Establish energy efficiency design guidelines for areas and buildings. Pay attention to how areas, places, buildings, and other assets will be managed and maintained in the long term. 

Identify and promote the use of renewable energy

Energy production and consumption planning should be a part of land use as well as economic development planning. Alternative, sustainable and renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, bioenergy, geothermal energy, wind energy, biofuels should be promoted. The areas suitable for the production of the renewable energy, both in agriculture and in forestry, should be identified and utilized. The use of renewable energy is sustainable only if it is locally appropriate and avoids conflicts in land use (especially between energy and agriculture) are avoided. Also, logistics should be taken into account in sustainable way.

Create solutions that minimise the greenhouse gas emissions and promote the energy efficiency

Energetically self-sufficient settlements using renewable sources should be planned. The local context will determine the appropriate methods for passive design of buildings and districts. On the site level, this includes orientation to the sun and prevailing wind, the relation to other houses and their relationship to open space. Zero-emission housing areas and passive housing technologies should be promoted. Passive (or zero) energy houses and low energy buildings are favourable (higher initial investments, lower maintenance costs). Numerous technological solutions already exist: thermal windows, heat pumps, wind turbines, natural air flow systems etc. One solution for minimising the investments costs for technology at the building scale is sharing the infrastructure with more than one building. For existing structures, energy efficiency can be increased. An energy audit for buildings and housing areas can generate good information and signal new opportunities for this.

Decentralised renewable energy production may be beneficial, especially in the countryside with less dense inhabitation, i.e. small bio heated distance heating pumps for small villages. Also, energy plants producing both heat and power (CHP) are more efficient than plants producing only heat or power. 

Promote the new technological and architectural solutions into infrastructure, areas and buildings

Buildings - not only houses but also offices, warehouses, factories etc. - should be designed to take advantage of heat efficiency of the roofs, shadows, wind protection etc. This minimises the need of heating and cooling. New solutions for this, including cooling-heating combination, central cooling, etc. may be environmentally friendly and economical in the long run. Heat loss should be minimised across cities, neighbourhoods, sites, and buildings.

Identify the local production and local needs

Require the use of the environmentally friendly, local building materials in new construction, renovations, and landscaping. The construction and building based on local production minimises the transport and simultaneously benefits the local business.

Minimize the waste production and water consumption

Waste and wastewater treatment should be efficient and used as an energy source when possible. For example, methane produced during the decomposition process can be collected for energy or for fuel to vehicles. Recycling should be compulsory and composting promoted. Common recycling systems should be planned with user friendliness and logistical efficiency in mind. Gray- and runoff water should be treated, if possible for reuse in irrigation.

See also other categories in planning for climate change mitigation and adaptation:

» Local climate and the future climate scenarios
» Compact and diverse urban structure
» Sustainable transportation
» Comfortable and healthy environment
» Public participation and stakeholder involvement
» Strategic planning
» Costs