The Urban-RAM modeling tool is an Excel-based macros-enabled model designed to provide a high-level breakdown of the major contributors to a city's energy and carbon footprint when measured from the point of view of the city's inhabitants. This model asks users to provide city-level data on basic macroeconomic factors (GDP, households, population), residents' income and expenditures, building floorspace and building types, infrastructure (road, rail, subway length) and vehicle fleet to characterize a given city but also provides national average data as default.
Based on a synthesis of data and life-cycle modeling approaches from both US and China sources, this model enables a quick assessment of the magnitude and sources of a city's energy and carbon footprints with minimal data requirement. This modeling tool is intended to help urban planner, policymakers and researchers quickly understand the underlying drivers of a city's energy and carbon footprint by calculating the city's embodied and operational energy and related emissions as well as common energy and CO2 indicators.
By allocating both embodied (energy used in production and transport of goods and services) and operational (current use of energy) to the various functions of city residents, such as living, commuting, shopping, or working, it is possible to understand better the drivers of urban emissions growth and areas of possible policy intervention. It also enables scenario playing to assess area of opportunity for reducing energy and carbon footprint on a localized city level.
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