- « The Carbon Carprint of Suburbanization, New Evidence from French Cities » , with Miren Lafourcade and Camille de Thé, CEPR DP 13086, 2018
This paper investigates the impact of urban form on households’ fuel consumption and car emissions in France. We analyze more particularly three features of cities commonly referred to as the ‘3 D’s’ (Cervero & Kockelman 1997): Density, Design and Diversity. Individual data allow us to identify the effects of urban form and the spatial sorting of households on emissions. We also use instrumental variables to control for other endogeneity issues. Our results suggest that doubling residential Density would result in an annual saving of approximately two tanks per household, that is approximately 10% of the average yearly fuel consumption of a household in France. Larger gains would result from better urban Design (job-housing centralization, improved rail/bus routes to central business districts, reduced pressure on road construction and a less fragmented built environment in urban areas) while improved Diversity (the concentration of various local amenities such as shops and public facilities) can further help lower fuel consumption. Another important finding is that the relationship between the metropolitan population and car emissions per household is bell-shaped in France, contrary to the United States, suggesting that small cities do compensate for their lack of Density or Diversity by environmentally-friendly Design.
Outreach on this research
« Une ville fractale pour consommer moins de carburant » , 2017, A City Maker Blog
« Spatial planning as a response to the climate crisis? Urban forms and sizes, and the carbon ‘carprint’ of households in France » , october 2019, PSE Economics for Everyone
- « Optimal Spatial Policies with Local Public Goods and Unobserved Location Preferences » with Nicolas Jannin, updated May 2020, mimeo
- « A Streetcar Named OpportunityCan Light Rail Transit Foster Social Integration ? » with Antton Haramboure, updated September 2020, mimeo
By integrating social equity concerns and deviating from a traditionally more utilitarian designof transport networks, can cities reduce spatial inequalities ? This paper relies on an extensivemulti-city Light Rail Transit (LRT) building program of the last two decades in France as well as anovel geocoded individual unemployed database to assess the effects of opening of a new transportoption on individual unemployment trajectories and local social mixity. We find no evidence of anyimprovement in individual unemployment trajectories of the residents of the treated neighborhoodsaround the arrival of LRT. In the medium term we find effects on the housing market consistent withcapitalization of accessibility gains as well as a change in income composition of renters althoughgentrification is limited by the large share of social housings
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