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A Carbon Consumption Comparison of Rural and Urban Lifestyles

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Author Info

  • Jukka Heinonen

    ()
    (Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 11200, 00076 AALTO, Finland)

  • Seppo Junnila

    ()
    (Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 11200, 00076 AALTO, Finland)

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    Abstract

    Sustainable consumption has been addressed from different perspectives in numerous studies. Recently, urban structure-related lifestyle issues have gained more emphasis in the research as cities search for effective strategies to reduce their 80% share of the global carbon emissions. However, the prevailing belief often seen is that cities would be more sustainable in nature compared to surrounding suburban and rural areas. This paper will illustrate, by studying four different urban structure related lifestyles in Finland, that the situation might be reversed. Actually, substantially more carbon emissions seem to be caused on a per capita level in cities than in suburban and rural areas. This is mainly due to the higher income level in larger urban centers, but even housing-related emissions seem to favor less urbanized areas. The method of the study is a consumption-based life cycle assessment of carbon emissions. In more detail, a hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) model, that is comprehensive in providing a full inventory and can accommodate process data, is utilized.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/8/1234/pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1234-1249

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:8:p:1234-1249:d:13587

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: life cycle assessment; carbon; climate change; lifestyle; consumption; urban structure;

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    References

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    1. Manfred Lenzen & Lise-Lotte Pade & Jesper Munksgaard, 2004. "CO2 Multipliers in Multi-region Input-Output Models," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 391-412.
    2. Weber, Christopher L. & Matthews, H. Scott, 2008. "Quantifying the global and distributional aspects of American household carbon footprint," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 379-391, June.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2008. "The Greenness of Cities: Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development," NBER Working Papers 14238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Wiedenhofer, Dominik & Lenzen, Manfred & Steinberger, Julia K., 2013. "Energy requirements of consumption: Urban form, climatic and socio-economic factors, rebounds and their policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 696-707.
    2. Jukka Heinonen & Antti-Juhani Säynäjoki & Matti Kuronen & Seppo Junnila, 2012. "Are the Greenhouse Gas Implications of New Residential Developments Understood Wrongly?," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(8), pages 2874-2893, August.
    3. Jianjun Wang & Li Li & Fan Zhang & Qiannan Xu, 2014. "Carbon Emissions Abatement Cost in China: Provincial Panel Data Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(5), pages 2584-2600, May.

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