Last in this series . . .
Kahn and Glaeser have also estimated the difference in carbon emissions between cities and suburbs for 48 MSAs. I've again converted that to gallons of gasoline. (See the last post for their methodology and caveats.)
Nashville, surprisingly, tops the list:
Note that suburbanites are not always much worse off than central city residents when gas prices start rising. A $1 increase in the price of a gallon of gas will cost Kahn/Glaeser's hypothetical Denver suburban household an extra $123 per year in gas relative to their cousins living in an apartment in town. $10 bucks a month. Suburban Austinites must pay an extra $210 per year because of the 210 extra gallons they consume.
These are pretty crude estimates. Others have attempted more finely-grained estimates down to the census block level. Both methods rely on a snapshot of the data; as gas prices rise, drivers adjust their driving by switching vehicles, chaining errands, or simply going out less. These adjustments will narrow those differences some, but the fact remains that a $2 increase in gasoline makes our hypothetical Austin suburbanite a few hundred dollars poorer relative to the those living close to downtown.