Towards a LCA Database for the Planning and Design of Zero-Emissions Neighborhoods
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The integration of science-based knowledge on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into practice-based neighborhood design and planning is key to inform and implement climate mitigation strategies. LCA is a method that is commonly used to provide objective and science-based information on the environmental impacts of specified systems or products. To use a LCA methodology at neighborhood scale is in turn dependent on the development of a common structure for life cycle inventory data. Such a LCA database does not operate on its own, but functions as a structured source of relevant high-quality data inputs linked to other different analytical tools. The aim of this study is to analyze the needs and requirements and provide a foundation for a LCA database at neighborhood scale that can provide users with an interface to find and access life cycle data in the users’ preferred format. The result of this study is the outline of the foundations of a user-centric LCA database for neighborhoods, including several sub-systems (buildings, infrastructure, mobility, and energy supply). Recommendations are given in the Conclusions Section to provide harmonized decision support on reducing GHG emissions at local levels in the planning and design of urban development projects at the neighborhood scale.