The Rise of the City

The Rise of the City

Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough

This book examines urban growth and the dynamics that are transforming the city and city regions in the 21st century focusing specifically on the spatial aspects of this process in the “Urban Century”. Forces that are driving city growth include agglomeration spillovers, concentration of innovation and entrepreneurship, diversity of information and knowledge resources, and better amenities and higher wages. These benefits produce a positive reinforcing system that attracts more people with new ideas and information, fuelling innovation, new products and services and more high-wage jobs, thereby attracting more people. Such growth also produces undesirable effects such as air and water pollution, poverty, congestion and crowding. These combined factors both impact and change the geography and spatial dynamics of the city. These transformations and the public policies that may be critical to the quality of life, both today and in the future, are the substance of this book.

Chapter 12: Dynamic analysis of the energy rebound effects in megacities: evidence from Beijing and Shanghai, China (1990–2011)

Yuyuan Wen

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, urban economics, geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, urban economics


As early as in the 1860s, Jevons (1865) proposed that the idea to reduce total energy consumption by improving energy efficiency is not consistent with the actual situation. He found that every improvement of the engine would only accelerate the consumption of coal, and it occurs repeatedly in later history. To save energy, people continuously improve technology and develop many related preferential energy-saving policies to enhance energy efficiency, which in turn increases total energy consumption. Taking China as an example, since the economic reform in the late 1970s, and the rapid economic development, energy consumption of 987.03 million tons of standard coal equivalent (SCE) in 1990 rose to 3620.00 million tons of SCE in 2012, increasing nearly 2.7 times in the last two decades. In the same period, energy intensity in China declined from 5.273 tons of SCE in 1990 to 1.867 tons of SCE in 2012, which is only 35.4% of that in 1990 (Figure 12.1). That is to say, with the decrease of energy intensity and the increase of energy efficiency, the total energy consumption did not decrease but grew at a faster rate, which is the so-called energy rebound effect, now a hot issue in the field of energy economics.

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