Ongoing Research: Energy-Conscious Urban Infill Development

Case Study: Post Oil Strategies for Paris
History can tell us where the robustness of urban structures has been proved by its users, by objects and by space¹. The knowledge gained from spatial emergence and spatial agency² (i.e. morphology, accessibility and connectivity, modal split, density, scales as well as place) can be applied to find out how urban mobility and land use have changed over the course of time and can thus contribute to future town-planning concepts. We are focusing on walkability and, inter alia, energy efficiency. Taking Paris as an example, we analyze how its urban system has evolved and which structures have remained most robust and have stood the test of time (shifting centres, connectivity, accessibility). Only a well-functioning system consistent across scales can be highly efficient. Consequently, we offer a multi-scalar view on the city, which is based on the assumption that scales, movement and place are inextricably interwoven. We analyze the urban fabric starting from the baroque grid via Haussmann’s interventions until the implementation of high-ranked road networks installed for automobiles during the 20th century in order to learn more about the potential of robust patterns and how to use them for creating highly efficient and walkable networks for future developments. Our objective is to create

  • a test scenario for potential urban infill developments based on the concept of emergence linked to walkability;
  • post-oil strategies using the historic as well as the transformation potential of space-consuming structures in the centre of Paris designed by highway engineers³ during the20th century.

In order to verify and compare the scenarios, different methodologies and special software will be applied: depthmapX (by Space Syntax) is a multi-platform software to perform different spatial network analyses. In the research-models it will be applied on an urban scale. GaBi (by thinkstep) will be applied to compare and forecast energy consumption in various scenarios.

Bildschirmfoto 2015-04-06 um 13.47.48

Fabian Dembski, SimLab, EWARD (Energy and Resource Awareness in Urban and Regional Development), Vienna University of Technology.
¹Guigueno, Vincent in: Préface. In: Passalacqua, Arnaud: La Bataille de la Route, Paris: Descartes&Cie, 2010, pp. 9-10
²Hillier, Bill: The Genetic Code for Cities: Is It Simpler Than We Think? In: Juval Portugali (Ed.): Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age, New York: Springer 2012, pp. 129-152
³Marshall, Stephen: Streets and Patterns. Oxon and New York: Spon Press 2005, pp. 6-17

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