Policy Making Should Consider Time-Dependent Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Transit-Oriented Smart Growth
place - north america, land use - transit oriented development, land use - planning, land use - impacts, policy - environment, economics - finance, planning - integration, planning - environmental impact
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change, passenger transportation, land use planning
Cities are developing greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation plans and reduction targets on the basis of a growing body of knowledge about climate change risks, and changes to passenger transportation are often at the center of these efforts. Yet little information exists for characterizing how quickly or slowly GHG emissions reductions will accrue given changes in urban form around transit and whether benefits will accrue quickly enough to meet policy year targets (such as reaching 20% of 1990 GHG emissions levels by 2050). Achieving GHG reductions through integrated transportation and land use planning is even more complicated for cities because changes in emissions can occur across many sectors (such as transportation, building energy use, and electricity generation). With the use of the Los Angeles, California, Expo Line, a framework was developed to assess how financing schemes could affect the rate of building redevelopment and resulting life-cycle GHG emissions from travel and building energy use. The framework leveraged an integrated transportation and land use life-cycle assessment model that captured upfront construction of new development near transit and the long-term changes in household energy use for travel and buildings. The results show that for the same amount of development around the Expo Line, it is possible either to meet state GHG goals by 2050 (if aggressive redevelopment happens early) or not meet those goals by 2050 (if significant redevelopment does not start for decades). The time-based approach reveals how redevelopment schedules should be considered when strategies for meeting future GHG emissions targets are set.
Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.
Nahlik, M.J., & Chester, M.V. (2015). Policy Making Should Consider Time-Dependent Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Transit-Oriented Smart Growth. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2502, pp. 53-61. Transportation Research Board Washington, DC. 2015.