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Low Carbon Cities: Transforming Urban Systems

Series: Earthscan Series on Sustainable Design

By: Steffen Lehmann (Editor)

484 pages, 195 colour illustrations, 31 colour tables


Paperback | Sep 2014 | #218004 | ISBN-13: 9780415729833
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £41.99 $51/€47 approx
Hardback | Sep 2014 | #218005 | ISBN-13: 9780415729826
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £115.00 $140/€129 approx

About this book

Low Carbon Cities is a book for practitioners, students and scholars in architecture, urban planning and design. It features essays on ecologically sustainable cities by leading exponents of urban sustainability, case studies of the new directions low carbon cities might take and investigations of how we can mitigate urban heat stress in our cities' microclimates. Low Carbon Cities explores the underlying dimensions of how existing cities can be transformed into low carbon urban systems and describes the design of low carbon cities in theory and practice. It considers the connections between low carbon cities and sustainable design, social and individual values, public space, housing affordability, public transport and urban microclimates. Given the rapid urbanisation underway globally, and the need for all our cities to operate more sustainably, we need to think about how spatial planning and design can help transform urban systems to create low carbon cities, and Low Carbon Cities provides key insights.

"For too long, the international debate about 'green' building has been far too object-focused. That is why Low Carbon Cities: Transforming Urban Systems is of utmost importance."
- Ulf Meyer, architecture journalist, Berlin

"From the author who gave us the tour-de-force account of urban sustainability, The Principles of Green Urbanism, comes another timely read. Steffen Lehmann has assembled some of the best environmental urban minds in this new anthology that will become essential for all those who are looking for viable and sustainable solutions. Low Carbon Cities might just be the inspiration we need in our efforts to rethink and transform our cities towards the new, ecologically sustainable and resilient future."
- Professor Tigran Haas, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

"The rapid urbanisation underway in Asia is a challenge and an opportunity for urban sustainability. With chapters written by experts from different parts of the world, this book is a timely addition that addresses many aspects of how low carbon cities can contribute to curbing climate change. Its essays and case studies provide useful references for students, practitioners and researchers who are interested in the global issue of sustainable urban development."
- Professor Edwin H. W. Chan, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

"Low Carbon Cities: Transforming Urban Systems is an inspiring guide to exploring ways to create low carbon cities. The world's cities play a major role in climate change as both sources of problems and pioneering projects for solutions. Low carbon solutions can demonstrate thriving participatory processes of systematic urban transformation. This excellent anthology illustrates how low carbon urban design can help to reduce or mitigate climate change-related emissions."
- Professor Thomas Spiegelhalter, Florida International University, Miami

"This book delivers a holistic view of sustainable cities, bridging a variety of practice, from architecture to environmental studies to urbanism, green building and micro climates. It's a must-read textbook for graduates seeking to understand the complexity of urban environmental issues."
- Professor Wanglin Yan, Keio University, Japan


Introduction: Low carbon cities - more than just buildings

Part I: Classic texts on ecologically sustainable cities: conceptual evolutions and different schools of thought
1. Ecopolis - the regenerative city
2. Much better than climate change adaptation
3. Imagining biophilic cities
4. Sustainable cities are solar responsive cities
5. Trends in low carbon transport and urban development in thirty-three cities, 1995 to 2005
6. How city dwellers affect their resource hinterland - a spatial impact study of Australian households

Part II: New directions: designing for low carbon cities
7. Future ecological design as urbaneering: new positions on city-making without scale
8. A planning approach for the transformation to low carbon cities
9. Green districts and carbon engineering: increasing greenery, reducing heat island effects and generating energy
10. From green buildings to sustainable urban design: two case studies
11. Urban reclamation and regeneration in Seoul, South Korea
12. From sustainable to low carbon cities: is India's urban transformation triggering a paradigm shift?

Part III: Urban micro climates: mitigating urban heat stress
13. The urban heat island and low carbon cities
14. A holistic view of the effects of urban heat island mitigation
15. Urban micro climates: mitigating urban heat stress
16. Energy reduction using natural ventilation in city planning
17. The impact on the increase of urban air temperature on planning and building energy consumption in tropical urban climates
18. Urban heat islands: case studies from Frankfurt am Main, Arnhem and Ho-Chi-Minh City
19. The green plot ratio and the role of greenery in low carbon living
20. Urban populations' vulnerability to climate extremes: mitigating urban heat through technology and water-sensitive urban design
21. Multi-scale analysis of surface layer urban heat island effect in five higher density precincts of central Sydney
22. Looking ahead: Applying low carbon principles to shift urban design paradigms in the Asia-Pacific region towards green urbanism


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Steffen Lehmann is Founding Director of the Zero Waste Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour at the University of South Australia. He is a widely published author and scholar, and is Founding Director of the s_Lab Space Laboratory for Architectural Research and Design (Sydney-Berlin). A German-born architect and urban designer, he was editor-in-chief (2007-2014) of the US-based Journal of Green Building and an advisor to the Australian and German governments, city councils and industry. Since July 2014 he has been Head of School in the School of Built Environment at Curtin University, Perth.

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