Voila! A New Measure of Oil Vulnerability for Cities
Published: 14 March 2014 by MDPI in 1st International e-Conference on Energies session Innovative Futuristic Solutions, Feasible Scenarios and Emerging Concepts
Abstract: Peak oil, and the ensuing global decline in oil supplies, will adversely affect automobile-dependent personal transport systems. This places users at risk if they are unable to access their activities without oil consumption.This research develops a quantitative spatial measure of oil vulnerability, combining spatial data of vehicle travel with a novel transport energy-accessibility metric, the Minimum Energy Transport Activity Access characterisation (METAA). The measure identifies vulnerable areas as those where greater amounts of oil are consumed for transport, and there is limited potential for adaptation to reduce oil dependence. Areas of lower vulnerability are those in which little oil is currently used or there is significant potential for transport adaptation.This new spatial tool allows planners to analyse where, how and why residents are vulnerable, and identify effective mitigation schemes to reduce the impacts of declining oil supply. The measure also enables categorisation of mitigation schemes, from areas where education programs will be sufficient to reduce vulnerability through to areas where long-term transport and land-use planning present the only viable solutions.The results for Christchurch, New Zealand, indicate that the majority of households are adaptable, although satellite communities and areas on the city fringe are increasingly vulnerable. The research has important implications for urban and transport planning.
Keywords: Peak Oil, transport, vulnerability, accessibility, car dependence