Urban Planning Strategies for Improving Public Health and Reducing Emissions: A Co‐benefits Approach

Ahmad, S. , Pachauri, S. and Creutzig, F. (2017) Urban Planning Strategies for Improving Public Health and Reducing Emissions: A Co‐benefits Approach. In: Cities and Climate Conference 2017, Potsdam, Germany, 19-21 Sept 2017, pp. 176-198. ISBN 9789490354510

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Publisher's URL: https://isocarp.org/app/uploads/2018/03/53rd_ISOCARP-OAPA_Congress_Portland_US_2017-PROCEEDINGS_V24_2018_03_09.pdf


Energy-efficient urbanization and public health pose major development challenges for India. Both issues are intensively studied. But their interaction is not well understood. Here we assess how specific urban development measures affect public health and household-related emissions, identifying synergies and trade-offs by analyzing nationally representative household surveys from 2005 and 2012. Our analysis confirms previous characterizations of the environmental-health transition, but also points to an important role of energy use and urbanization as modifiers of this transition. We find that non-motorized transport is a sweet spot for development, contributing both to reducing emissions and improving public health in cities. Urbanization and improved access to basic services reduce short-term morbidity. However, improvements in socio-economic and other built environment variables have a limited influence in stemming the significant growth in major morbidity in Indian cities. Our analysis suggests that a 10% increase in urbanization and concurrent improvement in access to modern cooking and water infrastructures could reduce traditional disease prevalence in 2.4 million people. This would result in a modest increase in electricity related emissions of 84 ktCO2e annually. Promoting energy-efficient mobility systems, for instance by a 10% increase in cycling, can however, reduce modern disease prevalence in 0.3 million people while also abating GHG emissions. These findings provide empirical evidence to validate that energy-efficient and sustainable urbanization can address both public health and climate change challenges simultaneously.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ahmad, Dr Sohail
Authors: Ahmad, S., Pachauri, S., and Creutzig, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies

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