Travel Impacts and Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Rural and Smaller Community Land Use Strategies

Decision-makers need reliable information on the travel, greenhouse gas (GHG), and other benefits of land use policies in order to support effective decisionmaking on what is often a very controversial issue. While there has been considerable research on the travel and other impacts of land use policies, nearly all of this research has focused on metropolitan areas--especially larger metropolitan areas where rail transit systems either exist or are proposed to complement and support more compact development patterns. Recent efforts to estimate the nationwide GHG benefits of land use policies all focus exclusively on benefits within metropolitan areas. While the majority of the U.S. population lives in larger metropolitan areas, about 20 percent of the U.S. population currently lives outside of metropolitan areas, and another 5 percent lives in small metropolitan areas of less than 200,000 population. Particularly with the recent focus on land use as a GHG mitigation strategy, there is a pressing need for an evaluation of potential policies to create more efficient land use patterns in smaller communities and rural areas, and the potential GHG and other benefits and impacts of applying such policies in these areas. The primary objective of this research would be to estimate the potential impacts on vehicle travel and associated fuel consumption and GHG emissions that might be achieved by applying coordinated land use strategies and transportation to reduce vehicle travel in small communities and rural areas. The research would examine the impact of land use and development patterns on key aspects of travel behavior, including trip-making, mode choice, and trip lengths, controlling for potential influencing factors such as income, household composition, attitudes/preferences, etc. This research would be of use to many potential audiences--state DOT planning staff, transportation analysts, federal, state, and local-level decisionmakers (in both the transportation and land use arenas), and other stakeholders involved in transportation and land use planning and decisionmaking in non-metropolitan communities--to better inform transportation and land use policy development. <p> </p>


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 25-36

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC    20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Srinivasan, Nanda

  • Start Date: 20100618
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26561

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463897
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 25-36
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:32PM