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Summary of Analysis Strategies for Measuring Regional Transportation Related Impacts of Growth Management and Land U

This study summarizes existing modeling tools that measure the impacts of regional transportation on land use and development. The studies identify ways three communities estimated the effects of land use changes on travel patterns, energy use, and emissions. The overall study also looked at ways three communities measured differences in inner urban, suburban, and exurban areas.

The intent of this study was to summarize existing modeling tools that measure the impacts of regional transportation on land use and development. The study identified ways three communities estimated the effects of land use changes on travel patterns, energy use, and emissions. The study also looked at ways these communities measured the differences between travel uses in inner urban, suburban, and ex-urban areas. The large-scale land use travel demand models (TMIP, trANSIMS, etc) currently in use do not measure such detail.

Three case studies on Smart Growth Planning tools were completed over an eight-month period by the Antares Group for the FHWA. They illustrate how communities across the country have developed new tools to help solve the challenges of integrating land use and transportation. The three case studies resulting from this effort are from within the United States. The case studies identify transportation analysis models that have been used effectively and are most relevant to metropolitan areas. The case study communities were chosen for the uniqueness of their methodologies; the region's population; land use variations; depth of available data; the user-friendliness of the modeling package; and the transferability of the modeling techniques to other communities.

Readers will see that the sponsoring organizations range from a small, not for profit organization in New Jersey (Regional Planning Partnership), to a mid-sized regional planning agency (Jefferson District Regional Planning Commission), to a large metropolitan planning agency (Puget Sound Regional Council). While the three planning organizations were generous in supplying information, the amount of background information available to support the case studies varied among the three. The GOZ and CorPlan studies benefited from interviews with the principal planners and authors of the modeling tools as well as access to background materials. Staff at the Puget Sound Regional Council provided a library of technical papers and public documents but were less available for personal questions, because of the pressing schedule of the Metropolitan Transportation Planning (MTP) process, which proceeded in real time during the period of case study research and writing.

Two of the case studies, CorPlan (a TCSP Grant supported project in Charlottesville, Virginia), and GOZ (Central New Jersey), show how graphically oriented computer modeling tools have been used to formulate or evaluate growth options. The third, Destination 2030 (Puget Sound, Washington State), illustrates the application of Least Cost Planning methods to support smart growth transportation options, and how environmental justice concerns were incorporated into a Metropolitan Transportation Planning effort.

The Case Studies

Updated: 08/01/2013
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