Elements of a Visual Language for Social Engagement with Climate Change Conscious Urban Neighbourhood Design

By Chengzhi Peng and Amr Elwan.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The recent progress in scientific computing has made it possible to undertake complex environmental performance simulations of urban buildings and spaces under climate change scenarios. However, outputs from these simulations present great difficulties for the general public to engage with the process of achieving climate change conscious design. We report a pilot study of a visual communication framework for enabling wider participation in climate change conscious urban neighbourhood design (C3UND). A case study of a new residential neighbourhood development proposed for a site in New Cairo, Egypt, is carried out according to the C3UND framework. The case study results show the potential barriers for effective public engagement with C3UND as an emerging social-technical practice towards sustainable urban dwelling. The idea of constructing a Web-based 3D virtual urban neighbourhood as the core of a visual language for social engagement with C3UND is explored along with the case study neighbourhood simulation, identifying some key elements for such a visual language to be further developed and tested.

Keywords: Urban Neighbourhood Design, Sustainable Urban Dwelling, Climate Change, Environmental Modelling, ENVI-met, Ecotect, Social Engagement, Visual Language

The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp.51-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.258MB).

Dr. Chengzhi Peng

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

Chengzhi Peng holds BArch, M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Architecture and Computer Aided Architectural Design. He is Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, UK. He researches and teaches in the areas of architectural and urban design computing. Recently, he and his PhD student Amr Elwan have developed a framework of Climate Change Conscious Urban Neighbourhood Design (C3UND), investigating how the next generation environmental modelling platform capable of supporting interactive climate change conscious urban neighbourhood design (iC3UND) can be developed and tested in real stakeholder and user contexts.

Amr Elwan

Ph.D. Candidate, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

Amr Elwan holds BArch and MArch degrees in Architecture. He is a PhD candidate at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield. His doctoral study at the University of Sheffield investigates the current gaps of software-based simulation of outdoor and indoor thermal comfort at an urban neighbourhood scale. Before joining the PhD Programme at the Sheffield School of Architecture, he was an associate teacher and design officer at the Department of Architectural Engineering, Military Technical College, Cairo.