The Externalities of Urban Mobility: A Critical Analysis.

Categories: Transport

2.2 Urban mobility and its externalitiesMobility is the backbone of economic and social activities such as travel, production or energy supply. Each movement has a place of origin, a possible set of stopping places, a destination and a nature associated with physical attributes. Transport systems consisting of infrastructures, modes and stations are key components of individuals and institutions socio-economic lives that are often invisible to individuals or consumers. Urban mobility, specifically, road transport, has several major environmental externalities. First, greenhouse gas emissions and their effect from motorized private and public transportation are suffered globally, thus affecting not only a country but the entire planet.

Second, other air pollutants and noise pollution from urban road transportation affect both the users of the roads and the people who are living nearby. Moreover, the congestion costs that consist of (time delays extra fuel consumption) are borne primarily by drivers and sometimes cause accidents and structural damage. Urban transportation generates other effects on environment as well, including pollution to water, and visual intrusion and it could be a barrier to pedestrians and cyclists.

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Moreover, in some developing countries, parking is underpriced or even not-priced, the time spent searching for parking and excessive use of land for parking would contribute more to the urban heat island effect, and problems of drainage can be significant in urban areas REF _Ref3293980 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[1]. Thus, transport system sustainability has become a key issue in future mobility vision.2.2.1 The link between transport and environmentTo understand the relationship between the transport and environment we have to understand the causes, the activities, the outputs and the results of a transport system ( REF _Ref6996575 h Figure 3).

