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Driving and the Environment: The Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel Energy Use and C02 Emissions
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Driving and the Environment: The Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel Energy Use and C02 Emissions

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Andy Cotugno examines the relationship between land development patterns and motor vehicle travel in the U.S. and assess whether petroleum use and CO2 emissions could be reduced by changes in …

Andy Cotugno examines the relationship between land development patterns and motor vehicle travel in the U.S. and assess whether petroleum use and CO2 emissions could be reduced by changes in development design. Mr. Cotugno reveals how compact and mixed use development, and residential density directly correlate to a healthier environment, while acknowledging the challenges of economic and political reform.


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  • 1. 1
    DRIVING AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: THE EFFECTS OF COMPACT DEVELOPMENT ON MOTORIZED TRAVEL, ENERGY USE, AND CO2 EMISSIONS
    September 1, 2009
    Transportation Research Board
    Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
    Of the National Research Council
    Andy Cotugno, Metro
    Congress for New Urbanism Transportation Summit
    November 4-6, 2009
  • 2. 2
    STUDY CHARGE and SCOPE
    Charge: To examine the relationship between land development patterns and motor vehicle travel in the U.S. and assess whether petroleum use and CO2 emissions could be reduced by changes in development design.
    Focus: Metropolitan areas and personal travel
  • 3. 3
    Committee on the Relationships Among Development Patterns, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Energy Consumption
    José A. Gómez-Ibáñez, Chair, Harvard University, Cambridge,
    Massachusetts
    Marlon G. Boarnet, University of California, Irvine
    Dianne R. Brake, PlanSmart NJ, Trenton
    Robert B. Cervero, University of California, Berkeley
    Andrew Cotugno, Metro, Portland, Oregon
    Anthony Downs, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
    Susan Hanson, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts
    Kara M. Kockelman, The University of Texas at Austin
    Patricia L. Mokhtarian, University of California, Davis
    Rolf J. Pendall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
    Danilo J. Santini, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois
    Frank Southworth, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee,
    and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
  • 4. 4
    KEY CONCEPTS
    COMPACT, MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT: Land use patterns that increase the density, mix of uses, contiguity, connectedness, and pedestrian orientation of development
    Location matters – high residential density in the middle of nowhere yields few benefits
    Compact, mixed-use development ≠ multifamily housing only– small-lot, single-family development can yield benefits
  • 5. 5
  • 6. 6
  • 7. 7
    FINDINGS
    Finding 1:More compact development patterns are likely to reduce VMT.
  • 8. 8
    FINDINGS (cont’d)
    Finding 2:The most reliable studies estimate that doubling residential density across a metropolitan area might lower household VMT by about 5 to 12 percent, and perhaps by as much as 25 percent, if coupled with higher employment concentrations, significant public transit improvements, mixed uses, and other supportive demand management measures.
  • 9. FINDINGS (cont’d)
    Double Density = 5-12%
    Design = add 3%
    Diversity (land use mix) = add 5%
    Density+Diversity+Design = 13%
    Population Centrality = 15%
    All Built Environment Variables = 25%
    9
  • 10. 10
    FINDINGS (cont’d)
    Finding 3:More compact, mixed-use development can produce reductions in energy consumption and CO2 emissions both directly and indirectly.
  • 11. 11
    FINDINGS (cont’d)
    Finding 4:Significant increases in more compact, mixed-use development result in only modest short-term reductions in energy consumption and CO2 emissions, but these reductions will grow over time.
  • 12. 12
    SCENARIO ASSUMPTIONS
  • 13. 13
    SCENARIO ASSUMPTIONS
    1970 Suburban Population = 54.5%
    2000 Suburban Population = 62%
    Sources: National Resources Inventory (US Dept. of Ag.) and US Census
  • 14. 14
    Finding 4 (cont’d)
    Bottom Line Estimate: Reduction in VMT, Energy Use, and CO2 emissions from more compact, mixed-use development in the range of <1 % to 11 % by 2050.
    Committee disagreed about plausibility of extent of compact development and policies needed to achieve high end estimates.
  • 15. 15
    FINDINGS (cont’d)
    Finding 5:Promoting more compact, mixed use development on a large scale will require overcoming numerous obstacles:
    Local zoning, engineering and parking codes, housing preference
  • 16. 16
    FINDINGS (cont’d)
    Finding 6:Changes in development patterns entail other benefits and costs that have not been quantified in this study:
    infrastructure costs, social equity, health, neighborhood revitalization, transit feasibility, housing choice and price, farm land and wildlife habitat preservation
  • 17. 17
    RECOMMENDATIONS
    Recommendation 1: Policies that support more compact, mixed-use development and reinforce its ability to reduce VMT, energy use, and CO2 emissions should be encouraged.
  • 18. 18
    RECOMMENDATIONS (cont’d)
    Recommendation 2: More carefully designed studies of the effects of land use patterns and the form and location of more compact, mixed-use development on VMT, energy use, and CO2 emissions are needed to implement compact development more effectively.
  • 19. 19
    HOW TO ACCESS THE REPORT
    Report, report summary, and commissioned papers are available
    at
    http://www.TRB.org/Publications/Public/Blurbs/162093.aspx
    QUESTIONS?
    Andy.Cotugno@oregonmetro.gov