Friday, January 25, 2013

How Can Cities Reduce Carbon Emissions from Transportation?

Decarbonizing urban transport in European cities: four cases show possibly high co-benefits(10 page pdf, Felix Creutzig, Rainer Muhlhoff and Julia Romer,Environ. Res. Lett., Dec.19, 2012)

Today we review an analysis of four policy scenarios for four European cities at increasing levels of pressure aimed at reducing carbon emissions from transportation over the next 30 years. The greatest impact comes from a combination of land use policies (such as densification) combined with congestion charges which in one city produced a 40% reduction in GHGs. It is clear as the report summarizes that such strategies need to be tailored to a given city, its population and degree of sprawl. urban carbon emissions

 Key Quotes:

 “assess the current state of urban mobility in the four European cities of Barcelona, Malmo, Sofia and Freiburg..scenarios reducing greenhouse gas emissions from urban transport by up to 80% from 2010 to 2040”

“all four cities can achieve notable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions up to below 0.4t CO2/cap if city infrastructures are adapted for pedestrians, cyclists and efficient public transit”

 “accommodating for car-dependent commuters..can only be achieved by rail-transit oriented development, careful densification, prohibition of green-field development of retailers, and safe infrastructure for cyclists and e-bikes for intermediate distances.”

 “A global 30 km/hr street limit is particularly effective to reduce the health effects of noise along main arteries in inner cities.” “A global 30 km hô€€€1 street limit is particularly effective to reduce the health effects of noise along main arteries in inner cities.”

 “A congestion charge can be implemented in the most progressive scenario. High quality NMT [non-motorized transport] and PT [public transport] infrastructure is precondition for a congestion charge , as they offer viable alternatives for car drivers.”

 “All cities offer significant potential to increase parking fees to decrease inner city cruising and induce some modal shift.”

 “Densification and land-use measures are most effective where population growth is highest,”

 “a combination of policy packages, in addition to EU fuel standards, can reduce GHG emission by around 75% per capita from 2010 to 2040.”

“we combined land-use policies with a congestion charge in the most ambitious scenario. We obtain values of 10–20% reduction in vehicle km travelled in these scenarios, and in the case of Malm¨o around 40%”

“there is not a single optimal policy but rather a mixture of policy packages, which act synergistically”
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