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Low-Carbon Futures for Shenzhen’s Urban Passenger Transport System


  • Shengyuan Zhang

    () (Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Jimin Zhao

    () (Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)


China has established ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets, and sustainable urban passenger transport is a key to reaching them. Shenzhen, one of China’s leading cities, has the potential to be a model for achieving low-carbon development. Using an Activity Structure–Intensity–Fuel (ASIF) framework and a human-based approach that incorporates individual transport behavior using data from a travel diary survey in Shenzhen in 2014, we model different scenarios for future urban passenger transport energy consumption and CO2 emissions from 2014 to 2050. We find that if Shenzhen successfully constructs urban structures with greater density around the public transportation network, and finds effective ways to restrict vehicle ownership and use (either through mandatory schemes or pricing) while making substantial investments in the walking and cycling environment, it is possible for total urban passenger transport emissions to peak at 4.3 MtCO2 in 2025, and individual emissions would fall by over 65% compared to its 2014 level, reaching 118 kgCO2/person by 2050.

Suggested Citation

  • Shengyuan Zhang & Jimin Zhao, 2016. "Low-Carbon Futures for Shenzhen’s Urban Passenger Transport System," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2016-33, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Jun 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:hku:wpaper:201633

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    ASIF; carbon emissions; energy consumption; urban transportation; scenario analysis; transportation policy;

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