An uncomfortable truth : air-conditioning and sustainability in Asia

Winter, Tim 2013, An uncomfortable truth : air-conditioning and sustainability in Asia, Environment and planning A, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 517-531, doi: 10.1068/a45128.

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Title An uncomfortable truth : air-conditioning and sustainability in Asia
Author(s) Winter, TimORCID iD for Winter, Tim
Journal name Environment and planning A
Volume number 45
Issue number 3
Start page 517
End page 531
Total pages 15
Publisher Pion Ltd.
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0308-518X
Keyword(s) air-conditioning
Asia built environment
Notes Over the coming two decades Asia will be the main driver of a 40% increase in global energy consumption. Ambitions for a more sustainable future in the region are severely compromised by the widespread and rapid take-up of energy-intensive methods for cooling the built environment. For the majority of Asia’s countries buildings account for more than 50% of all national greenhouse gas emissions. With around half that energy consumption typically associated with cooling or heating interior spaces, national carbon footprints have increased dramatically in recent decades through the introduction of electronic air-conditioning. This paper argues such trends are unsustainable and low-carbon alternatives for environmental comfort are required urgently. It traces shifts in how air has been ‘materially imagined’ over the last century or so in Asia and how this bears upon the future of sustainable urbanism. Air-conditioning is seen as pivotal to transformations in urban design and living, such that two phases of modernity are identified: preconditioned and conditioned. By foregrounding the need for low-carbon alternatives, the paper advocates for an alternative, low-carbon regime of thermal governance.
Language eng
DOI 10.1068/a45128
Field of Research 210202 Heritage and Cultural Conservation
Socio Economic Objective 950399 Heritage not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Pion Ltd.
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