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Sustainable cities: transport, energy, and urban form


  • D Banister
  • S Watson
  • C Wood


This paper extends the debate over the ideal of the sustainable city, particularly as it relates to transport, by providing empirical evidence, from five case-study cities in the United Kingdom and one in the Netherlands on the links between urban form and energy consumption in transport. It also links energy use measures to the physical, economic, and social structure of the city to determine whether there are significant relationships. Energy-use measures combine all the characteristics of travel (mode, distance, and frequency), together with occupancy, to give a new set of composite measures of travel. The conclusions reached are mixed in that significant relationships have been found, principally between energy use in transport and physical characteristics of the city, such as density, size, and amount of open space. But comparability problems make it difficult to establish definitive relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • D Banister & S Watson & C Wood, 1997. "Sustainable cities: transport, energy, and urban form," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 24(1), pages 125-143, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:24:y:1997:i:1:p:125-143

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    Cited by:

    1. Woods, Lee & Ferguson, Neil S., 2014. "The influence of urban form on car travel following residential relocation: a current and retrospective study in Scottish urban areas," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 7(1), pages 95-104.
    2. Murray, Alan T., 2001. "Strategic analysis of public transport coverage," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 175-188, September.
    3. Ferreira, João-Pedro & Barata, Eduardo & Ramos, Pedro Nogueira & Cruz, Luis, 2014. "Economic, social, energy and environmental assessment of inter-municipality commuting: The case of Portugal," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 411-418.
    4. Yin, Yanhong & Mizokami, Shoshi & Maruyama, Takuya, 2013. "An analysis of the influence of urban form on energy consumption by individual consumption behaviors from a microeconomic viewpoint," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 909-919.
    5. J. Thomas & D. Walton & S. Lamb, 2011. "The Influence of Simulated Home and Neighbourhood Densification on Perceived Liveability," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 104(2), pages 253-269, November.
    6. Tae-Hyoung Gim, 2012. "A meta-analysis of the relationship between density and travel behavior," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 491-519, May.
    7. Ethan D. Schoolman & Mike Shriberg & Sarah Schwimmer & Marie Tysman, 2016. "Green cities and ivory towers: how do higher education sustainability initiatives shape millennials’ consumption practices?," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 6(3), pages 490-502, September.
    8. Aditjandra, Paulus Teguh & Mulley, Corinne & Nelson, John D., 2013. "The influence of neighbourhood design on travel behaviour: Empirical evidence from North East England," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 54-65.
    9. Aguiléra, Anne & Wenglenski, Sandrine & Proulhac, Laurent, 2009. "Employment suburbanisation, reverse commuting and travel behaviour by residents of the central city in the Paris metropolitan area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 685-691, August.
    10. Yunjing Wang & Yoshitsugu Hayashi & Jin Chen & Qiang Li, 2014. "Changing Urban Form and Transport CO 2 Emissions: An Empirical Analysis of Beijing, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(7), pages 1-22, July.
    11. Lamíquiz, Patxi J. & López-Domínguez, Jorge, 2015. "Effects of built environment on walking at the neighbourhood scale. A new role for street networks by modelling their configurational accessibility?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 148-163.
    12. Ari Tarigan & Stian Bayer & Christin Berg, 2011. "Suburbanisation of employment means less sustainable travel? - The effects of policy location on commuters' travel patterns in the Stavanger region, Norway," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1648, European Regional Science Association.
    13. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2017:i:1:p:19-:d:123917 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Albalate, Daniel & Bel, Germà, 2010. "What shapes local public transportation in Europe? Economics, mobility, institutions, and geography," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 775-790, September.
    15. Zhao, Pengjun, 2013. "The implications of and institutional barriers to compact land development for transportation: Evidence from Bejing," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 6(3), pages 29-42.
    16. Stead, D., 1999. "Relationships between transport emissions and travel patterns in Britain," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 247-258, October.
    17. Muniz, Ivan & Galindo, Anna, 2005. "Urban form and the ecological footprint of commuting. The case of Barcelona," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 499-514, December.
    18. Krumdieck, Susan & Page, Shannon & Dantas, André, 2010. "Urban form and long-term fuel supply decline: A method to investigate the peak oil risks to essential activities," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 306-322, June.
    19. Fatnassi, Ezzeddine & Chaouachi, Jouhaina & Klibi, Walid, 2015. "Planning and operating a shared goods and passengers on-demand rapid transit system for sustainable city-logistics," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 81(P2), pages 440-460.
    20. repec:eee:appene:v:202:y:2017:i:c:p:386-398 is not listed on IDEAS

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