Determinants of Urban Energy Use: Density and Urban Form

  • Pravin Bhiwapurkar Montana State University
Keywords: Urban Energy Use, Urban Form, Urban Density, Mixed-use Development, Microclimate


With a particular focus on urban energy use, this study investigates the implications of mixed usehigh-density development in a small urban community to curb sprawl in terms of the relationship of urban form and urban density. Every building as a part of the urban core not only affects the urban form but also modifies density, microclimate, and energy use. These relationships are location specific. The interconnected nature of these physical, spatial and environmental characteristics is untangled by investigating individual building form and functions as well as their relationship with other buildings as a function of urban spatiality and density. The first part of this paper explores the potential for increased urban density employing Ralph Knowles’ seminal Solar Envelope Concept. The second part investigates the relationship between development density and urban energy use intensity. The microclimatic modificationsof increased density development are then compared with the existing urban form and their impacts on energy use are studied employing a simulation approach. In conclusion, the suitability of energy implications of a mixed-use development as a part of urban form and density are suggested. The outcome of this investigation provides insights on building and urban form, achievable density and urban energy needs. This research is relevant to the community and local government that will decide on a new development paradigm. This study also provides a platform for future integration of the socio-economic aspects of introducing high-rise, high-density developments.
How to Cite
Bhiwapurkar, P. (2014). Determinants of Urban Energy Use: Density and Urban Form. ARCC Conference Repository.
Peer-reviewed Papers