Intelligent Planning Can Offset Much of Projected Energy Demand Increases

by Dan McCabe

Urban areas account for the majority of global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, which is of growing concern as their populations are projected to double within the next 35 years. In order to inform urban planning efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Creutzig et al. (2015) studied how a wide array of variables influence the energy consumption of cities across the globe. The authors considered detailed data provided by the World Bank (WB), the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) for 274 different-sized cities from 60 different countries. A correlation analysis was performed to determine how significant an impact each variable—such as gasoline price, population density, and gross domestic product (GDP)—appeared to have on citywide energy consumption. The dependent variable for this analysis depended on the data set from which information was obtained: per capita energy use for the GEA data, per capita transportation energy use for the UITP data, and per capita greenhouse gas emissions for the WB data. A standard linear regression model was used to determine the significance of each independent variable. Continue reading