Is there an urban environmental Kuznets curve due to urban mobility ?

The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) postulates an inverted U-shaped relationship between income and polluting emissions. This article aims at testing the Urban EKC (UEKC) hypothesis. First, we use polluting emissions per capita instead of pollutants concentrations so as to control for the influence of urban size. Second, we only take in account pollutants due to a unique source, which is daily mobility. This makes the explanation of the income-polluting emissions relation more consistent, as our comments are based on a specific, well constituted literature about factors of daily mobility. We expose the theoretical mechanisms by which the UEKC due to daily mobility could be validated. The impact of income on polluting emissions is threefold: behavioural, with a direct effect and an indirect one; technical (the environmental efficiency of the vehicles increases); political (planning authorities wish to evolve towards a "sustainable mobility"). The empirical part of the paper is a test of the UEKC. First, we show that the UEKC hypothesis is not robust: the link between individual wealth and polluting emissions is very weak. In the second stage, we test separate thematic models to get a more general explanation of the environmental performance of urban transport systems. We show that urban form, the level of infrastructure supply, and relative cost for different transport modes, play a crucial role in determining environmental performance of cities.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 20p
  • Monograph Title: Urban Research Symposium 2009: cities and climate change: responding to an urgent agenda, Marseille, France, June 28-30, 2009

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01384567
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2012 4:39PM