Todd Litman is the executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
As discussed in my previous
Inaccurate Attack On Smart Growth, the National Association of Home
Builders (NAHB) sponsored a research program
intended to raise doubts about smart growth’s ability to reduce vehicle travel,
conserve energy and reduce pollution emissions.
Monday, July 18, 2011 - 6:48am PDT
Note: This column was originally titled, "A Stupid Attack on Smart Growth," intended as a pun on 'smart' and 'stupid.' However, that sounds harsh so I retitled it. - T.L.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has a well-financed campaign to discourage communities from considering smart growth as a possible way to conserve energy and reduce pollution emissions. They contend that compact development has little effect on travel activity and so provides minimal benefits. The NAHB states that, “The existing body of research demonstrates no clear link between residential land use and GHG emissions.” But their research actually found the opposite: it indicates that smart growth policies can have significant impacts on travel activity and emissions.
Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 6:07am PDT
By all logic, the comic strip character Dagwood should be fat, sick and impoverished due to his gluttonous eating, sedentary habits, and automobile-dependent lifestyle. Blondie should worry about his high blood pressure and clogged arteries, and the Bumsteads should struggle to bear rising automobile expenses. Yet they are all thin, healthy and financially secure, protected from all consequences of indulgent consumerism.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 1:06pm PDT
Most professions have special responsibilities to society. Physicians are expected to observe the Hippocratic oath. Police officers must apply the law fairly and refrain from abusing their power. Lawyers and accountants are expected to offer accurate advice and protect client confidentiality.
And planners? We have a special responsibility to consider all perspectives and impacts. When evaluating public policy questions most people ask selfishly, “How does this affect me?” Planners, in contrast, should ask selflessly, “How does this affect the community, particularly disadvantaged and underrepresented groups?”
Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 11:26am PDT
Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 8:49am PDT
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 7:22am PST
I spent last week at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila, in the Philippines, where we are starting on an exciting but humbling project: developing a more comprehensive framework for transport project evaluation. Among other factors, this project will develop better methods for incorporating social equity impacts into transport planning. This is important in any community, and particularly in developing countries where many people are extremely poor. What transport policies and planning practices respond to their needs?
Monday, January 17, 2011 - 10:41pm PST
Healthy children grow bigger, but once people reach maturity at about age 20 continued physical growth is harmful - it makes us fat. It is certainly possible to develop our skills, strength and knowledge, but most adults should not pursue growth as an end in itself. This also applies to communities.
Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 8:19am PST
One accurate measurement can be more insightful than a thousand expert opinions.
In a recent blog titled, Livability and All That, highway expert Alan Pisarski argues that highway-oriented transport systems are necessary for efficient consumer and labor markets.
Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 6:55am PST
Virtually every modern economy is mixed: governments produce some goods and services and private companies produce others. Governments generally provide those goods and services that are either considered essential and should be available to everybody regardless of ability to pay, or that require strategic coordination, including police protection, basic education, transportation infrastructure, parks, and public health services.
Transportation facilities and services are among these basic government functions.
Monday, November 15, 2010 - 5:43am PST