Urbanie & Urbanus

Issue 2021 Dec


Issue 6, P.36 - P.47

Energy-driven urban regeneration: investigating strategies for net-zero energy neighbourhoods in compact textures

Federica Fiacco

MArch at the Sapienza University of Rome, PhD student in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the City University of Hong Kong.

and  Gianni Talamini

MArch and PhD in Urbanism from IUAV University Venice, assistant professor at the City University of Hong Kong, architect, urbanist and scholar


Urban regeneration strategies promoting energy conservation are still in their infancy, and research on carbon neutrality in construction concentrates at the building level. Subsequently, there is an urgency to shift the focus from building-related interventions to comprehensive strategies for an energy-driven urban regeneration at the urban scale. This paper proposes a prototypical high-rise energy-positive building based on current best practices and uses the case of a high-populated mid-rise compact neighbourhood in Kowloon City, Hong Kong, to test the systematic insertion of the prototype into the existing urban fabric. Further, the study simulates the formation of a network of high-rise energy-positive buildings to serve the energy demand of the neighbourhood, testing two different spatial configurations. Results show that the projected network could supply one-fourth of the current neighbourhood’s energy consumption, demonstrating the potential of networking energy production from diffused units for significant achievements at neighbourhood scale in high-density contexts. By illustrating a feasible and easily-replicable strategy, this study aims to pave the way for the exploration of the proposed approach by policymakers and urban designers for novel policies and near-term actions.