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Transport energy emissions in Australian cities: Technological and land use options

Kenworthy, Jeffrey Raymond (1979) Transport energy emissions in Australian cities: Technological and land use options. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The problems of transport energy use and emissions have been examined using an overview approach involving basic and multi-disciplinary research, consistent with the emerging discipline of environmental science. Facets of both problems and the inextricable link between them have been explained.

An extensive literature review of the technological and land use options available for making contributions to the solution of both problems is presented. A wide range of criteria have been used in assessing the technological possibilities which reveal the complexity of planning for technological change. The potential for easy technological solutions when viewed in this total perspective is not apparent.

The easy solutions tend to have the least potential for providing energy and emissions benefits; for example electronic ignitions were tested and the results were consistent with this hypothesis. The harder solutions tend to have other more fundamental implications which tend to mitigate against their use.

Land use options were reviewed and they suggested considerable potential for improving energy and emissions through density, centrality and traffic restraint. To test this potential and to provide an overview of the their transport energy use, motor vehicle emissions and land use.

The study showed that:

1) The cities with highest train usage have the highest per capita public transport usage and electric rail systems are the most energy efficient mode in Australian cities.

2) There is a significant difference between Australian cities. Perth and Adelaide are at one extreme with high energy (and emissions) per capita, Brisbane and Sydney are at the other extreme and Melbourne is intermediate.

3) These variations were explained by land use characteristics which correlated significantly with the transport patterns and hence suggested a potential to pursue energy conservation and air pollution abatement through land use.

4) The differences between Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney were accounted for by density, centralisation and traffic restraint factors, whilst the anomalous patterns in Brisbane appeared to correlate most with traffic restraint factors.

5) Because traffic restraint seems so important in lowering private vehicle use and giving a competitive edge to public transport it appears that traffic engineering approaches designed to save energy and lower emissions by freeing traffic would be self-defeating.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental and Life Sciences
United Nations SDGs: Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Supervisor(s): Newman, Peter
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