Urban form, land use patterns, and the type of structures significantly influence a city's energy needs, and consequently, its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study aims to clarify connections between urban form and its use together with the associated energy demands for infrastructure (buildings and paved surfaces) and transport. The model is tested through case studies of two Phoenix sub-areas, one in downtown Phoenix, which is undergoing redevelopment towards higher density housing and the second, a low-density suburban area at the edge of Phoenix, which has undergone significant growth in the last two decades. The results indicate that older inner city areas continue to have the lowest energy demands and carbon emissions per capita compared to other neighborhoods examined. The low-density areas in the inner city and in the newer suburbs have almost equal amounts of energy demands per capita. However, the bulk of the energy demands in the newer suburbs is related to the transportation infrastructure while the older low-density neighborhoods have higher energy intensive residential structures.

Publication Date



Originally published in "Energy Procedia", August 2015, Vol. 75: doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2015.07.594

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Sustainability (GIS)


RIT – Main Campus