Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2008 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Patterns of energy consumption by commuters in the Baltimore metropolitan area, 1990-2000
Neff, Rob
Co-Authors: Rob Neff
Abstract: This presentation applies the previously developed concept of consumptive landscapes, a metropolitan-scale geographic lens through which to view the energy consumption, to the question of if and how urban sprawl and energy consumption are linked. A traffic assignment model was applied to commuter origin-destination data, and the results were used to generate GHG emissions maps for two time periods - 1990 and 2000. The results were compared to investigate the role that changing urban form and structure have played in shaping Baltimore's consumptive landscape. These results demonstrate that consumption of gasoline is linked to Baltimore's changing segregation patterns, which can be linked to patterns of suburbanization and sprawl. This suggests that the inertia behind energy use trends may be closely tied to continuing trends in racial and economic segregation, and a deepening division in the social structure of North American cities. Plans to extend this research to include explicit land-use change components also will be discussed.