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Urban form and sustainable development

  • Sophie Legras
  • Jean Cavailhès

In this paper we study how the urban structure affects two environmental outcomes : greenhouse gas emissions from commuting and the conversion of agricultural/natural land ressources. The urban structure is characterized by its degree of polycentrism and by the share of urban and peri-urban dwellers. Polycentrism may lead to opposite eects on these indicators as lower commuting costs in secondary centers lead to lower land rents that may allow households to consume more residential land; furthermore commuting lenght may decrease, if workers commute to the closest business district, inducing less GHG emissions. The environmental impact of the urban structure is very dependant on residential lot sizes, fixed within zones but dierent between them. Then we address the implementation of two types of instruments to comply with an exogenous GHG target, a commuting tax/subsidy and a communication tax/subsidy for firms established in the secondary center.

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Paper provided by INRA UMR CESAER, Centre d'’Economie et Sociologie appliquées à l'’Agriculture et aux Espaces Ruraux in its series INRA UMR CESAER Working Papers with number 2012/5.

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Length: 21
Date of creation: 27 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ceo:wpaper:37
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  1. Giuliano, Genevieve & Small, Kenneth A., 1991. "Subcenters in the Los Angeles region," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 163-182, July.
  2. Alex Anas & Richard Arnott & Kenneth A. Small, 1998. "Urban Spatial Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1426-1464, September.
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  4. Jean Cavailhes & Carl Gaigne & Jacques-Rrancois Thisse, 2006. "Trade and the structure of cities," KIER Working Papers 623, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Wu, JunJie, 2006. "Environmental amenities, urban sprawl, and community characteristics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 527-547, September.
  6. Henderson, Vernon & Mitra, Arindam, 1996. "The new urban landscape: Developers and edge cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 613-643, December.
  7. Bento, Antonio M. & Franco, Sofia F. & Kaffine, Daniel, 2006. "The efficiency and distributional impacts of alternative anti-sprawl policies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 121-141, January.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 9733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2008. "The Greenness of Cities: Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development," NBER Working Papers 14238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Timothy, Darren & Wheaton, William C., 2001. "Intra-Urban Wage Variation, Employment Location, and Commuting Times," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 338-366, September.
  11. Daniel P. McMillen & John F. McDonald, 1998. "Population Density in Suburban Chicago: A Bid-rent Approach," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 35(7), pages 1119-1130, June.
  12. Cavailhes, Jean & Peeters, Dominique & Sekeris, Evangelos & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2004. "The periurban city: why to live between the suburbs and the countryside," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 681-703, November.
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