Paper Conference

Proceedings of Building Simulation 2017: 15th Conference of IBPSA


Thinking Local, Acting Global: Urban-scale Energy Modeling for Global Cities Governance

Ursula Eicker1, Jürgen Schumacher1, Michael Bobker2, Honey Berk2, Laura Romero Rodríguez3, Charles J Vörösmarty4
1Center of Applied Research, Sustainable Energy Technologies, University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart, Germany
2CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, City College of NY, Marshak 118, New York, USA.
3Grupo de Termotecnia, Escuela Superior de Ingenieros, Universidad de Sevilla. Camino de los Descubrimientos S/N, 41092 Sevilla, Spain.
4Department of Civil Engineering, The City College of New York and City University of New York, Environmental CrossRoads Initiative, New York, USA.

Abstract: Cities, undergoing rapid change in all parts of the globe, face a common set of “metabolic” challenges: sustainably provisioning for energy, water, and food supplies under sanitary, healthy, economically productive living conditions. Diverse decision makers, such as government, utilities, project developers and bankers must be able to visualize multiple impacts of plans and proposals. Global urban governance initiatives are currently bringing major cities together to learn from one another in addressing common challenges. Energy-related emissions, produced primarily by cities, are a huge challenge to the global climate, which in impacts growing urban areas. Urban infrastructures will have to be planned to meet the needs of increasing populations under increasingly demanding circumstances. This paper discusses the role of urban energy and climate modeling to analyze and predict trends that are a consequence of today´s fossil energy economy and to develop strategies for moving towards clean and carbon neutral urban energy systems. Efforts to mitigate climate change are still largely limited to political target setting at the local, national or transnational scale resulting in fragmented or very slow actual change in the levels of urban energy efficiency and renewable supply. There is a knowledge gap between global climate targets and how to translate these into concrete urban energy strategies that can be monitored, regularly assessed and reported back to decision makers. The translation of global climate targets to local and regional energy transformation strategies requires large amounts of data, many tools to model complex energy systems, and ways to inform how best to manage them. This paper suggests that the energy and infrastructure problems that cities face world-wide today are comparable and differ mainly by density, climatic boundary conditions and local resource availability. Thus, a global energy research agenda to address common urban problems seems possible. * Corresponding author: Ursula Eicker. Tel.: +49 (0)711 8926 2831; fax: +49 (0)711 8926 2698. E-mail address: An integrated platform for urban energy modeling is proposed based on a common data model using the 3D CityGML standard. The platform is assessed for the scope of research and planning questions that it can address, such as building/community technology scenarios for decision-support, policy-making, infrastructure needs over time, zoning rules and impact-analysis, microclimate predictions and alert systems. The work presents the first applications of the platform on case studies in Europe and New York.
Pages: 1595 - 1603