Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Smart growth' strategies curb car use, greenhouse gas emissions, SF State study suggests

14.09.2012
A new study finds that smart growth approaches to urban planning could substantially reduce the number of miles that residents drive in a year. The research was published this week in The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy.

Smart growth focuses on the development of compact, walkable cities with houses and jobs located close together. By shortening residents' commutes, this form of urban design aims to cut transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. California is already pursuing smart growth in order to meet emissions reductions set by the state's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).

In a behavioral economics study, researchers at San Francisco State University found that a 10 percent increase in a city's smart growth features -- including housing density, jobs per capita and public transit infrastructure -- would lead to a 20 percent decrease in the number of vehicle miles traveled per household, per year.

"We found that changing the way cities are designed would significantly reduce travel demand," said Sudip Chattopadhyay, professor and chair of economics at SF State. "People's travel habits would change, and they would drive less."

These latest results stand in contrast to previous studies that have suggested that smart growth only has a small impact on transport demand. Chattopadhyay says that in the past economists have struggled to find the right methodologies to understand how people's behavior changes in response to urban planning.

For the present study, Chattopadhyay developed an innovative way to predict people's behavior, particularly how people make decisions about where to live. The study focused on 18 urban areas across the United States and used census data and information from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey and the National Transit Database.

The study found that smart growth strategies yield greater reductions in car use compared to the use of fuel tax increases. It suggests that a 10 percent increase in the dollar cost of driving one mile would result in an 18 percent decrease in annual vehicle miles traveled per household, compared to a 20 percent decrease from smart growth strategies.

"It's only a few percent points but it is a significant difference," Chattopadhyay said. "Smart growth is a more gradual, long-lasting change and it generates employment. Tax increases can be implemented more quickly but they are subject to change depending on the political situation."

Chattopadhyay notes that there are other benefits of smart growth not measured in his study. Neighborhood design that encourages walking, for example, may improve residents' health, and the development of compact cities might prevent urban sprawl and help preserve open space.

"Do Smart Growth Strategies Have a Role in Curbing Vehicle Miles Traveled? A Further Assessment Using Household Level Survey Data" was authored by Sudip Chattopadhyay and Emily Taylor, who graduated from SF State with a master's in economics in 2010. It was published online on Sept. 11, 2012 in The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy.

The paper is available online at: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap.2012.12.issue-1/1935-1682.3224/1935-1682.3224.xml

Elaine Bible | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sfsu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>