Urban Transportation, Land Use, Air Quality, and Health

Karolin Kokaz and Peter P. Rogers. 2002. “Urban transportation planning for air quality management: Case study of Delhi, India, and role of social and economic costs in welfare maximization of mobility choice.” Transportation Research Record, 1817, Pp. 42-49. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Recent economic expansion and population growth in developing countries have had a big impact on the development of large cities like Delhi, India. Accompanied by Delhi's rapid spatial growth over the last 25 years, urban sprawl has contributed to increased travel. The vehicle fleet projected at current growth rates will result in more than 13 million vehicles in Delhi in 2020. Planning and managing such a rapidly growing transport sector will be a challenge. Choices made now will have effects lasting well into the middle of the century. With such rapid transport growth rates, automobile emissions have become the fastest increasing source of urban air pollution. In India, most urban areas, including Delhi, already have major air pollution problems that could be greatly exacerbated if growth of the transport sector is managed unwisely. The transport plans designed to meet such large increases in travel demand will have to emphasize the movement of people, not vehicles, for a sustainable transportation system. Therefore, a mathematical model was developed to estimate the optimal transportation mix to meet this projected passenger-km demand while satisfying environmental goals, reducing congestion levels, and improving system and fuel efficiencies by exploiting a variety of policy options at the minimum overall cost or maximum welfare from transport. The results suggest that buses will continue to satisfy most passenger transport in the coming decades, so planning done in accordance with improving bus operations is crucial.
Rong Xie, Clive E. Sabel, Xi Lu, Weimo Zhu, Haidong Kan, Chris P. Nielsen, and Haikun Wang. 2016. “Long-term trend and spatial pattern of PM2.5-induced premature mortality in China.” Environment International, 97, Pp. 180-186. Publisher's VersionAbstract

With rapid economic growth, China has witnessed increasingly frequent and severe haze and smog episodes over the past decade, posing serious health impacts to the Chinese population, especially those in densely populated city clusters. Quantification of the spatial and temporal variation of health impacts attributable to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has important implications for China's policies on air pollution control. In this study, we evaluated the spatial distribution of premature deaths in China between 2000 and 2010 attributable to ambient PM2.5 in accord with the Global Burden of Disease based on a high resolution population density map of China, satellite retrieved PM2.5 concentrations, and provincial health data. Our results suggest that China's anthropogenic ambient PM2.5 led to 1,255,400 premature deaths in 2010, 42% higher than the level in 2000. Besides increased PM2.5 concentration, rapid urbanization has attracted large population migration into the more developed eastern coastal urban areas, intensifying the overall health impact. In addition, our analysis implies that health burdens were exacerbated in some developing inner provinces with high population density (e.g. Henan, Anhui, Sichuan) because of the relocation of more polluting and resource-intensive industries into these regions. In order to avoid such national level environmental inequities, China's regulations on PM2.5 should not be loosened in inner provinces. Furthermore policies should create incentive mechanisms that can promote transfer of advanced production and emissions control technologies from the coastal regions to the interior regions.

Chenghe Guan. 2019. “Spatial distribution of high-rise buildings and its relationship to public transit development in Shanghai.” Transport Policy, 81, September, Pp. 371-380. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The relationship between dense urban development, often represented by high-rise buildings, and its location vis-à-vis metro stations reflects the connection between transportation infrastructure and land use intensity. Existing literature on high-rise buildings has focused either on developed countries or on cities where urban and public transit developments have occurred in an uncoordinated manner. This paper examines the following questions: What is the spatial proximity and spatial correlation between high-rise buildings and metro stations in different stages of development in various parts of the city? What were some of the factors that resulted in the observed patterns? The results suggest that buildings constructed after 2000 and buildings within the urban core/Shanghai Proper districts had a greater spatial proximity to the metro stations. However, the spatial correlation, measured by the number of high-rise buildings within a 500-meter buffer from the nearest metro stations and the time-distance to these stations, is stronger in the outer districts than in the urban core. These differences can be accounted for by Shanghai’s stages of urban development, the existence of metro infrastructure when high-rise development was undertaken, and the city’s land use policies. This case study sheds light on the relationship between high-density developments and metro systems in other large cities in China and other developing countries where rapid urban development coincides with the establishment of a comprehensive public transit system.

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