Quantification of Savings for the European Transport Sector through Energy Efficient Urban Planning

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 10, Issue 4, 1100426
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d10.0426
Hamza Abid1 , Mikkel Strunge Kany1, Brian Vad Mathiesen2, Petter Næss3, Morten Elle1, David William Maya Drysdale1
1 Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
2 Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
3 Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Oslo, Norway


The transport sector accounts for around 30 % of Europe’s final energy consumption. To meet the EU’s decarbonization goals by 2050, it is important to quantify the energy savings potential in technology, infrastructure, and planning. This study analyses the European transport sector in the context of traditional and energy-efficient urban development. The latter demonstrates a scenario where accessibility is provided through enhanced proximity to a destination rather than through increased mobility, where mobility is shifted from roads and aviation towards rail. This development is ensured by, among other things, investing heavily in urban and inter-urban transport systems and abstaining from building new freeways and airports. The results indicate that it is not only desirable but economically beneficial to shift towards an energy-efficient transport system. The development of the European transport sector in the proposed trajectory significantly reduces annual final energy demand, and the investment made in new infrastructure for rail, bikes, and walkable urban areas are paid back by the reduced cost from road transport.

Keywords: Transport scenarios, Energy-efficiency, Urban-development, Energy-savings, Urban-planning.

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