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.
May 31, 2011, 1pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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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.

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Published on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 in New Urban Network
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