Community Solutions: Victoria

elementslab researchers developed, iterated and measured a series of ‘what-if’ urban form experiments from 2020 to 2050 that tested alternative energy and emissions reducing policy, code and behavioural interventions in the City of Victoria.

The City of Victoria 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. Victoria was selected as one of the case studies for the EEBE project due to its size, location, aspiring land use and energy and emissions policies and goals, highly accessible data, and staff willing to engage with the study. 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. Through modeling, it is responsive to the influence of the policy options under consideration.

We developed nine experiments to test the effects of growth management policies, energy and emissions policies, transit, and active transportation policies:

  • Urban form: ‘Dispersed’ added population in 2040 will be distributed evenly across the neighborhood; ‘Neighbourhood Centre’ concentrates new development within a designated 200 metre radius buffer of a service centre; ‘Corridor’ concentrates new development within the 400 metres of transportation corridors.

  • Active transportation: ‘AT+’ examines active transportation, such as bikeability, walkability, and transit service to create three separate experiments.

  • Building energy and emissions: Deep retrofit ‘DR+’ examines both energy retrofits for existing buildings (HVAC and shell) and application of the BC Energy Step Code to new buildings across all urban form experiments.

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