Community Solutions: Prince George

elementslab researchers iterate and measure series of ‘what-if’ urban form experiments from 2020 to 2050 that test alternative energy and emissions reducing policy, code and behavioural interventions in the City of Prince George.

The City of Prince George is one of three case studies conducted under the ‘Community Solutions’ sub-project of the Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment project, which develops and measures a series of ‘what-if’ urban form experiments from 2020 to 2050 to test alternative energy and emissions reduction policy interventions. The City of Prince George is an excellent case study due to its northern BC location, well-developed land use, energy and emissions policies and goals, accessible data, and consistent engagement from the local municipal government. The effects of potential policy interventions are tested through multiple iterations of a digital “sandbox” model, which replicates spatial and non-spatial attributes such as land use patterns, population, building types, ages and technologies for the neighbourhood. Each “sandbox” is grounded in local census and building stock data tailored to reflect the conditions of the community, and through modeling is responsive to the influence of the policy options under consideration.

We asked these questions: How do contemplated local and regional policy interventions affect energy and emissions reductions in Prince George (and other similar BC communities)? Which of those policy interventions also have a positive effect on neighbourhood livability?

We investigated three future urban form experiments for 2050: no-growth; modest growth situated around a mixed-use neighbourhood centre; modest growth situated along two designated corridors. For each experiment we measured select livability indicators, both existing transportation infrastructure and added active transportation corridors; building technology retrofits and “deep” building retrofits (both technology and building envelope upgrades). We assumed the adoption of the BC Energy Step Code for all new buildings.

Detailed results are reported here.

Project Profile

Sponsor: Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS)

elementslab Team: Ronald Kellett, Cynthia Girling, Camila Curi, Yuhao Bean Lu, Yilang Kang, Juchan Kim, Nicholas Martino, Alex Scott, and previously, Jon Salter.

Collaborating Researchers: Mark Jaccard, Rose Murphy Aaron Pardy, Thomas Budd, Emily Doan, Bradley Elliott, Franziska Forg, Bradford Griffin, Aaron Hoyle, Simon Fraser University EMRG Lab