The sustainability of the informal city: An urban metabolism approach
Authors: Louise Guibrunet, Vanesa Castán Broto
Abstract: This presentation explores urban sustainability by focusing on the informal city. Cities are responsible for 75% of the global resource consumption and urbanisation is a defining feature of our society. In many world cities urbanisation takes place in the context of informality; as a result infrastructure construction and environmental policies have to understand informal practices and their role in shaping urban sustainability. The informal economy in particular plays a crucial role in managing urban infrastructure and delivering urban services (such as waste management or transport). We propose to analyse the contribution of the informal city to urban sustainability through the lens of urban metabolism (the study of flows of resources and materials through the city). We present an urban metabolism framework that allows for an in-depth analysis of urban informal practices and their contribution to sustainability.
Multilevel governance featuring local and regional carbon markets - Insights from theory and the cases of Tokyo and the US Northeast
Authors: Sven Rudolph
Abstract: Despite of some progress, global climate policy still appears largely deadlocked. The same is true for ambitious federal level carbon pricing in major emitting countries such as Japan and the US. So do bottom-up local and regional carbon markets represent a promising sup-plement to global and national level market-based climate policy? This questions is dis-cussed in the paper by, first, reviewing the literature on multilevel governance with a special focus on environmental federalism. Second, the paper evaluates the economic and environ-mental performance of Tokyo’s and the US Northeast’s carbon markets and tests the hy-potheses of the environmental federalism debate. It is mainly argued that sub-national car-bon pricing is a valuable contribution to climate policy. In sum, the paper gives an overview of the environmental federalism debate and provides respective empirical evidence from two major sub-national carbon markets in countries, where federal level carbon pricing has failed.
Community scale greenhouse gas accounting
Authors: Susan Carstairs
Abstract: In addition to national greenhouse gas emission reporting, there has been growing interest in developing sub-national accounts. A new protocol for community scale accounting was issued in draft in 2012 through the Greenhouse Gas Protocol project and this has been used to develop an account for a rural area in the Scottish west Highlands. This work highlighted the areas where good quality data is readily available and others where more work is needed. The results showed higher than average per capita emissions and the possible reasons for this are reviewed. The protocol offers a practicable way for communities of all levels to engage in accounting for emissions as a basis for considering options for action.
Urban spatial structure and environmental emissions: a survey of the literature and some empirical evidence for Italian NUTS-3 Regions
Authors: David Burgalassi, tommaso luzzati
Abstract: This paper addresses the relationship between urban spatial structure and emissions. By surveying the most relevant literature, first we discuss the concept of spatial structure, focusing in particular on polycentricity and dispersion, and then we summarise the possible links between spatial structure and emissions. The survey provides the framework to explore the empirical evidence for Italy concerning CO2 and PMs emissions originating from private transport and house heating. Results suggest that spatial structure affects CO2 emissions from private transport and PMs from housing emissions. There is no evidence for polycentricity to reduce emissions.
Sustainable transportation: Understanding the complex rebound effects of transportation choices
Authors: Jukka Heinonen, Juudit Ottelin
Abstract: Densification is held as one key mean to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from private driving. However, the overall mitigation results are actually likely to fall short from expectations due to the rebound-effects related to changes in transportation patterns. Possessing, operating and maintaining a private vehicle requires a significant investment of money. For the majority, this investment reduces other consumption possibilities and thus the emissions caused elsewhere. This phenomenon can be called the rebound-effect of private driving. While early evidence seems to highlight the importance of this perspective, the problem is far but fully understood. We aim to provide a small step to the state-of-the-art within this issue by studying the transportation patterns in relation to other consumption choices, and by producing the greenhouse gas elasticity of private driving in different types of urban settings. This kind of understanding could significantly help in the future in designing more sustainable human settlements.