1887

OECD Environment Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies on environmental issues prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal authors are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language English or French with a summary in the other if available.

English

Air Pollution and Urban Structure Linkages

Evidence from European Cities

This paper investigates the relationship between local air pollution and urban structure with an emphasis on urban fragmentation. Using a unique dataset of 249 Large Urban Zones (LUZ) across Europe, a Bayesian Model Averaging selection method is employed to empirically identify the determinants of within-LUZ concentration of three air pollutants: NO2, PM10 and SO2 for the year 2006. Several indices of land use are considered among possible determinants. These are supplemented by a dataset on various economic, demographic and meteorological variables that can explain the variation of air pollution. The results of this econometric analysis support the hypothesis that urban structure has significant effects on pollution concentration. In particular, they suggest that fragmented urban areas experience higher concentrations of NO2 and PM10 and that densely populated urban areas suffer from higher SO2 concentration. The findings suggest that policies favouring continuous urban areas may result in environmental improvements.

English

Keywords: fragmentation, Bayesian model averaging, air pollution, urban sprawl
JEL: Q52: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects; Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy; R52: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Regional Government Analysis / Regional Government Analysis: Land Use and Other Regulations
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