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The spatial dimension of urban greenhouse gas emissions: analyzing the influence of spatial structures and LULC patterns in European cities
Citation key baur2015a
Author Baur, A. H. and Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B.
Year 2015
DOI 10.1007/s10980-015-0169-5
Journal Landscape Ecology
Publisher Springer
Abstract Abstract Context Integrative mitigation and adaptation strategies are needed to counter climate change. Indicators can be valuable that focus on the specific relevance of cities’ socioeconomic and spatial properties. While previous analyses have identified socioeconomic influences on urban greenhouse gas emissions, information about the role of spatial urban structures and land use and land cover patterns is sparse. Objective This study advances the use of spatial metrics for analyzing the linkages between the spatial properties of a city and its greenhouse gas emissions. Methods The relationship between nine types of spatial structure, four land use and land cover-based indicators, and the emissions of 52 European cities is investigated by spatially and statistically analyzing high resolution data from European Union’s ‘‘Urban Atlas’’. Results Spatial determinants of urban greenhouse gas emissions are identified, indicating a strong connection between urban sprawl and increasing emissions. In particular, high amounts of sparsity in the urban fabric within large distances to the city center relate to increased per capita emissions. Thus, a 10 % reduction of very low density urban fabrics is correlated with 9 % fewer emissions per capita. In contrast, high amounts of fragmented, dense urban patches relate with lower emissions. Conclusions This study links urban spatial properties and land use and land cover compositions to greenhouse gas emissions and advances the understanding of urban sprawl. Future research needs to combine knowledge about socioeconomic drivers with information about the identified spatial influences of urban greenhouse gas emissions to help cities realize their climate change mitigation potential.
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