Demand estimation for services and facilities is an important component of urban development, being required for the determination of the level of provision and coverage of infrastructure and related facilities to serve the needs of present and future populations. Demands and associated cabin impacts for the domains of energy, transport, waste and water (ETWW) are significant to planning agencies, infrastructure providers and operators and private developers who all need to deliver services and resources to urban precincts.
This research project, conducted for the Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre, has developed a tool for integrated demand and carbon impact forecasting of ETWW demand at the precinct level, which supports scenario planning for alternative precinct development plans. This unique approach allows for interactions between the different demand domains and can accommodate the impacts of population changes, socioeconomic variables and household behaviour change in demand forecasting. Research efforts and the resulting tool has a focus on residential precincts in a mixed-use precinct context, providing a scientific and efficient basis for the assessment of the overall carbon impacts of urban developments or redevelopments. A broad range of demand estimates and related carbon impact estimates can be achieved at high levels of accuracy with scenarios recognising the inter-domain demand relationships that occur at a household level.
The developed integrated demand estimation approach allows for the accurate estimation of the core ETWW demands and subsequent carbon impacts at a household and at a precinct level. The approach also identifies commonalities in data requirements and model formulation between the four forecasting domains. In this way overall carbon impacts of urban developments or redevelopments can be assessed more accurately, effectively and efficiently. Resulting demand forecasting can account for the integrated impacts of solar energy generation and battery storage, increased water recycling and rainwater use, alternative transport fuels including electric vehicles and strategies to encourage increased recycling behaviour and the transport of waste. Climate change effects are also considered directly through future year temperature and precipitation estimates and indirectly through changes to the water supply mix or seasonal needs for energy and water. Carbon emissions performance of the precinct is a key focus and the research considers the impact of scopes 1 and 2 emission types. The tool provides a platform for testing a variety of forecast scenarios to account for a variety of such forecast scenario options.
Model forecasts are demonstrated through case-study applications for the Lochiel Park and Tonsley precincts. Scenarios incorporate the on-ground development properties and proposed masterplan documentation for the sites with population type estimations based on Mosaic household typologies. Scenario inclusions are made for options such as electric vehicle adoption, water supply alternatives and activity change such as increased work-form-home activity. Interpretation of input datasets and output results is assisted with the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) to represent this information spatially. Through these case studies, the model demonstrates its ability to deliver the practitioner with ‘what-if’ type scenario investigations important to policymaking and planning for future urban development. The user is ultimately able to explore combinations to achieve a low-carbon precinct development.