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Urban Density and Climate Change: A STIRPAT Analysis using City-level Data

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  • Liddle, Brantley

Abstract

Two important, increasing trends for those concerned about climate change to consider are urbanization/the importance of cities and energy used in transport—particularly energy used to achieve personal mobility. While national urbanization levels are not a good indicator of urban transport demand, there is an established negative relationship between urban density and such demand. This paper uses a consistent, well-known population-based framework (the STIRPAT model) and three separate, but highly related, datasets of cities from developed and developing countries (with observations from 1990, 1995, and 2001) to examine the relationship among private transport energy consumption, population, income, urban density, and several variables (e.g., network size and prices) that describe the nature of the public and private transport systems of those cities. The paper confirms the now well-established result that urban density is negatively correlated with urban private transport energy consumption. In terms of policies, improving private vehicle fuel efficiency, in particular, and increasing fuel price as well as other ownership/operating costs for private transport could have a substantial impact on lowering transport energy consumption. On the other hand, there is no evidence that further lowering the cost to riders of public transport would lower private transport energy consumption. For cities in developing countries, demographic variables (population size and urban density) are particularly important in determining private transport energy consumption. Also, private transport energy consumption is considerably less price sensitive in those developing country cities compared to cities in the most developed countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 52089.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52089

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Keywords: urban density; STIRPAT; transport energy demand; city-based data;

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References

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  1. Germa Bel & Daniel Albalate, 2009. "What shapes local public transportation in Europe? Economics, Mobility, Institutions, and Geography," RSCAS Working Papers, European University Institute 2009/34, European University Institute.
  2. Kenworthy, Jeffrey R. & Laube, Felix B., 1999. "Patterns of automobile dependence in cities: an international overview of key physical and economic dimensions with some implications for urban policy," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 691-723.
  3. Karathodorou, Niovi & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2010. "Estimating the effect of urban density on fuel demand," Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 86-92, January.
  4. Brantley Liddle, 2011. "Consumption-Driven Environmental Impact and Age Structure Change in OECD Countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 24(30), pages 749-770, May.
  5. Brantley Liddle, 2003. "Demographic dynamics and per capita environmental impact: using panel regressions and household decompositions to examine population and transport," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Liddle, Brantley & Lung, Sidney, 2013. "Might electricity consumption cause urbanization instead? Evidence from heterogeneous panel long-run causality tests," MPRA Paper 52333, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Liddle, Brantley & Messinis, George, 2013. "Which comes first—urbanization or economic growth? Evidence from heterogeneous panel causality tests," MPRA Paper 53983, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Liddle, Brantley, 2013. "Urban Transport Pollution: Revisiting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," MPRA Paper 53632, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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