Spatial Structure and CO2 Emissions Due to Commuting: an Analysis on Italian Urban Areas
The aim of this paper is to investigate whether and to what extent the spatial configuration of an urban area affects its level of environmental externalities. Starting from previous contributions to this field of research, it examines several features of urban spatial structure - such as compactness, monocentricity, concentration and functional diversity - and attempts to gauge their environmental implications in terms of per capita CO2 emissions associated with a given pattern of commuting (i.e., mode of commuting and distance travelled). The main finding of the analysis on the 111 largest Italian urban areas is that urban spatial configuration is an important determinant of travel patterns and the associated level of per capita CO2 emissions. In particular, smaller, more compact and less monocentric areas are associated with lower levels of CO2 per commuter, with socio-demographic characteristics also playing a role.
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