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Impacts of urban form on future US passenger-vehicle greenhouse gas emissions

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  • Hankey, Steve
  • Marshall, Julian D.
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    Abstract

    Urban form - for example, sprawl versus infill development - impacts people's daily travel patterns and annual vehicle-kilometers traveled (VKT). This paper explores how urban form impacts greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from passenger-vehicles, the largest source of urban transportation GHG emissions. Our research uses a recently published urban scaling rule to develop six scenarios for high- and low-sprawl US urban growth. We develop and apply a Monte Carlo approach that describes ensemble statistics for several dozen urban areas rather than forecasting changes in individual urban areas. Then, employing three vehicle- and fuel-technology scenarios, we estimate total passenger VKT and resulting GHG emissions for US urban areas. Our results indicate that comprehensive compact development could reduce US 2000-2020 cumulative emissions by up to 3.2Â GtCO2e (15-20% of projected cumulative emissions). In general, vehicle GHG mitigation may involve three types of approaches: more-efficient vehicles, lower-GHG fuels, and reduced VKT. Our analyses suggest that all three categories must be evaluated; otherwise, improvements in one or two areas (e.g., vehicle fuel economy, fuel carbon content) can be offset by backsliding in a third area (e.g., VKT growth).

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V2W-4X24C5B-1/2/9fd350e04d919501e3dd2a2d5e99a8a9
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 4880-4887

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:9:p:4880-4887

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

    Related research

    Keywords: Smart growth City design Environmental planning;

    References

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    1. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Dan, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt6j67z9w6, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Cervero, Robert & Radisch, Carolyn, 1996. "Travel choices in pedestrian versus automobile oriented neighborhoods," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 127-141, July.
    3. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Daniel & Arons, S.M. & Brandt, A.R. & Delucchi, M.A. & Eggert, A. & Farrell, A.E. & Haya, B.K. & Hughes, J. & Jenkins, B.M. & Jones, A.D. & Kammen, D.M. & Kaffka, S.R, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt8zm8d3wj, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    4. Handy, Susan & Cao, Xinyu & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "Correlation or causality between the built environment and travel behavior? Evidence from Northern California," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5b76c5kg, University of California Transportation Center.
    5. Christopher Zegras, P., 2007. "As if Kyoto mattered: The clean development mechanism and transportation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 5136-5150, October.
    6. Gakenheimer, Ralph, 1999. "Urban mobility in the developing world," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 671-689.
    7. Farrell, Alexander & Sperling, Daniel, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5245b5kx, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    Cited by:
    1. Phetkeo Poumanyvong & Shinji Kaneko & Shobhakar Dhakal, 2012. "Impacts of urbanization on national transport and road energy use: Evidence from low, middle and high income countries," IDEC DP2 Series 2-2, Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC).
    2. Salim, Ruhul A. & Shafiei, Sahar, 2014. "Urbanization and renewable and non-renewable energy consumption in OECD countries: An empirical analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 581-591.

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