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Ecological concepts and strategies with relevance to energy-conscious spatial planning and design


  • Sven Stremke
  • Jusuck Koh


Sustainable systems utilise renewable energy sources and recycle materials effectively. In theory, solar radiation provides abundant energy to sustain humanity. Our capacity to utilise available sources, however, is limited and competition for resources is expected to increase in the future. Spatial organisation and design of the physical environment influences two aspects of sustainable energy transition: assimilation of renewables and energy consumption. How can spatial planning and design support the transition from fossil fuels to a sustainable energy regime? Natural ecosystems constitute one source of inspiration. They are described with the help of ecological concepts; some of which reveal how energy flow is optimised in nature. Ecological concepts and ecosystem strategies are not limited to the description of natural phenomena; they can also inform energy-conscious planning and design of neighborhoods, cities, and entire regions. We identify and discuss nine ecological concepts with relevance to energy-conscious spatial planning and design.

Suggested Citation

  • Sven Stremke & Jusuck Koh, 2010. "Ecological concepts and strategies with relevance to energy-conscious spatial planning and design," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(3), pages 518-532, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:37:y:2010:i:3:p:518-532

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    Cited by:

    1. Scognamiglio, Alessandra, 2016. "‘Photovoltaic landscapes’: Design and assessment. A critical review for a new transdisciplinary design vision," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 629-661.
    2. Petra Wächter, 2013. "The Impacts of Spatial Planning on Degrowth," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 1-13, March.
    3. Qianna Wang & Martin Mwirigi M’Ikiugu & Isami Kinoshita & Yanyun Luo, 2016. "GIS-Based Approach for Municipal Renewable Energy Planning to Support Post-Earthquake Revitalization: A Japanese Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-20, July.
    4. Renée M. de Waal & Sven Stremke & Anton van Hoorn & Ingrid Duchhart & Adri van den Brink, 2015. "Incorporating Renewable Energy Science in Regional Landscape Design: Results from a Competition in The Netherlands," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-23, April.
    5. Kaan Ozgun & Ian Weir & Debra Cushing, 2015. "Optimal Electricity Distribution Framework for Public Space: Assessing Renewable Energy Proposals for Freshkills Park, New York City," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-21, March.
    6. Renée M. de Waal & Sven Stremke, 2014. "Energy Transition: Missed Opportunities and Emerging Challenges for Landscape Planning and Designing," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(7), pages 1-30, July.

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