Volume 47

Revealing urban traffic emission patterns: A complex network perspective Zedong Feng, Xuelan Zeng, Weichi Li



Urban traffic emissions from vehicle fuel pose significant challenges to urban sustainability. Revealing urban traffic emission patterns is crucial for effective urban planning. Current research often overlooks the spatial interaction links facilitated by traffic flows. This oversight limits our ability to map the attribution of emissions from vehicular travels between different locations. To this end, our study introduces a novel perspective and corresponding methodologies to reveal emission patterns of urban traffic. Utilizing extensive, all-day activity data from individual vehicles across multiple types, this research quantifies CO2 and NOX emissions from vehicular travels within the urban center of the case city. This quantification of emissions defines the link weights in the construction of the Urban Traffic Flows Emission Network (UTFEN). Applying complex network theory, this study uncovers emission patterns within UTFEN, ranging from the micro to the macro level. Our findings demonstrate that private car emissions exhibit a bimodal fluctuation throughout the day, whereas truck emissions peak at noon. Micro-level network analysis shows that nodes linked to high-emission links are predominantly situated at the city’s ingress and egress points, with these high-emission links displaying a certain degree of directional consistency. At the macro level, statistical measures expose significant structural differences in networks composed of different vehicle types. Additionally, statistical analysis indicates that the link emission distribution within UTFEN follows a power law distribution, revealing the heterogeneity of emissions of spatial interaction traffic flows. This study offers a network perspective on urban traffic emission patterns, offering data-driven insights critical for formulating sustainable urban traffic strategies.

Keywords climate change, air pollution, origin-destination, spatial interaction, sustainable city, power law

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