Modeling a low-carbon city: Eco-city and eco-planning

Wynand Lambrechts, Saurabh Sinha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mathematically modelling a low-carbon city in the traditional sense is a complex task and have been studied from a variety of perspectives, potential challenges and ultimately towards providing accurate models for low-carbon emissions for cities. Unknown and statistically fragmented data, future uncertainty and limited or inaccurate historical datasets complicate this task. The effects of climate change, based on models or on perceived impacts, also vary among cities. For example, cities on coastal regions experience a rise in sea levels and an increase in the frequency and severity of cyclones; whereas inland, resulting temperature rises pose significant health impacts for humans and animals. There needs to exist a mutual understanding between climate change, urban development and eco-city planning as well as the causes and effects of carbon pollution. Low-carbon cities are long-term investments in city infrastructure to create sustainable and environmentally friendly cities. Low-carbon cities can be realized through an amalgamation of smart city technologies, efficient and sustainable buildings and sustainable transport. Urbanization occurs rapidly and it is common to find infrastructure to be relatively old-fashioned; relying on increased supply rather than decreasing demand. Refurbishment of infrastructure is typically the most economically feasible and environmentally friendly solution. Accurate mathematical modelling and research into cost-effective technologies for improvements are necessary to support the business case for infrastructure overhauls. The contributed chapter provides cost-effective and technologically sustainable means to achieve efficient and low-carbon cities. Emission modeling is a dynamic research discipline; this chapter aims to highlight the considerations and concerns of generating a complete eco-city and sustainable model by identifying and understanding the characteristics of individual sectors. The chapter supplements the related body of knowledge by thematically providing guidelines for low-carbon city modelling. The chapter investigates potential scholarly contributions by assisting researchers to theoretically identify and classify overlooked and underestimated sources of GHG emissions in urban settings. The notional overview on low-carbon cities through economic planning provides a means to identify known issues and sub-optimal eco-city infrastructure. The chapter aims to serve as a starting point for specialized research to improve upon such scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGreen Energy and Technology
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameGreen Energy and Technology
ISSN (Print)1865-3529
ISSN (Electronic)1865-3537

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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