The continued outward growth from a central business district has been the dominant characteristic of most cities in Australia. However, this feature is seen as unsustainable and alternative scenarios to contain the outward growth are being proposed. Melbourne is currently grappling with this issue while simultaneously trying to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions. Housing size, style and its location are the three principal factors which determine the emissions from the residential sector. This paper describes a methodology to assess the combined impact of these factors on past and possible future forms of residential development in Melbourne. The analysis found that the location of the housing and its size are the dominant factors determining energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
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