The Impact of Urban Form and Housing Characteristics on Residential Energy Use
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Cities and their characteristics of energy use play an important role in climate change. While there is abundant research about the impact of energy use on transportation the impact of urban form and housing characteristics on residential energy use has not been considered widely. There is certainly a need to take a closer look about the residential energy use and housing relationships to identify planning implications. This study examines the relationship between various urban form, housing characteristics and the energy use that result from residential electricity and fuel use. Ordinary least squares regression methods are used to measure the correlations between energy consumption and variables describing housing and urban form characteristics in the metropolitan statistical areas in the United States. After controlling for differences in energy price and income, a positive relationship between residential energy consumption and a history of greater rates of land conversion was found. This study also finds significantly higher energy use associated with a greater incidence of detached single-family housing when compared against high-rise buildings. A correlation between increased rate of row housing and lower energy use was found as well. This study can contribute to a literature that can help planners to create more environmentally- friendly cities by contributing to the understanding of the impacts that certain energy- related housing characteristics have on the sustainability of a city. The literature regarding smart growth and new urbanism should explore potential impacts on household energy consumption in its discussion of urban planning along with considering impacts on transportation related energy use.
Kim, Jong Yon (2012). The Impact of Urban Form and Housing Characteristics on Residential Energy Use. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from