2013 Volume 1 Issue 2 Pages 24-44
The concept of ‘low carbon development’ (LCD) emerged from the concerns of developing countries on development policy and climate change rather than climate change alone. As the transport sector in most developing countries is unsustainable, ‘low carbon development in transport’ (LCDT) plans should address approaches to reduce emissions from transport, while maintaining or improving transport, as a catalyser of development. LCDT, as such, may pave a pathway towards LCD. Due to the complexity and uncertainty involved in long term planning tasks, scenario-based planning support systems (PSS) have been regarded as useful tools for exploring future impacts of any kind of plans and policies. Thus, this paper aims at developing an urban accessibility based PSS for evaluating different scenarios of LCDT plans regarding their potential towards low carbon transport development in Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC). This modelling framework combines an accessibility analysis and Activity-Structure-Intensity-Fuel (ASIF) framework in a GIS-based modelling platform. Based on interviews with government officials and documents of the Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport (KSUT) project, three plans were identified as qualifying for LCDT plans and were evaluated under high and low population growth scenarios. The evaluation shows that there could be an increase in accessibility along with emissions reduction gains for the current public transport (PT) improvement plan as well as for a plan of expanding the number of trolley buses in the PT vehicle fleet, under assumptions of a low population growth scenario. The trolley bus renewal plan can also lead to emissions reduction, but at the expense of accessibility. However, emissions would still be high against the base year for all the plans in the high population growth scenario. Performing a sensitivity analysis, it was concluded that penetration of trolley bus in the vehicle fleet has a great potential towards LCD. The results show that a shift from private to public transport is necessary in all the LCDT plans to realize a LCD in transport.