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Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4: Environmental dimensions of transportation (source REF _Ref3385776 r h Ћ[4] )We can see above that two main factors are the causes of land use and economics; the more development there is, the more land use will cover the supply of transport. This will generate different activities such as infrastructure construction, travel and other related services. Emissions (carbon dioxide and others) will be the main outputs of these activities, which will lead the population to these exposers and end up with various health problems and effects.2.3 Environmental impactsFor better understanding of the impact pathways, below are some of the direct and indirect environmental impacts of the transportation:2.3.1 Air pollutionTransportation has a great impact on air quality, particularly in urban areas. The air quality could be affected and polluted by all the transport sector's physical emissions. Air pollution which relates to human health (including reduction of human oxygen level, respiratory problem and eye irritation), damage of plants and buildings, includes carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), particulate matter (PM), sulphur oxide (SO2), organic compounds, benzene, PAH's and other pollutants REF _Ref5515991 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[43].Nitrogen dioxide (NOx) is an irritating gas that causes airway inflammation at high concentrations REF _Ref5513841 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[42]. It comes primarily from sources of power generation and traffic and it is an important component of ozone and particulate matter. The amount of NOx is significantly high in areas with high motorized traffic such as urban areas. NOx is formed mainly during combustion; the NOx would form the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen gasses in the air. Studies have shown that it can increase bronchitis and asthma symptoms and lead to respiratory infections and decreased lung function and growth REF _Ref3398987 n h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[7]. Emissions from 'Road transport' accounts for around 36.7% of the current NOx emissions in the EEA ( REF _Ref3394490 h * MERGEFORMAT Figure 4). In addition, 40% of all CO2 emissions are from urban road transport and up to 70% of other transport pollutants REF _Ref3729552 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[27].Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 5: Emissions of the main air pollutants in the EEA (source REF _Ref6997126 r h Ћ[89])Fine particular matter (PM2.5) are tiny particles in the air that cause hazy vision and visibility reduction. They are small but large in effect, which causes problems with health and vision, these particles are nearly 2,5 microns or less in width and about 250,000 microns in every inch of air. REF _Ref5516145 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[44]. Mainly comes from motorized fuel cars during the stage of combustion of the fuel in the engine. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 92% of the world population lives in areas where the amounts of PM2.5 are exceeding their limits REF _Ref5515991 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[43]. ( REF _Ref5516686 h * MERGEFORMAT Figure 5) Shows the concertation of PM2.5 around the world and we can notice that in less developing countries the concentration of PM2.5 are higher.Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 6: PM2.5 concentration around the world (source REF _Ref5515991 r h Ћ[43])The problem of air pollution is serious, the pollution slips unnoticed past our body defenses and assaults our lungs heart and brain. Its deadliest weapons are invisible poisonous particles, that can be as small as a molecule, with every breath they break through our lungs protective barriers, there they trigger inflammation as our system tries desperately to fight back but these tiny intruders penetrate those defenses lodging toxic compounds even deeper. Sowing the seeds of cancer, they slide straight into our bloodstream sabotaging our entire body, they inflame and constrict our blood vessels increasing blood pressure until one day causing a stroke. That is why air pollution is responsible for the death of an estimated number of 7 million people worldwide REF _Ref3398987 n h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[7].It is observed that less developed countries have less life expectancies at birth and that due to many reasons. Among these reasons are the air quality, the below ( REF _Ref5516923 h Figure 6) is a map showing the years of life expectancy lost in countries around the world due to given current levels of PM2.5. The use of diesel fueled cars, lack of public transport and car ownership among poor maintenance causes higher level of PM2.5. We can also observe from the below map that the most populated countries are losing the most in the life expectancy loss chart. This means a child born today will die on average 20 months earlier than what would be expected in these countries without air pollution. The decrease in life expectancy due to air pollution is also nearly as much as the use of tobacco REF _Ref5515991 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[43]. These are some of many alarming factors that could be produced from the air quality pollution from the transportation.Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 7: Life expectancy loss due to levels of PM2.5 exposure (source REF _Ref5515991 r h Ћ[43])2.3.2 Water pollutionWhile air pollution is the transportation's dominant and most visible environmental impact, water pollution is also a major issue with regard to transportation sector pollution. Water pollution includes the release of toxic compounds by suspended solids, changes in drainage systems due to urbanization and the construction of unplanned transport infrastructure, resulting in ecosystem damage and water supply contamination. Some evidences shows that pollutants from motor vehicles or transportation infrastructures that cause building, oil and grease deposits (leaks or unsuccessfully discarded used oil), heavy metals (car exhaust, worn tires and engine parts, brake pads and others) contribute significantly to groundwater pollution REF _Ref3402532 n h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[8].The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), defined the direct effects of transportation into water quality in four ways REF _Ref6041999 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[45]:Vehicles and their pollutants are deposited on roads and other impervious surfaces, such as vehicle exhaust, oil and dicing chemicals.Road construction and maintenance, including water-resistant surfaces, can have an impact on water quality due to faster runoff rates, lower groundwater recharge rates and increased erosion.Underground storage of petroleum can sometimes flow into the earth's ground water. In the marine sector, the oil spills affect the water quality of inland waterways and coastal areas.When it comes to urban areas, the average daily traffic is considerably higher than other areas which results in higher pollutant levels of water throughout using the roads.Diesel or gas vehicles would cause the contaminants such as oil, antifreeze, grease combustion of fuels, tyre wear, vehicle mechanical parts and braking system, vehicle bodywork corrosion and metals being deposited on the surface of the roadway, streets and driveways from vehicle exhaust ( REF _Ref6043940 h Figure 7) . During a stormy rainy day, these deposits would be washed out and run into water bodies leaving the water surfaces contaminated REF _Ref6041999 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[45].Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 8: Sources of water contamination (Source REF _Ref6043889 r h Ћ[46])2.3.3 Noise pollutionMany studies address transportation environmental issues such as air and water pollution. Although the EU's external noise costs alone amount to 0.35% of its GDP, this amounts to nearly ‚40 billion per year REF _Ref3794746 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[33]. Consequently, noise pollution is also a significant impact.Noise pollution in urban areas is mainly caused by traffic, according to some studies, passenger cars and heavy goods vehicles account for around 90% of noise-related costs REF _Ref6045182 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[47]. Furthermore, industry and construction are some of the things that cause noise pollution, leading to direct and indirect health effects. In fact, some would underestimate the health effects of noise pollution, although some studies have shown that thousands of lives are lost every year due to noise pollution from urban mobility REF _Ref3794925 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[34]. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that noise pollution is particularly important since populations exposed to long and high levels of noise may exhibit stress reactions which will lead to changes in the sleep stage, and clinical symptoms such as hypertension. The below ( REF _Ref7612825 h Figure 8) Shows how noise pollution can develop to cause more health problems, which can lead to cases of mortality.Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 9: WHO pyramid of health effects of noise (Source REF _Ref3795450 r h Ћ[35])2.3.4 BiodiversityBuilding transport infrastructure such as roads, bridges or other facilities could change ecological conditions, affect nature, and endanger species of wildlife. To build these facilities, the demand for building materials increases, leading to more deforestation REF _Ref3385776 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[4]. In addition, some restrictions have been made for the growth of some species of plans to maintain road slopes because it could affect the road while others have been planted differently from the original growth in the areas. Most importantly, roads affect and threaten wildlife and habitat, as road building will open land use to new development and urbanization REF _Ref3441698 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[9].Eventually all the above-mentioned direct and indirect environmental impacts of urban transport would result in climate change REF _Ref3443734 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[11]. Thus, ( REF _Ref6999387 h Figure 9) shows an example on how annual average temperatures in the 48 states in the United States of America have changed since the beginning of 20th century. This would heavily affect the urban population globally and locally and would result in changes in wildlife. This is one of the factors that motivates me to investigate the causes of the problem and try to find suitable action plan with solution to combat future complications.Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 10: Temperatures changes in 48 States in the US, 1901"2015 (source REF _Ref3445183 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[13])2.4 Sustainable urban mobility2.4.1 A new approachTo change the traditional way of planning of transportation, we need to approach our planning in a more environmentally-friendly way. With the continuous increase of population, it is needed to have a sustainable way of planning this includes to think differently to urban mobility ( REF _Ref3457826 h * MERGEFORMAT Table 1). This table will explain how the traditional way of planning should be changed for a sustainable way of planning instead. In the next chapter, more explanation to go beyond the traditional approach to go toward a more sustainable one instead. Especially in developing cities such as Amman. Traditional way of planning is dominant, and the lack of a new approach will result in making the problems more complicated in the future. In this research, the evaluation methodologies will be based on public transport status, the implementation of non-motorized transport and the adoption of environmental management system (EMS) for transport organization with a mention for transport-environmental taxes. All in which, will combine all of these methodologies to obtain a customized holistic environmental management action plan suitable to be applied in Amman. Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 1: planning urban mobility (Source REF _Ref3457786 r h * MERGEFORMAT Ћ[16])

Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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