Robert Kerr

Track L: Accelerating Community Pathways to Net Zero
Wed/PM 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Senior Associate, President
QUEST, Robert J. Kerr + Associates
Integrating Neighborhood Land-use and Urban Energy Planning for Accelerated Decarbonization- Systematic Analytical & Simulation Approaches

Creating carbon-neutral neighborhoods in less than 20 years is increasingly a stated goal of both communities and developers. For new neighborhoods and large-scale developments, this effectively means designing them such that all energy use for homes, buildings, and transportation is planned to be as close to net-zero from the start. Creating plans to achieve this calls for higher levels of collaboration between land-use planning and urban energy planning than is typical today. This presentation will review the planning approach used by a major Canadian city to develop an energy concept for a new neighborhood that ultimately will be home to over 100,000 residents and 30,000 jobs that meet both the land-use and decarbonization goals of the community. The resulting evidence-based plan and its ability to simulate various combinations of measures is key to informing subsequent community engagement and final policy directions.

Rob Kerr is a Senior Associate at QUEST supporting the ongoing development of Smart Energy Communities and the implementation of Community Energy Planning through policy support. QUEST Canada ( is a national non-profit that supports communities in Canada on their pathway to decarbonization.

Mr. Kerr is also President of an independent consultancy (Robert J. Kerr + Associates, Ltd.), based in Guelph, Ontario, providing community energy services. Rob has over 40 years of experience in many facets of the transitioning energy market with a focus on policy development and implementation of energy and climate change projects/programs in the municipal and community space. Mr. Kerr held senior positions at ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability for many years and held the position of Community Energy Manager with the City of Guelph prior to opening the consultancy. Throughout his career, Rob has developed expertise in managing inter-governmental relationships to the benefit of local governments and communities, from his advocacy work at the global level to advisory relationships with federal and provincial governments.

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