National Center for Sustainable Transportation
Exploring Unintended Environmental and Social-Equity Consequences of Transit Oriented Development
- Author(s): Rodier, Caroline
- Alemi, Farzad
- Johnston, Robert A
- et al.
Communities throughout the U.S. are pursuing land use and transportation plans that locate high density, mixed-use development near high quality rail and bus transit service. The objective of these plans is to meet important community goals, such as economic development, reduced congestion, greater transportation choice, and improved public health. These plans may also be critical to managing the growth in passenger travel necessary to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and avoid the most devastating damage to human and natural systems from climate change. Increasingly, however, there is concern that these plans may have unanticipated consequences that could undermine the well-being of low-income groups and GHG reductions. This study uses a spatial economic model developed for the Sacramento region (Sacramento PECAS) and an advanced travel demand model to simulate a land use and transportation plan from 2014 to 2030. The authors examine the plan’s effect on population, housing, rents, and consumer surplus by location and income class over time and changes in travel behavior. The authors use the EMFAC emissions model with the travel behavior output to measure changes in on-road vehicle GHG emissions. In addition, a lifecycle assessment model uses the economic activity output from the simulated scenario to estimate changes in upstream and downstream GHG emissions.