Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Environmental performance of settlement form

Image - C Pan

Image - C Pan

The research team has developed a classification system for urban forms in New Zealand. Using this framework, the potential environmental sustainability contributions of residential urban forms at varying densities can be assessed by comparing indicators such as domestic energy use, transport choices, carbon sequestration, local food production, and waste management.

GIS-based analyses and ecological footprint assessments are being used as integrated measures of sustainability. The research, using a case study approach, examines environmental sustainability performances at neighbourhood and urban design scales. It also explores how spatial characteristics (solar orientation), construction factors (roof design), potential for on-site service delivery (solar water heating, photovoltaic electricity generation, rainwater collection and use) and community behaviour could contribute to reductions in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions across the various urban forms.