Towards a Less Carbon Intensive Built Environment
Evidence from and Opportunities for South of the Fraser
South Fraser OnT...
Outline

 • Problem
 • Challenge
 • Approach
 • Trends
 • Findings
 • Opportunities
   & Barriers


                   2
Problem
A changing climate




             Source: BC Climate Action Plan



                                              4
A myriad of potential impacts




                                Source: Wordle.net




                                 ...
Challenge
Emissions by sector




     Source: BC Climate Action Plan


                                      7
A focus on transportation




                            Source: BC Climate Action Plan




                             ...
Limits of the “techno-fix”

                                                           Projected growth in
                ...
A role for the built environment?




                 Source: Frank et al., 2007                     Source: Grazi et al....
Approach
What was done
• Two studies 1) travel behaviour and 2) travel emissions, and associations with the
  built environment.

•...
Measuring walkability

                                               Walkability
                                        ...
Trends
Neighbourhood walkability




                        Source: van Loon and Frank 2008

                                   ...
Neighbourhood walkability




                            Source: van Loon and Frank 2008




                            ...
Distance to work




                   Source: Devlin 2010




                                         17
Distance to nearest centre




                             Source: Devlin 2010




                                      ...
Mean daily distance traveled
       South of Fraser   North of Fraser   Metro Vancouver




                              ...
Share of distance traveled by mode

 South of Fraser   North of Fraser   Metro Vancouver
                                 ...
Share of daily trips by mode

  South of Fraser   North of Fraser   Metro Vancouver
                                      ...
Use of alternative modes
      South of Fraser   North of Fraser   Metro Vancouver


                                     ...
Total daily travel emissions *

                                                                                        So...
Daily per-capita travel emissions
       South of Fraser   North of Fraser   Metro Vancouver




                         ...
Daily travel emissions by activity type

  South of Fraser   North of Fraser   Metro Vancouver
                           ...
Findings
Walking and neighbourhood urban form

    Built environment characteristics explaining walking in adults

                ...
Transit and neighbourhood urban form

     Built environment characteristics explaining transit use in adults

           ...
Vehicles and neighbourhood urban form

     Built environment characteristics explaining vehicle use in adults

          ...
Travel behaviour and urban form

• Adults living in the most walkable neighbourhoods are over 4 times
 more likely to repo...
Vehicle emissions and urban form
                                                                            Dependent Var...
Vehicle emissions and urban form
                                                                             Dependent Va...
Summary
• The culprit is the commute: 61% of travel emissions South of the Fraser are
  generated from travel to and from ...
Opportunities &
Barriers
A balanced approach
• Policies balancing “carrots” (e.g. strong land use regulation, accessible and
 affordable transit al...
Avoiding the “cookie-cutter”
Auto-oriented suburbs like Cloverdale in Surrey:

• Encourage redevelopment of shopping malls...
Avoiding the “cookie-cutter”

Rural neighbourhoods like Brookswood in Langley:

• Channel development and public services ...
Barriers to VKT reduction

• Densities continue to decrease (beyond urban core);

• Vehicle ownership/access increasing (t...
Contact                                   Acknowledgments
Andrew Devlin, BES (Pl.), MA              Dr. Larry Frank, UBC
R...
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Towards a Less Carbon Intensive Built Environment: Evidence and Ideas for South of the Fraser

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Andrew Devlin presents the results of some intense research he and his colleagues have recently completed at UBC: Towards a Less Carbon Intensive Built Environment: Evidence and Ideas for South of the Fraser. It looks at the direct relationship between land use and GHG emissions.

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Towards a Less Carbon Intensive Built Environment: Evidence and Ideas for South of the Fraser

