An integrated environmental indicator for urban transportation systems: description and application

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4 Citations (Scopus)


A simplified version of the ecological footprint method is proposed for assessing the environmental performances of urban transportation systems. The method, starting from the knowledge of the composition of the running vehicular fleet, is here applied to a southern Italian province. It represents a synthetic indicator of the environmental pressure exerted by the system also matching the pollutant emissions with the carrying capacity of the site. Particularly, the forested area needed to absorb the CO2 emissions of the system is compared with the total forested area of the province. The results of the case-study indicates the yearly maximum distance that each vehicle of the fleet can cover in order for their emissions to be absorbed by the surrounding forested area. Specifically, if all cars of the fleet would travel for 10,000 km/year, 97% of the forested area would be involved. Thanks to its features, this indicator can be usefully adopted for ranking different transportation options. Therefore, it could allow local administrations to environmentally hierarchize alternative plans concerning urban transportation choices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11076-11094
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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