Attractive efficiency: The emerging energy crisis & strategies for energy efficient urban design
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American patterns of urban development are generally characterized by sprawl, automobile-centric transportation networks, and free market abundance. America’s post-WWII urban expansion and infrastructure emplacement was built when the United States was the world’s leading producer of hydrocarbon energy, and therefore did not make transmission efficiency a priority. The energy picture today is much different as world population grows, and demand for limited fossil fuels continues to rise. This nation needs a new scheme of urban development awareness that combines contemporary urbanism planning paradigms with the latest energy distribution network. Together, these two components address the way we utilize energy, and rethink the efficiency of our urban system in an effort to quantitatively reduce per capita energy consumption. Together, these components—smart growth combined with the smart grid—formulate attractive efficiency: an integrated, strategic approach of employing smart grid technologies with desirable design techniques from the human perspective in order to enable people to become conscious consumers within their community.