Energy Supply within Traditional and Environmentally Conscious Growth Models

To date, more than half the global population live in cities. This is projected to exceed 66% by 2050. This urban population growth will put more pressure on the existing infrastructure, including energy supply, transportation, water, sewage, and spaces utilised by urban inhabitants. This is due not only to the increase in population density but also to the increase in commercial and industrial activities needed to provide jobs and services to support such population growth. In addition, the cityscape is expected to change through higher building density, taller buildings, and growth towards suburban and rural areas.

Therefore, we need to apply new ways to manage and organise our living and working spaces and to deliver the necessary services. In essence, we need to discover and apply new technologies and approaches to guide societies towards sustainable pathways to reduce consumption, dependency on finite resources, and environmental pollution.

These challenges will require new policies and approaches to urban planning, and building designs driven by appropriately derived guidelines to achieve the required sustainable pathway trajectory. As these schools mainly target energy, it is important that this sector is optimised to deliver services which are just for all. These should include city-specific power and heat supply systems that are reliant on natural resources and address both building service and mobility. These systems should be coupled with energy efficiency approaches that minimise our impact on the environment. Evidence also indicates that application of these approaches can result in new jobs and economic growth that will enhance social cohesion and prosperity.