Integrating carbon management into the development strategies of urbanizing regions in Asia: implications of urban function, form, and role uri icon

abstract

  • The way urbanization unfolds over the next few decades in the developing countries of Asia will have profound implications for sustainability. One of the more important opportunities is to guide urbanization along pathways that begin to uncouple these gains in well-being from rising levels of energy use. Increasing energy use for transport, construction, climate control in houses and offices, and industrial processes is often accompanied by increasing levels of atmospheric emissions that impact human health, ecosystem functions, and the climate system. Agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry alter carbon stocks and fluxes as carbon dioxide, methane, and black carbon. In this article we explore how carbon management could be integrated into the development strategies of cities and urbanizing regions. In particular, we explore how changes in urban form, functions, and roles might alter the timing, aggregation, spatial distribution, and composition of carbon emissions. Our emphasis is on identifying system linkages and points of leverage. The study draws primarily on emission inventories and regional development histories carried out in the regions around the cities of Manila, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New Delhi, and Chiang Mai. We find that how urban functions, such as mobility, shelter, and food, are provided has major implications for carbon emissions, and that each function is influenced by urban form and role in distinct ways. Our case studies highlight the need for major 'U-turns' in urban policy

publication date

  • 2007