DOI: 10.3390/app13179745 ISSN:

A Methodology to Improve Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Urban Environments

Martina Giorio, Rossana Paparella
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

This paper presents a methodology to improve energy efficiency and sustainability in urban environments. The ongoing climate change is causing increasingly important consequences for cities and their inhabitants. Temperatures are rising and human thermal comfort conditions are becoming worse. For this reason, it is essential to evaluate how parts of cities react to these phenomena and how they could improve their behavior. To do this, the area of interest has to be analyzed from various aspects, starting with an assessment of the microclimatic conditions. Through these analyses, it is possible to observe the interactions between climate and the urban context on a macro-scale. The actual results, such as surface temperature and air temperature, will be useful for hypothesizing where different paved surfaces need to be restored with mitigative actions. Another aspect that needs to be considered for a comprehensive analysis of the area’s potential concerns the study of solar potential. We will describe how this topic was approached, making in-depth evaluations of the quality of the results obtained through the analysis of simplified models. The portability of these data within a spatial domain was also evaluated, integrating the values on a territorial database. Another important topic that needs to be analyzed to plan an improvement of an area in terms of energy production is the installation of new solar active production systems. The appropriate inclusion of photovoltaic panels could lead to the near self-sustainability of buildings by decreasing the external energy demand. The results obtained by applying the methodology in a case study highlight that all these aspects must be taken into account simultaneously to improve the existing conditions of entire city areas, leading to a more sustainable urban environment.

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