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Does size matter? Scaling of CO2 emissions and US urban areas.

Fragkias M, Lobo J, Strumsky D, Seto KC - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Here we examine the relationship between city size and CO2 emissions for U.S. metropolitan areas using a production accounting allocation of emissions.We find that for the time period of 1999-2008, CO2 emissions scale proportionally with urban population size.Contrary to theoretical expectations, larger cities are not more emissions efficient than smaller ones.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Economics, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, USA. michailfragkias@boisestate.edu

ABSTRACT
Urban areas consume more than 66% of the world's energy and generate more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With the world's population expected to reach 10 billion by 2100, nearly 90% of whom will live in urban areas, a critical question for planetary sustainability is how the size of cities affects energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Are larger cities more energy and emissions efficient than smaller ones? Do larger cities exhibit gains from economies of scale with regard to emissions? Here we examine the relationship between city size and CO2 emissions for U.S. metropolitan areas using a production accounting allocation of emissions. We find that for the time period of 1999-2008, CO2 emissions scale proportionally with urban population size. Contrary to theoretical expectations, larger cities are not more emissions efficient than smaller ones.

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Ranking of residuals from the scaling regression for year 2008 (MSA observations in red; micropolitan area observations in blue).
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pone-0064727-g002: Ranking of residuals from the scaling regression for year 2008 (MSA observations in red; micropolitan area observations in blue).

Mentions: Figure 2 plots the residuals from the full-sample cross-sectional regression for year 2008. Residuals range from a minimum value of −1.4 to a highest value of 3.9 but the vast majority range between [−1, 1]. Micropolitan areas produce the highest positive residuals and the highest negative residuals in our analysis, compared to MSAs.


Does size matter? Scaling of CO2 emissions and US urban areas.

Fragkias M, Lobo J, Strumsky D, Seto KC - PLoS ONE (2013)

Ranking of residuals from the scaling regression for year 2008 (MSA observations in red; micropolitan area observations in blue).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672169&req=5

pone-0064727-g002: Ranking of residuals from the scaling regression for year 2008 (MSA observations in red; micropolitan area observations in blue).
Mentions: Figure 2 plots the residuals from the full-sample cross-sectional regression for year 2008. Residuals range from a minimum value of −1.4 to a highest value of 3.9 but the vast majority range between [−1, 1]. Micropolitan areas produce the highest positive residuals and the highest negative residuals in our analysis, compared to MSAs.

Bottom Line: Here we examine the relationship between city size and CO2 emissions for U.S. metropolitan areas using a production accounting allocation of emissions.We find that for the time period of 1999-2008, CO2 emissions scale proportionally with urban population size.Contrary to theoretical expectations, larger cities are not more emissions efficient than smaller ones.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Economics, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, USA. michailfragkias@boisestate.edu

ABSTRACT
Urban areas consume more than 66% of the world's energy and generate more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With the world's population expected to reach 10 billion by 2100, nearly 90% of whom will live in urban areas, a critical question for planetary sustainability is how the size of cities affects energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Are larger cities more energy and emissions efficient than smaller ones? Do larger cities exhibit gains from economies of scale with regard to emissions? Here we examine the relationship between city size and CO2 emissions for U.S. metropolitan areas using a production accounting allocation of emissions. We find that for the time period of 1999-2008, CO2 emissions scale proportionally with urban population size. Contrary to theoretical expectations, larger cities are not more emissions efficient than smaller ones.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus