Effective Decision-Making Methods for Freight-Efficient Land Use

Much attention has been focused on land-use strategies for reducing vehicle travel, as well as providing a range of other economic, social, and environmental benefits. These strategies include compact/higher density neighborhoods, greater mixes of uses, pedestrian-friendly design, and infill development—strategies that are collectively known as smart growth. However, the research has almost exclusively focused on the impact of smart growth on passenger travel and generally ignored goods and services movement by trucks. In addition, there are many other factors influencing land use such as population growth, gentrification, and new supply chain management approaches such as freight villages, freight hubs, and inland ports that can affect freight movement. Freight traffic is growing faster than car traffic. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that truck vehicle-miles of travel (VMT) will grow by 50% between 2015 and 2040, compared with 26% for light-duty vehicles. Furthermore, diesel engine pollutants have emerged as a top health concern among mobile source generated air pollution, especially particulate matter and fine particles. These increases will greatly impact the nation’s ability to achieve its objectives for environmental sustainability and livability. As metropolitan areas increasingly adopt various land-use practices, research is needed on their impacts on goods movement by all freight modes. The objectives of this research were to develop a guide to: (1) quantify and evaluate the impact of land-use practices and policies to support efficient movement of all modes of freight; and (2) develop quantitative and qualitative land-use assessment tools (e.g., models, matrices, guides) to assist local, regional, and state land-use and transportation decision makers to support efficient movement of freight. The research should address a broad range of issues and needs associated with freight-efficient land use, which may include but are not limited to the following: (1) Identification and evaluation of existing and potential land-use practices and characterizing how they might affect freight movement; (2) Consideration of emerging freight transportation trends and technologies; (3) Identification of land-use decision makers, factors that influence their decisions and impacts on freight and other stakeholders; (4) Identification of potential data sources for freight-efficient land-use decision making; (5) Identification of best practices for freight-efficient land use planning and decision making; (6) Development of a framework for selecting appropriate and innovative freight land-use practices and policies; (7) Quantification and assessment of key impacts (e.g., energy use, VMT, emissions, noise, economic competitiveness, environmental justice, low income populations, employment, freight activity centers) and their effect on freight land-use practices, strategies, and policies; (8) Development and application of methods to integrate land-use planning, decisions, and efficient freight movement; (9) Designing and implementing one or more approaches (e.g., empirical data collection, modeling, scenario planning) to measure the impacts of land-use strategies on freight travel patterns; and (10) Development of scalable, quantitative and qualitative, freight-efficient land use assessment tools.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-111

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Rogers, William

  • Performing Organizations:

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Troy, NY  United States  12180-3590
  • Principal Investigators:

    Holguin-Veras, Jose

  • Start Date: 20170320
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20191231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41497

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01629456
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-111
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 19 2017 1:00AM