Urban form, commuting patterns and CO2 emissions: What differences between the municipality’s residents and its jobs?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour, place - europe, place - urban, technology - emissions, land use - urban density


Urban form, Commuting, CO2 emissions


This article investigates the links between urban form and commuting patterns, and the CO2 emissions associated with them, in the municipalities that comprise the New Town of Marne-la-Vallée (NTMV) located in the Paris Region. The paper distinguishes between the commutes performed by residents and those generated by the jobs located in a municipality. The contribution of the paper is twofold. Firstly, it shows that the CO2 emissions of commutes differ greatly depending on whether one considers residents or jobs: hence focusing on the travel behaviour of residents can lead to significant errors in the assessment of the CO2 emissions generated by a municipality, and therefore its environmental sustainability. Secondly, the paper explores the relationship between commuting trips and several indicators of urban form: density, compactness, jobs-to-residents ratio, accessibility to public transport and distance from Paris. We highlight that high jobs-to-residents ratios tend to increase the proportion of jobs held by residents. Density and compactness are associated with more sustainable travel behaviour among residents, but not non-residents. Finally, the shape of the public transport system, which mainly connects the municipalities of the NTMV with Paris, tends to decrease the proportion of jobs held by residents, especially in the municipalities that are close to Paris, and does not allow non-residents, most of whom do not travel from Paris, to use public transport.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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