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5. Urban planning

Within PV UPSCALE a wide ranging review has been carried out of urban areas where the installation of significant amounts of PV has been completed or planned. The aim was to identify common success factors and potential problems.

PV UPSCALE participants worked with over 100 different stakeholders from policy makers, to engineers, architects and occupants in 6 countries to gather their experiences and opinions regarding the implementation of large scale PV within the development of urban areas.

The urban areas involved ranged from those where the priorities and plans for the area are still being shaped to areas where PV was installed over 10 years ago and issues of maintenance and the impact of occupants’ behaviour can be assessed. In all of the areas the quantity of PV was significant, impacting substantially on the area where they are located. The range of countries, development stages and stakeholders involved has been extremely wide and this has led to the collection of a comprehensive set of lessons learnt and successful methods of promoting the implementation of PV within the urban planning process.

In this website key lessons and issues at various stages in the development of an area including significant amounts of PV are provided, backed-up with more detailed case studies. An initial set of PV UPSCALE case studies are provided. These are complemented and expanded by further case studies gathered within the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA PVPS) Task 10.

The lessons learnt are divided up into the 3 main stages of developing an urban area:
Setting the stage – the impact of planning policy on renewables within urban areas
Implementation – from design to construction
Occupation – when the real success or otherwise of a project can be seen.

It is hoped that the information available will be useful to a wide range of stakeholders. To this end guidance is provided as to how to find the most relevant case studies for various situations.

The case studies examined are located in different countries. The urban planning process varies dramatically across the countries considered. In some countries such as the Netherlands the process is a top down one and is government led with issues from the architectural style to the environmental achievements defined before commercial developers are invited to bid. In other countries development is more bottom up with commercial organizations having a larger role in initiating, designing and planning initiatives under government limits and guidance. In order to provide some background and context to the case studies summaries of the national planning process are provided as it relates to PV.

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