Linking Indicators of Liveability with GHG Reductions

elementslab developed and tested a methodology for linking indicators of liveability with strategies for neighborhood scale GHG reductions to inform future local government land use planning policy.

We investigated and tested methods to empirically connect the spatial and form-based characteristics of liveable communities and the features of high performing/low GHG emitting ones. In the related Community Energy and Emissions Solutions project, we developed a series of iterative ‘what-if’ experiments from 2020 to 2050 of archetypal patterns of urban form. After modelling the archetypes for energy use and emissions, we measured them against select liveability indicators, thus tested the efficacy of the indicator approach for comparatively evaluating both the liveability and energy and emissions implications of future urban form. 

From a literature review we developed a set of spatial liveability indicators applicable to projective neighbourhood-scale planning. These include measures of intensity of development and the related proximity to services, schools and green spaces, the interconnectedness of networks (ease of access for pedestrians and cyclists), diversity and distribution of land uses, parks and green spaces, housing types, and transportation options (equity, choice and proxies for future diversity of households). For this project we will test a method of measuring active mobility-related indicators and estimating some outcomes such as walkability.

The goal of this research is to find effective combinations of strategies and policies to inform local governments and our partner organization on this project, the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing, on their mandate to develop and support policy that reduces the GHG emissions of its communities while concurrently developing and supporting policies for healthy, well governed, liveable, safe, and sustainable communities.

Project Profile

Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
elementslab Team: Ronald Kellett, Cynthia Girling, Jon Salter, Camila Curi, Yuhao Lu, Yilang Kang, Juchan Kim, Alex Scott
Partner: BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing