Neighbourhood Design and Energy Efficiency in Post-industrial Urban China: Evidence from Shenzhen and Hong Kong

Department: Urban Planning and Design
Research Centre: Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning
Active Dates: October 2014 - September 2016

Principal Investigator: Weifeng LI
Team: Jie LI, Jianzheng LIU, Wenbo GUO
Funding body: GRF-ECS

Abstract

Achieving low carbon urban development in Chinese cities requires a combination of approaches. More understanding of the household demand side is necessary to make relevant policies to potentially influence the behaviours of urban energy end-users. This research aims to take a step further by seeking to understand the potential of alternative urban form and neighbourhood design in relation to energy efficiency, and to answer the question of how neighbourhood design influences a household’s direct energy consumption as well as carbon emissions, through the influence on the urban household’s lifestyle in post-industrial Chinese cities. It uses data from the disaggregated household-level survey with rich demographic and socio-economic information, collected from both Hong Kong – one of the most densely populated city, and Shenzhen – a newly emerging city. An important methodological contribution of the study to the relationship between built environment, travel behaviour and household energy consumption is to provide new insights of the interaction of residence and mobility as a lifestyle bundle, and clarify the role of urban form and neighbourhood design in influencing a household’s lifestyle choice with respect to energy consumption and carbon emission. In the research, we also propose the use of instrumental variables (IV) approach and Structural Equation Models (SEM) to account for the residential self-selection issue and the interaction of residential and travel energy consumptions.

Objectives

  1. Construct a large cross-sectional dataset that links neighbourhood design portfolio, housing, vehicle ownership to household energy uses in Shenzhen and Hong Kong;
  2. Formulate a theoretical framework to integrate the two main sources of household direct energy consumption, and relate them to the neighbourhood design in China’s urban context, through the influence on urban households’ lifestyles;
  3. Empirically examine the impacts of neighbourhood design on a household’s energy consumption and carbon emissions, through the use of instrumental variables (IV) approach and Structural Equation Models (SEM);
  4. Compare and contrast the cases in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and recommend neighbourhood land use planning and design guidelines for low carbon development in Chinese cities.

 

Neighbourhood Design and Energy Efficiency in Post-industrial Urban China: Evidence from Shenzhen and Hong Kong 1
UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE