10 May 2019, 13:28
Benjamin Wehrmann

Star-shaped cities best option for climate-friendly urban planning - study

Clean Energy Wire

Restructuring the landscape of big cities may be key to a successful climate policy, as large conurbations and their growth are a top source of carbon emissions around the world, according to a study by German research institute MCC. Cities should ideally take on a star-shaped form, with well-distributed green spaces to balance the opposing needs for dense structures and CO2 savings, while maintaining open spaces that can deal with the effects of a changing climate, such as heat waves, the study says. “Our model shows that the best way to develop a settlement area is not to develop it in a radially symmetric but in a star shape, organized around linear transport axes and with as much greenery as possible,” MCC researcher Felix Creutzig said.

The head of Germany’s confederation of German towns and municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, recently called for a nationwide masterplan for climate action that is applicable to all towns and municipalities. Urban centres are where much of the country’s energy is distributed and consumed. And as the energy transition expands its focus from the power sector to heating, buildings and mobility, population centres will be where crucial changes take place.

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