Understanding interactions between urban development policies and GHG emissions: A case study in Stockholm Region

Haozhi Pan, Jessica Page, Le Zhang, Cong Cong, Carla Ferreira, Elisie Jonsson, Helena Näsström, Georgia Destouni, Brian Deal, Zahra Kalantari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human-induced urban growth and sprawl have implications for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that may not be included in conventional GHG accounting methods. Improved understanding of this issue requires use of interactive, spatial-explicit social–ecological systems modeling. This paper develops a comprehensive approach to modeling GHG emissions from urban developments, considering Stockholm County, Sweden as a case study. GHG projections to 2040 with a social–ecological system model yield overall greater emissions than simple extrapolations in official climate action planning. The most pronounced difference in emissions (39% higher) from energy use single-residence buildings resulting from urban sprawl. And this difference is not accounted for in the simple extrapolations. Scenario results indicate that a zoning policy, restricting urban development in certain areas, can mitigate 72% of the total emission effects of the model-projected urban sprawl. The study outcomes include a decision support interface for communicating results and policy implications with policymakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1327
Number of pages15
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020


  • Climate change
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Land-use change
  • Planning support system
  • Social–ecological system
  • Stockholm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology


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