The aim of the project Quantitative Greenhouse Gas Impact Assessment Method for Spatial Planning Policy (QGasSP) will be achieved through a standardised pan-European model that can be used to assess the impacts of proposed developments and alternative policies, and subsequently developed into a user-orientated web-based tool.
Today, the environmental impacts of spatial planning and new urban development are assessed throughout Europe using the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). At present, however, the SEA process does not include any universally applied method for quantifying GHG emissions. This makes it problematic to discriminate between potential development scenarios and hinders comparisons between different regions or nations, different development types, or at different spatial scales.
QGasSP aims to overcome this shortfall using a robust model that focusses on the most relevant emissions sources for spatial planning:
- Building energy use: heat and electricity
- Transportation and Infrastructure
- Land-use change
The model shall be developed and assessed under a diverse range of circumstances by application to a total of 4 case studies, in collaboration with relevant regional authorities in Finland, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. These are respectively the Eastern and Midlands Regional Authority (IE); The Scottish Government – Planning & Architecture Division (UK); Department of Infrastructure, Northern Ireland (UK) and Regional Council of Kymenlaakso (FI).
The expected outcome will be a model for pan-European application, which has the potential to play a useful role in informing spatial policy decision-making, improving the SEA process, and assisting in building political will for effective long-term climate action.
QGasSP is funded by the European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON).