Evidence That Smart Growth Strategies Curb Emissions

A new report from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute says that new evidence shows that smart growth policies can have a significant effect on vehicle miles traveled and thus reduce emissions.

Robert Steuteville of the New Urban Network delves into the report, which is written by frequent Planetizen contributor Todd Litman. Litman writes that "smart growth can provide large cumulative impacts":

"In automobile-dependent, sprawled locations virtually every adult resident owns an automobile and uses it for most travel, and average trip lengths are relatively long. In multi-modal, smart growth locations residents tend to own fewer vehicles, drive fewer annual miles, and rely more on alternative modes."

Steuteville focuses on real-world evidence of this from the report from Portland, Oregon:

"Neighborhoods with good transit and mixed use average 9.8 VMT/household/day. Neighborhoods with good transit but no mix of uses average 13.3 VMT/household/day. The rest of the region, with no mix of uses or good transit - mostly characterized by suburban sprawl - averages 21.8 VMT/household/day.

This difference - 55 percent less automobile use in mixed-use, transit-served neighborhoods compared to sprawl - is dramatic."

The full report is available here.

Full Story: Does smart growth reduce carbon emissions? Bet the house on it.

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