  1. 1. Towards a Less Carbon Intensive Built Environment Evidence from and Opportunities for South of the Fraser South Fraser OnTrax Langley BC 9 June 2010 Andrew Devlin, BES (Pl.), MA | UBC Bombardier Active Transportation Collaboratory
  2. 2. Outline • Problem • Challenge • Approach • Trends • Findings • Opportunities & Barriers 2
  3. 3. Problem
  4. 4. A changing climate Source: BC Climate Action Plan 4
  5. 5. A myriad of potential impacts Source: Wordle.net 5
  6. 6. Challenge
  7. 7. Emissions by sector Source: BC Climate Action Plan 7
  8. 8. A focus on transportation Source: BC Climate Action Plan 8
  9. 9. Limits of the “techno-fix” Projected growth in CO2 emissions from cars and light duty trucks (assuming stringent nationwide vehicle - 45 mpg - and fuel standards - 15% less carbon intensity). Source: Center for Clean Air Policy 9
  10. 10. A role for the built environment? Source: Frank et al., 2007 Source: Grazi et al., 2008 Seattle, WA The Netherlands 10
  11. 11. Approach
  12. 12. What was done • Two studies 1) travel behaviour and 2) travel emissions, and associations with the built environment. • Focus on how nearby land use characteristics where people live influence home- based work activities and non-work activities and associated emissions. • Utilized individual, self-reported travel data from 1999 GVRD Travel Diary Survey. • Travel survey included location (postal code) of where individuals live, work, go to school, where they traveled, and how they got there. Socioeconomic and demographic attributes also self-reported. • Matched residential location of individual’s to corresponding postal code in Metro Vancouver Walkability Index database to assess associations of nearby urban form and accessibility attributes on travel and emissions. 12
  13. 13. Measuring walkability Walkability = Net residential density + Commercial density + Street connectivity + Land use mix (entropy) Measured for each postal code (1-km network buffer) across Metro Vancouver Source: Frank et al., 2005 13
  14. 14. Trends
  15. 15. Neighbourhood walkability Source: van Loon and Frank 2008 15
  16. 16. Neighbourhood walkability Source: van Loon and Frank 2008 16
  17. 17. Distance to work Source: Devlin 2010 17
  18. 18. Distance to nearest centre Source: Devlin 2010 18
  19. 19. Mean daily distance traveled South of Fraser North of Fraser Metro Vancouver Source: Devlin 2010 19
  20. 20. Share of distance traveled by mode South of Fraser North of Fraser Metro Vancouver Vehicles Transit Active Transport Source: Devlin 2010 20
  21. 21. Share of daily trips by mode South of Fraser North of Fraser Metro Vancouver Vehicles Transit Active Transport Source: Devlin and Frank 2009 21
  22. 22. Use of alternative modes South of Fraser North of Fraser Metro Vancouver Transit Active Transport Source: Devlin 2010 22
  23. 23. Total daily travel emissions * South of Fraser North of Fraser Trend reflective of population distribution across Metro Vancouver at time of data collection (1999) * From sample population only, n = 2,690 persons, 1999 TransLink Trip Diary Survey Source: Devlin 2010 23
  24. 24. Daily per-capita travel emissions South of Fraser North of Fraser Metro Vancouver Source: Devlin 2010 24
  25. 25. Daily travel emissions by activity type South of Fraser North of Fraser Metro Vancouver Work Non-Work Source: Devlin 2010 25
  26. 26. Findings
  27. 27. Walking and neighbourhood urban form Built environment characteristics explaining walking in adults Non- Any walk Work/school work/school trip walk trip walk trip Higher residential density +++ +++ +++ Higher street connectivity +++ +++ +++ Higher commercial density +++ +++ +++ Higher mix of land uses ++ + ++ More nearby parks and open spaces +++ + +++ Higher overall neighbourhood walkability +++ ++ +++ NS = not significant, '+' = 95% significant; '++' = 99% significant, '+++' = 99.9% significant Source: Devlin and Frank 2009 27
  28. 28. Transit and neighbourhood urban form Built environment characteristics explaining transit use in adults Non- Any transit Work/school work/school trip transit trip transit trip Higher residential density ++ + + Higher street connectivity ++ + ++ Higher commercial density +++ NS + Higher mix of land uses ++ ++ NS More nearby parks and open spaces NS NS NS Higher overall neighbourhood walkability ++ ++ ++ NS = not significant, '+' = 95% significant; '++' = 99% significant, '+++' = 99.9% significant Source: Devlin and Frank 2009 28
  29. 29. Vehicles and neighbourhood urban form Built environment characteristics explaining vehicle use in adults Non- Any vehicle Work/school work/school trip vehicle trip vehicle trip Lower residential density +++ ++ +++ Lower street connectivity +++ +++ +++ Lower commercial density +++ +++ +++ Lower mix of land uses +++ +++ + Few nearby parks and open spaces +++ NS +++ Lower overall neighbourhood walkability +++ +++ +++ NS = not significant, '+' = 95% significant; '++' = 99% significant, '+++' = 99.9% significant Source: Devlin and Frank 2009 29
