Retail sprawl and CO2 emissions: Retail centres in Irish cities

The concept of sustainable retail development implies that retail centres should serve their communities economically and socially, while not degrading local environments. However, existing literature identifies that retail centres often create negative externalities, impacting the sustainable development of both the core and peripheries of city regions. International evidence also shows that retail sprawl and transport emissions have been exacerbated by existing planning architecture, notably retail parks. This has resulted in commercial centres shifting from high streets to car-dependent, suburban retail centres, worsening congestion levels and environmental degradation.This paper examines how location-effects influence transport-related emissions and travel mode choice when shopping in Ireland's five major administrative city regions. This paper adapts 2016 Census commuting data, and utilises retail and residential location data, to estimate hypothetical travel-related emissions within a multi modal transportation network incorporating cars, buses, cycling, and walking. This analysis is performed at the Small Area level for Ireland's five major cities and their surrounding commuter belts.The results show that retail centres generating the most travel-related emissions tend to be found outside city cores, in the fringe areas of built-up city environments, and that these retail centres are generally only accessible to car users. This supports theories suggesting that accessibility-centred development is the best option to combat the ill effects of sprawl, and that car dependency worsens the environmental degradation associated with sprawling developments. Above all, this study highlights the excessive environmental degradation caused by car dependent retail environments and offers direction for future policymaking.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01852043
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 21 2022 11:30AM