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A Carbon Consumption Comparison of Rural and Urban Lifestyles

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jukka Heinonen & Seppo Junnila, 2011. "A Carbon Consumption Comparison of Rural and Urban Lifestyles," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(8), pages 1-16, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:8:p:1234-1249:d:13587
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2010. "The greenness of cities: Carbon dioxide emissions and urban development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, May.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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 1-17, May.
    2. Ala-Mantila, Sanna & Heinonen, Jukka & Junnila, Seppo, 2014. "Relationship between urbanization, direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and expenditures: A multivariate analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 129-139.
    3. 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 1-20, August.
    4. repec:eee:rensus:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:845-860 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chau, C.K. & Leung, T.M. & Ng, W.Y., 2015. "A review on Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Energy Assessment and Life Cycle Carbon Emissions Assessment on buildings," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 395-413.
    6. 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.
    7. Peng Du & Antony Wood & Brent Stephens, 2016. "Empirical Operational Energy Analysis of Downtown High-Rise vs. Suburban Low-Rise Lifestyles: A Chicago Case Study," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(6), pages 1-27, June.
    8. Age Poom & Rein Ahas, 2016. "How Does the Environmental Load of Household Consumption Depend on Residential Location?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-18, August.
    9. Eeva-Sofia Säynäjoki & Jukka Heinonen & Seppo Junnila, 2014. "The Power of Urban Planning on Environmental Sustainability: A Focus Group Study in Finland," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-22, September.
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1801-:d:114130 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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