  30. 30. Travel behaviour and urban form • Adults living in the most walkable neighbourhoods are over 4 times more likely to report they walked for any home-based trip compared to those living in the least walkable neighbourhoods • Adults living in neighbourhoods with a higher quantity of accessible park and open space are around 3 times more likely to report they walked compared to adults who live in neighbourhoods with very little park and open space. • Adults in the most walkable neighbourhoods drive 57% less than those in the least walkable areas. 30
  31. 31. Vehicle emissions and urban form Dependent Variables Emissions related to Independent Variables ACTIVITY LOCATION OF VEHICLE KM VEHICLE home-based non- PATTERNS STOPS TRAVELED EMISSIONS AGE work travel and FEMALE -0.092 0.014 0.013 activities PERSONS<18 0.116 0.077 0.041 0.057 VEHICLE ACCESS 0.254 0.243 • Effect of vehicle access is HH INCOME 0.048 0.046 positive and is 93% greater than NEIGHBRHD WALK 0.004 0.122 -0.141 -0.126 neighbourhood walkability. DIST TO CENTRE (SQRT) -0.002 -0.067 0.074 0.072 TRANSIT AVLBLTY (SQRT) 0.003 0.083 -0.069 -0.097 • Effect of neighbourhood % TOURS SIMPLE (SQRT) -0.151 -0.144 walkability is negative and % STOPS NEAR HOME 0.036 -0.191 -0.192 75% greater than regional (SQRT) connectivity. VKT (SQRT) 0.955 R2 0.021 0.049 0.252 0.912 NOTE: Standardized regression coefficients. Estimates interpreted as ‘magnitude of effect’. All coefficients significant at the 95% confidence interval. n = 1,370. Source: Devlin 2010 31
  32. 32. Vehicle emissions and urban form Dependent Variables Emissions related to Indenpendent Variables ACTIVITY VEHICLE KM VEHICLE home-based work PATTERNS TRAVELED EMISSIONS travel and activities AGE -0.059 0.065 0.042 FEMALE -0.072 -0.022 • Effect of distance to work PERSONS<18 is positive and and over VEHICLE ACCESS 0.067 0.303 0.298 400% greater than HH INCOME 0.064 0.063 neighbourhood walkability. NEIGHBRHD WALK -0.099 -0.097 • Effect of vehicle access is DIST TO WRK/SCHL (SQRT) 0.509 0.500 positive and 200% greater TRANSIT AVLBLTY (SQRT) than neighbourhood TOUR CMPLXTY (LGn) 0.193 0.190 walkability. VKT (SQRT) 0.983 R2 0.007 0.570 0.996 NOTE: Standardized regression coefficients. Estimates interpreted as ‘magnitude of effect’. All coefficients significant at the 95% confidence interval. n = 1,713. Source: Devlin 2010 32
  33. 33. Summary • The culprit is the commute: 61% of travel emissions South of the Fraser are generated from travel to and from work. • Vehicle of choice: Residents South of the Fraser use a vehicle to travel more than anyone else in Metro Vancouver. Increased vehicle access is positively associated with vehicle use and related emissions. • Location, location, location: The further we live from our places of work (regional accessibility), the more inclined we are to drive, which leads to increased emission levels. • Our backyard: More walkable local neighbourhood urban form characteristics are positively associated with active transportation levels and negatively associated with greenhouse gas emissions related to home-based other travel (e.g. non-work). 33
  34. 34. Opportunities & Barriers
  35. 35. A balanced approach • Policies balancing “carrots” (e.g. strong land use regulation, accessible and affordable transit alternatives) and “sticks” (e.g. vehicle, parking, road pricing) required. • Limiting outward growth (e.g. “distance-based” development review; firm growth boundaries) • A focus on increasing regional accessibility, supported by compact, walkable and transit-oriented urban form should be a priority (e.g. the Interurban and other regional transit investment for South of the Fraser). • Reinvest in useable parks and recreational spaces that can double as connectivity pathways 35
  36. 36. Avoiding the “cookie-cutter” Auto-oriented suburbs like Cloverdale in Surrey: • Encourage redevelopment of shopping malls and big box retail into more mixed-use nodes. • Reduce superfluous parking through appropriate design guidelines. • Support location efficient development around public transit through taxation and financing mechanisms. • Consider rezoning select single-family housing areas to allow modest infill (e.g. basement suites, coach houses, duplexes, triplexes) that may aid to increase densities. 36
  37. 37. Avoiding the “cookie-cutter” Rural neighbourhoods like Brookswood in Langley: • Channel development and public services into accessible, mixed-use settlements rather than dispersed, poorly connected patterns. • Increase transportation options through community trail development for local trips and bike/transit integration for longer, regional travel. • Explore opportunities for para-transit and other flexible transportation programming. 37
  38. 38. Barriers to VKT reduction • Densities continue to decrease (beyond urban core); • Vehicle ownership/access increasing (through 2006); • Perceived vs. objective perspectives of time; • Scattered employment trends; • Socio-cultural connections to private vehicle; and • Built environment slow to transform. 38
  39. 39. Contact Acknowledgments Andrew Devlin, BES (Pl.), MA Dr. Larry Frank, UBC Researcher Josh van Loon, UBC UBC Active Transportation Collaboratory TransLink ajdevlin@interchange.ubc.ca Metro Vancouver http://www.act-trans.ubc.ca/ BC Recreation & Parks Canadian Institute of Planners SSHRC

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