In a new study, scientists have modeled an ideal city view in which greenhouse gases are reduced.
Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have shown that low-rise, high-density neighborhoods, such as Paris, optimally reduce greenhouse gas emissions over their entire life cycle.
The densely built environment contributes greatly to carbon dioxide emissions, global energy demand, resource consumption and waste generation. In the US, such areas account for 39% of all greenhouse gas emissions, in the EU 50% of all extracted materials and 42% of final energy consumption.
In the new work, the authors modeled an ideal city to show how to optimally get rid of greenhouse gases at the level of the building format. This model refutes the myth that the city of the future should only grow upward, and the houses should closely adjoin each other. An early idea was that high-rise buildings make optimal use of space and thus reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling and accommodate more people per square meter of land.
The team analyzed four different types of cities, from dense and tall to sparse and one-story. The results show that density is important when building cities of the future, but the height of the building, on the contrary, should be low.