WIT Press

Urban Transport: Analysis Of Commute Energy Use


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

855 - 865




1,249 kb


B. Osório, N. McCullen, I. Walker


Worldwide energy consumption is generally related with fossil fuels that increase CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The transport sector represents a significant part of energy demand. As its share comes mostly from petroleum products, known for their highly polluting effects, there is the need to quantify energy use by transport. This assessment supports the planning and implementation of energy consumption mitigation policies that reduce negative environmental outcomes of transport systems.

The research introduces an approach to estimate transport energy consumption obtained from available data and scaling factors. As the emphasis is put on urban transport, only commute road and rail transport are considered in the analysis. Data is stored and managed in a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) framework environment that also supports mapping the results. These maps allow identifying higher energy consumption areas by mode of transport and type of vehicle. Plotting the results also enables understanding the geographic distribution of energy demand from urban to rural regions, providing tools to perceive the relationship between urban form and energy consumption of the transport sector. Taking into account that the analysis is produced at a large scale, the obtained results offer support to planners and policy makers that seek solving transport-related problems, as pollution and high energy demand. Large scale analysis allows and enhances better planning, primarily when designing strategies for such detailed areas as urban spaces. Assessing and analysing energy consumption of the transport sector, enables deriving alternative energy layouts that present better energy efficiency, aiming for the final goal of mitigate the negative effects of urban transport systems.


energy use, planning, transport, commute, GIS