Policy making should consider time-dependent greenhouse gas benefits of transit-oriented smart growth

Matthew J. Nahlik, Mikhail Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cities are developing greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation plans and reduction targets on the basis of a growing body of knowledge about climate change risks, and changes to passenger transportation are often at the center of these efforts. Yet little information exists for characterizing how quickly or slowly GHG emissions reductions will accrue given changes in urban form around transit and whether benefits will accrue quickly enough to meet policy year targets (such as reaching 20% of 1990 GHG emissions levels by 2050). Achieving GHG reductions through integrated transportation and land use planning is even more complicated for cities because changes in emissions can occur across many sectors (such as transportation, building energy use, and electricity generation). With the use of the Los Angeles, California, Expo Line, a framework was developed to assess how financing schemes could affect the rate of building redevelopment and resulting life-cycle GHG emissions from travel and building energy use. The framework leveraged an integrated transportation and land use life-cycle assessment model that captured upfront construction of new development near transit and the long-term changes in household energy use for travel and buildings. The results show that for the same amount of development around the Expo Line, it is possible either to meet state GHG goals by 2050 (if aggressive redevelopment happens early) or not meet those goals by 2050 (if significant redevelopment does not start for decades). The time-based approach reveals how redevelopment schedules should be considered when strategies for meeting future GHG emissions targets are set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Volume2502
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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Greenhouse gases
Gas emissions
Land use
Life cycle
Climate change
Electricity
Planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Policy making should consider time-dependent greenhouse gas benefits of transit-oriented smart growth. / Nahlik, Matthew J.; Chester, Mikhail.

In: Transportation Research Record, Vol. 2502, 2015, p. 53-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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