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Lock-in effects of road expansion on CO2 emissions : results from a core-periphery model of Beijing

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  • Anas, Alex
  • Timilsina, Govinda R.

Abstract

In the urban planning literature, it is frequently explicitly asserted or strongly implied that ongoing urban sprawl and decentralization can lead to development patterns that are unsustainable in the long run. One manifestation of such an outcome is that if extensive road investments occur, urban sprawl and decentralization are advanced and locked-in, making subsequent investments in public transit less effective in reducing vehicle kilometers traveled by car, gasoline use and carbon dioxide emissions. Using a simple core-periphery model of Beijing, the authors numerically assess this effect. The analysis confirms that improving the transit travel time in Beijing’s core would reduce the city’s overall carbon dioxide emissions, whereas the opposite would be the case if peripheral road capacity were expanded. This effect is robust to perturbations in the model’s calibrated parameters. In particular, the effect persists for a wide range of assumptions about how location choice depends on travel time and a wide range of assumptions about other aspects of consumer preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5017.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5017

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Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Roads&Highways; Energy and Environment; Environment and Energy Efficiency; Economic Theory&Research; Urban Transport;

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Cited by:
  1. Parry, Ian W.H. & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2012. "Demand side instruments to reduce road transportation externalities in the greater Cairo metropolitan area," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6083, The World Bank.
  2. Framstad, Nils Chr. & Strand, Jon, 2013. "Energy Intensive Infrastructure Investments with Retrofits in Continuous Time: Effects of Uncertainty on Energy Use and Carbon Emissions," Memorandum 11/2013, Oslo University, Department of Economics.

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