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Zhang, X.; , .; Zhang, X.; Zhao, H. Built Environment Factors and Residential Land Carbon Emissions. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 14 June 2024).
Zhang X,  , Zhang X, Zhao H. Built Environment Factors and Residential Land Carbon Emissions. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 14, 2024.
Zhang, Xiaoping, , Xiaoping Zhang, Hu Zhao. "Built Environment Factors and Residential Land Carbon Emissions" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 14, 2024).
Zhang, X., , ., Zhang, X., & Zhao, H. (2022, May 06). Built Environment Factors and Residential Land Carbon Emissions. In Encyclopedia.
Zhang, Xiaoping, et al. "Built Environment Factors and Residential Land Carbon Emissions." Encyclopedia. Web. 06 May, 2022.
Built Environment Factors and Residential Land Carbon Emissions

Evaluating the effects of built environment factors (BEF) on residential land carbon emissions (RLCE) is an effective way to reduce RLCE and promote low-carbon development from the perspective of urban planning.

residential land carbon emissions built environment factors advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) grey relation analysis Universal global optimization Zibo

1. Introduction

Urban construction land (UCL) is not only the main spatial carrier of human living, entertainment, and industrial production, but also the main carrier of carbon emissions. Although UCL accounts for only 2.4% of the global area, it carries about 80% of the carbon emissions [1][2], while in China UCL is responsible for about 73% of the country’s total carbon emissions—and it is still rising [3]. If nothing is done, climate change will hit the threshold of 1.5 °C in the coming decades, with more serious consequences for the environment, economy, and society to follow [4][5]. Therefore, reducing UCL carbon emissions is of great significance to deal with global warming and achieve low-carbon development [6][7]. Buildings, industry, and transportation are the three main sources of UCL carbon emissions [8][9]. Among them, building energy consumption accounts for about 40% of carbon emissions, while in developed countries such as the United States, building energy consumption has exceeded 60% [10]. According to the data from the China Energy Statistics Yearbook, the total energy consumption of residential buildings has increased year by year, with an average annual growth rate of 10.12% from 2010 to 2019. Residential land is the most basic unit of residential building energy consumption, and its energy consumption and carbon emissions are closely related to built environment factors (BEF) [11]. Many studies have illustrated that residential land carbon emissions (RLCE) can be reduced by using clean energy, adjusting the proportion of green buildings, and promoting new energy-saving technologies, but these cannot completely solve carbon emissions caused by BEF such as intensity, density, morphology, and land [12][13]. By defining the relationship between BEF and RLCE and carrying out low-carbon optimization, urban planning can achieve the lock-in effect of RLCE. The optimization of BEF can reduce RLCE by 18–24%, and the overall carbon reduction potential can reach 78% [14]. Therefore, optimization of BEF is an important means to reduce RLCE from the perspective of urban planning.

2. Built Environment Factors and Residential Land Carbon Emissions

During recent decades, some scholars have made preliminary explorations on BEF that affect RLCE, among which the BEF of building scale and block scale have been widely discussed [15]. For BEF of building scale, the studies were mainly based on the established statistical database of building energy consumption, combined with the energy consumption simulation method and the analyzed effects of BEF of building scale on RLCE [15][16]. For example, Kragh et al. extracted the building area and building age data of 1.60 × 106 residential buildings from the Danish National Research Database, then classified the building types and simulated the classified typical building energy consumption. The results show that the error between simulated data and official statistical data was less than 4% [17]. Streltsov et al. studied the RLCE in Gainesville, Florida and San Diego, California based on the data of utility companies and high-altitude images, and considered that the building shape coefficient and building aspect ratio have more important effects [18]. Li et al. divided residential building types by building height, building aspect ratio, and building compactness ratio, and simulated the energy consumption of typical buildings. The results show that the error between simulated and true was within 3% [19]. Luana et al. selected the building construction time, building type, and building scale as the important BEF affecting building energy consumption in Sicily. The energy consumption data for 12 different building types were obtained through energy consumption simulations and compared with the measured data, with an average error of about 7.7% [20]. Ifigeneia et al. classified the stock of residential buildings in Greece by construction time, building type, building height, and other factors based on data from the Greek Bureau of Statistics and simulated the energy consumption of typical buildings of different types through Energyplus. By comparing with the measured values, the error was between 15 and 18% [21].
In contrast to the effects of BEF of building scale on RLCE, especially when buildings are arranged in groups, the RLCE is not the sum of single residential buildings’ carbon emissions, and the effects of BEF of block scale should be considered.
For BEF of block scale, the common methods include statistical methods, simulation methods, and comprehensive methods combining statistics and simulation [22][23]. For example, Wilson et al. found that BEF such as building density and land area have important and long-term effects on RLCE [24]. Garbasevschi et al. found significant differences in RLCE by comparing eight residential lands of the same type but with different construction times in Germany [25]. Wang et al. conducted a correlation analysis between carbon emissions and landscape characteristics of 6754 districts in Eindhoven based on the cluster analysis method and random forest method and found that the function, density, and building floors of different districts have a significant impact on carbon emissions [26]. Sundus used energy simulation software to analyze the effects of the ratio of high-rise buildings on RLCE and found that when floor area ratio was certain, the ratio of high-rise buildings has a significant effect on RLCE and can reduce carbon emissions by 4.6% [13]. Kamal et al. evaluated the impacts of the greening rate on urban microclimate and building energy loads by using the open weather data of the Marina district in the city of Lusail and found that the energy consumption of 250 kW h could be reduced with an increase in greening rate [27]. Leng et al. established the relationship between seven BEF and building energy consumption by using correlation analysis and multiple linear regression analysis. The results indicated that the greater building site cover, floor area ratio, building height, road height–width ratio, total wall surface area, and lower green space ratio were beneficial to the reduction of building energy consumption [12].
As shown above, the effects of BEF on RLCE have been widely explored. These studies also demonstrate that, from the perspective of urban planning, carbon emissions can be effectively reduced by regulating the range of the BEF. However, due to the different research scales, objects, and problems selected by different studies, there are still some disputes about the effects of some BEF, such as building area, building density, and land area on RLCE, and the impact mechanism is complex. Therefore, the significant correlation and influence relationship between the BEF and RLCE have not yet formed a unified conclusion, and more empirical research needs to be further carried out. Moreover, the relevant studies are mainly based on the questionnaire data or software simulation data, resulting in a certain deviation between the conclusions and the true values.
Fortunately, with the extensive installation and use of the national smart grid and smart sensing equipment, especially the popularization of advanced measurement infrastructure (AMI), power supply companies have obtained a large amount of data with geographical indications and time information. These data record the space-time information of power users in detail, including name, ownership, location, active electric energy, voltage, current, power factor, forward and reverse power, and other power grid status information. Compared with the data of questionnaires and model simulations, which are limited by manual survey costs, survey scale, sample size, and computer simulation performance, AMI data has the characteristics of large amount of data, good compatibility, and high accuracy [28][29]. Therefore, studies based on AMI data are gradually increasing, such as user behavior analysis and classification, load prediction, power network planning, distribution network operation status evaluation and early warning, etc. [30][31]. However, few studies have used AMI data to investigate the effects of BEF on RLCE.
On the one hand, the empirical study on the effects of BEF on RLCE can be enriched, thus filling in the gaps of existing studies to some extent. On the other hand, it provides recommendations to carry out low-carbon-oriented urban planning in the future.


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