Spatial Planning for the Energy Transition

The role of spatial planning in facilitating the energy transition in Dubai

More Info


This research and planning project explores the influence of spatial planning in facilitating the process of energy transition within the context of Dubai. Energy use within the built environment is closely related to the organization of urban form and functions. Spatial planning can influence diverse sectors in urban areas including the energy sector. The role of spatial planning in the energy transition is a crucial one since it can challenge fundamental norms that don’t promote energy efficiency. Planning processes and systems can pave the way for a collective investment in public goods that can help to promote long term environmental benefits. The results of this research illustrate the impact of spatial planning to change the relationship of space to energy. Energy strategies need to start having a stronger link with urban development plans to be able to effectively change the ‘decision rules’ that can lead to an improved energy performance. Through this research I want to contribute to this question and explore the parameters of planning that can impact energy use in Dubai. The intention of this research and design project is to begin a discussion about the role of spatial planning in the energy transition in cities. My assumed role in this project is of an urban planner to inform Dubai government on how to facilitate a process for developers, urban designers and architects to work within. This project has a strong research base which will guide the redesigning of the planning process in Dubai to better balance competing interests and engage with all stakeholders. This research attempts to bridge the gap between energy strategies and urban development policies.