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