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Compact Development's Impact On Greenhouse Gases


The Urban Land Institute has released "Land Use and Driving: The Role Compact Development Can Play in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions." The report synthesizes the conclusions of three recent reports on climate and transportation and concludes, "If we could go to 2050 and look back, we would see that successfully implemented compact development strategies—even those with only modest increases in land use density and mix—resulted in a win-win: a boon both for the environment and for Americans looking for the healthy and convenient lifestyle benefits associated with this type of high-quality land use."

The study examines:

  • "Moving Cooler: An Analysis of Transportation Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions," which was produce for the Urban Land Institute in 2009 by Cambridge Systematics. The executive summary and complete appendices from the book are available here.
  • "Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change," which was produced for the Urban Land Institute in 2008 by Reid Ewing and Keith Bartholomew of the University of Utah, Steve Winkelman of the Center for Clean Air Policy, Jerry Walters of Fehr & Peers Associates and Don Chen of the Ford Foundation. The first chapter of the book is available here.
  • "Driving and the Built Environment: The Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel, Energy Use, and CO2 Emissions," which is the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board Special Report 298. The National Research Council's Committee for the Study on the Relationships among Development Patterns, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Energy Consumption produced the report in 2009. The report is available here.

The Urban Land Institute's synthesis of the three studies has been added to the Best Practices.

Land Use and Driving: The Role Compact Development Can Play in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions