An analysis of architectural and urban planning strategies for developing energy efficient cities in China

Abstract: This thesis presents a detailed analysis of architecture and urban planning strategies for developingenergy-efficient cities in a Chinese context. The overall aim of the work is to examine how Chineseurbanisation and city construction can be improved from an energy-saving perspective.China is in the process of transforming from an agricultural to an industrial country, and it willconsume more energy than ever before. Creating energy-efficient cities is an important part ofsustainable energy development. City development is a complicated process that affects the interestsof many stakeholders, and the strategies for establishing energy-efficient cities can be directed at twolevels: components and systems.The main components of energy-efficient cities are energy-efficient buildings, which have been a hottopic in recent years. In China, a number of new, stricter codes for energy-efficient buildings arebeing issued. In addition, many research institutes have developed Building EnvironmentalAssessment (BEA) methods, where energy efficiency is an important factor in the models. Varioustechnical solutions for energy efficiency are also being developed. This thesis analyses differentsolutions and their applicability within the Chinese context.The investigation in Nanjing clearly demonstrated that system-level strategies are vital for achievingenergy-efficient cities. The Swedish energy efficient models of the housing development HammarbySjöstad and the smaller scale Eco-villages were analysed to see if these solutions were compatiblewith the Chinese context. The strategies to reduce energy demands can be further subdivided intoreducing building energy consumption and reducing transportation energy consumption. Thesestrategies were implemented into the urban design for the southern region of Hexi New City District,Nanjing, which will be used as an example of new urban construction in a rapidly urbanising China.This thesis proposes a route for developing energy-efficient cities. In the construction of Chinesecities, technological strategies for energy-efficient buildings have been implemented successfully, butthe systems structure of such cities requires special attention, particularly in the context of rapidurbanisation. Urban planning with energy considerations must be seen as equally important to thedevelopment of energy-efficient buildings. City planners should play a key role in this process, notby saving energy directly, but indirectly, by influencing the behaviour of persons living, working andtravelling within their city. Local and regional governments, which have special powers in China,should take responsibility for policymaking, demonstration, standardisation and education. In thebroad context of intelligent urban planning, technological, economic, and social strategies for energyefficientbuildings will all play a positive role.China’s government has started the process of improving urban energy efficiency. However, thisprocess will be difficult and progress will be slow. The thesis discusses the conditions in the Chinesecontext and identifies problems that require solutions in the near future.