Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
Glaeser E, Kolko J, Saiz A (2001) Consumer city. Journal of economic geography, 1, pp
Cheshire P, Magrini S (2006) Population growth in European city: weather matters - but
only nationally. Regional Studies, 40, pp 23-37
Shapiro JM (2006) Smart cities: quality - of - life, productivity and the growth effects of
human capital. Review of Economics and Statistics, 88, pp 324-335
Sustainable Mobility, Impacts, Quality of Life:
an Economic Perspective
Luca Cetara
Economic reasoning can go far beyond its intuitive reach and help address
the relationships between mobility and environmental policies, human
development or quality of life.
A first group of economic readings of sustainable mobility are ground-
ed on the concept of “costs,” assuming that they can be discounted over
time and substitution is possible between the costs borne in different peri-
ods. The possibility of covering the present and future external costs of
mobility would assure sustainability [1]. Nevertheless, according to these
• The sustainability of mobility systems would depend on the estimation
of future costs, which are by nature imperfect and not always possible.
• The perceived unsustainability of actual situations (which meet the
requirements of the definitions) would be ignored.
• It would be difficult to suggest any active policy option, due to the focus
on costs.
Thus, sustainability can hardly be identified looking only at costs. Other
aspects have to be considered in a system, where sustainability results from
a balance between layers. Analytically, this corresponds to defining a set of
indicators , where all the layers of the system are represented [2].
A second group of economic readings highlights the economic relation-
ship between mobility and regional economic growth: efficient mobility
systems produce economic benefits that result in positive effects such as
better access to markets and employment, increased productivity of busi-
nesses due to lower transport costs, and additional investment [3-6]; social
benefits induced by transport planning policies (reduced commuting time
lowering private defensive expenditures 7 and improving quality of life
[2]); accessibility and affordability of services affecting people's right to
mobility ; availability of modal choice, affecting the quality of life of citi-
7 Defensive expenditures are “ not directly sources of utility themselves but [...] regrettably neces-
sary inputs to activities that may yield utility ” [8]. They “ are required to maintain consumption
levels or the functioning of society ” [2]: e.g., expenditure on prisons and for commuting to work.
Search WWH ::

Custom Search