Visualizing Urban Futures

Over the past decade, a variety of provincial, metropolitan and local initiatives have been launched to enable Canada’s urban regions to become more sustainable in environmental, economic, and social terms. These initiatives are transformative in nature and demand persuasive evidence that public priorities and resource allocations can and must be aligned if more sustainable cities are to be realized. This project with partners at the Universities of British Columbia and Toronto developed a set of information-rich and scenario-based digital stories based in data? to illustrate how contributions from land use, energy supply, infrastructure, demand management and emissions mitigation choices are crucial to this effort. An Illustrated Guide to Community Energy, summarizes the Vancouver area case studies.

elementslab contributed two neighbourhood scaled simulations to this larger project. One illustrated three urban form and energy infrastructure scenarios for transit-oriented redevelopment of a Richmond shopping mall and the second illustrated three densification and energy infrastructure scenarios for a typical suburban Surrey block. Each scenario illustrates how different combinations of local choices related to the principal levers of energy planning energy supply, urban form, technology and behaviour generate different kinds of places with significant (up to 80%) emissions reduction potential. Multiple 2- and 3-d representations of each scenario illustrate these different choices and the magnitude of their impact on energy and emissions performance at household and local scales.

Click here to download the guide.