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Review of Selected Journal Papers and Online Material - Essay Example

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Review of Journals and Articles on Environmental impact of Compact Cities Name: Course: Instructor: Institutional Affiliation: Date: Compact cities The article “Are compact cities environmentally friendly?” explores the impact of compact cities on various elements of the environment…
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Download file to see previous pages Statisctics across the globe indicate an increase in emissions in the European Union between the years 1990-2006. The authors argue that though efforts have been made in increasing fuel efficiency, the emissions from the transport sector still pose a challenge. The article presents literature evidence on the positive impact of compact cities in mitigating emissions. The main argument of the article is that compact cities reduce the overall commuting length. The authors raise an argument concerning suitable policies that would make the positive effect last. They argue that though compacting cities reduce environmental pollution from the transport sector perspective, it may have a counter effect. People and firms may need to relocate due to the effect on wages and household rents. The authors of the article seek to establish the best policy tradeoff that would arrive at an appropriate population density that allows the environmental impact skew to the beneficial side (Gaigne, Riou, Thisse, 2012, p. 1425). Stone, Hess and Frumkin (2010, p. 1425) do not support the opinion presented by Gaigne et al. In their article, they argue that the city form has a profound effect on the climate. Compact cities can encourage climate related fatalities. They raise the issue of Extreme Heat Events, a phenomenon that involves the rise of temperatures in the cities by a magnitude of up to 100C compared to surrounding countryside. Compact cities call for building configurations that aid in absorbing and trapping heat. Low-density land use and sprawling over expansive areas have a spillover effect due to the increasing distance. This is in agreement with Gaigne et al. Walters and Ewing (2009, p. 196) observed that vehicle and fuel technology were not sufficient in cutting the carbon dioxide emissions. Becky and Chow (2011, p. 552) also observed that reducing the vehicle miles could have a positive impact on reducing emissions. The two articles support the role compact cities would have on reducing use of vehicles. Congestion in compact cities discourages people from using their own means of transport, thus cutting on the emissions. Congestion in the compact cities is a limiting factor. In addition to traffic congestion and air pollution, urban transport affects the climate (Creutzig & He, 2009, p. 120). Williams, Joynt and Hopkins (2010, p. 105) raise a concern that urban areas under consideration of compacting are not well adapted to deal with anticipated changes. Boussauw, Neutens and Witlox (2012, p. 687) argue that compact cities are beneficial in reducing commuter distance for employees and residents. This has a corresponding positive effect on reducing emissions. This view corresponds to Hamin and Gurran (2009, p. 238). They, however, recognize loopholes for possible policy conflicts arising from local contributions of such mitigation to climate change. Jensen, Christensen, & Gram-Hanssen, (2011, p.1) argue that the benefits that can be accrued from a compact city setting are ambiguous. This is in agreement with Gaigne et al who view the benefits as a tradeoff. In another article, Nygard, Cao, Csordas, Larssen, Liu, Strand and Zhang (2012, p. 438) argue that Chinese cities have succeeded in bringing down emissions. This accrues from the congestion that discourages people from driving. Such a model can be replicated to other cities of the world. Mueller and Steiner (2011, p. 94) emphasize the need to exercise equity in formulation of policies for compact cities. They argue that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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