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Sustainable Cities: Transport, Energy, and Urban Form

D Banister, S Watson and C Wood

Environment and Planning B, 1997, vol. 24, issue 1, 125-143

Abstract: 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.

Date: 1997
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