in terms of operational energy consumption, and has launched a statement to reduce intrinsic emissions by at least 50% for new buildings, renovations major and infrastructure projects by 2030.
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The costs of not resolving the climate crisis were clearly laid out in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He said “immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions” in GHG emissions would be needed to limit global warming.
Human activity is responsible for the increase in temperature, according to the panel, and lack of action would result in a warming of 1.5 or 2 ° C within 20 years. The effect of this warming is more intense rainfall and flooding, severe coastal flooding and erosion, and more frequent heat waves.
And the highest costs of climate change – both in lives and money – will likely be borne by city dwellers. Globally, 70% of cities are facing climate change and 90% of urban areas are coastal and therefore vulnerable to sea level rise.