Soutenance de thèse : Charlotte Liotta

PhD defense: Charlotte Liotta

From Local Policies to Global Impact: Tailored Urban Strategies Toward Sustainability

Charlotte Liotta, sous la direction de Vincent Viguié et Felix Creutzig (MCC Berlin)

12 mars

CIRED, Amphi du 1er étage à 9h30

Abstract

Cities are pivotal in the global transition toward a more sustainable world. A substantial share of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the concentration of inhabitants and economic activities in cities is a unique opportunity for mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban policies, when well-crafted, can also build strong local support. However, the actual potential impact of urban policies on GHG emission mitigation and sustainability enhancements remains largely unknown. This knowledge gap arises from the significant heterogeneity between cities, including variations in spatial characteristics, demography, development level, and local capacities. This Ph.D. thesis seeks to enhance our understanding of how cities can contribute to a more sustainable future, accounting for their heterogeneity and local specificities. In the first part of this thesis, we employ urban economics modeling to analyze a global sample of over 100 cities. Our findings demonstrate that tailored policies can substantially reduce transportation-related GHG emissions within urban areas. Simultaneously, these policies improve the welfare of households by making transportation and housing more affordable and promoting better public health through reduced air and noise pollution, fewer traffic-related injuries, and increased physical activity. In the second part of this thesis, we present three case studies analyzing the distributional impacts that may result from urban climate policies in the short, medium, and long run, with a particular focus on spatial inequalities. We find that policies such as low-emissions zones, fuel taxes, and even public transport investments can have regressive impacts in the short run, with low-skilled workers and low-income households bearing a disproportionate burden. This research highlights the importance of complementary policies, such as affordable public transportation, flexible labor markets, and careful urban planning, to allow all households and workers to adapt to climate policies in the medium and long run and ensure their social acceptability.

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