A Review of Sustainability Assessment and Integrated Modelling for Urban Energy Planning

Bjarnhedinn Gudlaugsson, Huda Dawood, Gobind Pillai, Michael Short

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Our current energy system is facing increasing pressure for energy transition at all levels of society, as there is a growing concern for climate change brought about by the impact of fossil fuel extraction and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), in addition to the predicted population growth leading to an increase in energy demand. Future development needs to focus on sustainability, clean and affordable energy, respecting the environment as well as providing prosperity for current and future generation. These factors leave urban energy planning and decision making facing enormous challenges when it comes to figuring out how to enable the transition to a cleaner and decarbonized energy system without jeopardizing the energy security, economic prosperity and neighbouring environment of urban populations. During the last few decades, we have seen an increasing focus on this kind of research within academia and private and public research institutions. This paper aims to provide a review on the application and use of sustainability assessment method and integrated modelling approach to aid decision-making for urban energy planning. This study applied a systematic literature review approach and identified 31 papers and 16 of those 31 papers, were reviewed and analyzed in more depth. These papers were categorized based on the title, authors, publication year, journal, geographical location, research methods, research domains, model, software and databases. The results identify that sustainability indicators are the most preferred methodological approach used when it comes to sustainability assessment. Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) was the second preferred method. Also, the results identified that 81 per cent of the papers reviewed preferred applying a sustainability assessment model that was constructed out of the integration of two or more methods such as LCT and indicators when conducting sustainability assessment analyses. The results also show that only 13 per cent of the papers reviewed use System Dynamics as the modelling methodology approach, thereby acknowledging that there is space for more research to be conducted around applying system dynamics based sustainability assessment on research regarding urban energy planning and energy transition.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Event19th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality - Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 13 Nov 201915 Nov 2019


Conference19th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality
Abbreviated title CONVR 2019
Internet address


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