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Uses of Census Data in Transportation

Energy/Air Quality

Is Compact Growth Good for Air Quality?

Authors: Stone Jr, Brian; Mednick, Adam C; Holloway, Tracey; Spak, Scott N

Journal of the American Planning Association

Publication Date: 2007


This paper, which is part of a study sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the impact of land use and transportation on future air quality, assesses the effectiveness of compact growth in improving air quality at a geographic scale compatible with secondary pollution formation and transport and over a planning horizon sufficient to capture the longer-term benefits of regional land use change. Future air quality is associated with alternative land development scenarios through the integration of three separate and previously unrelated modeling components. These components consist of a set of standard population projection techniques, a household vehicle travel activity framework, and a mobile source emissions model developed by the EPA. The results suggest that the median elasticity of vehicle travel with respect to density change over time to be -0.35, suggesting metropolitan areas can expect a 10% increase in population density to be associated with a 3.5% reduction in household vehicle travel and emissions. Compactness was associated with greater reductions in vehicle travel than in previous studies, which suggests land use change can play a measurable role in improving regional air quality over time. In addition, vehicle elasticities derived for urban and suburban census tracts across the 11 metro regions suggest density increments within urban zones (-0.43) to be more than twice as effective in reducing vehicle travel and emissions as density increments within suburban zones (-0.19). A comment on this paper appears on pp 418-420 of this issue.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Energy; Environment; Highways; Planning and Forecasting; Public Transportation; I15: Environment; I72: Traffic and Transport Planning

Air quality; Automobile travel; Land use; Land use models; Land use planning; Metropolitan areas; Pollutants; Population density; Population growth; Real estate development; Smart growth; Suburbs; Travel behavior; Urban areas; U.S. Environmental Protectio

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Energy/Air Quality

Targeting High-Emitting Vehicles: A Multivariate Statistical Analysis with DMV and Census Data

Authors: Wu, Peng; Niemeier, Debbie Transportation Research Board-500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

Transportation Research Board 89th Annual Meeting

Publication Date: 2010


Older vehicles emit a disproportional share of total vehicle emissions. This study applied clustering analysis and Principal Component Regression (PCR) to target high-emitting older vehicles by knowing who owns them, where they are, and how much they emit. Using the San Joaquin Valley as the study region, this study found that low-income population, minorities and immigrants more likely own older vehicles. Knowing the socio-economic characteristics of older vehicle owners can help make proactive policies to implement car scrappage programs.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Environment; Vehicles and Equipment; I15: Environment

Environment; Geographic information systems; Multivariate analysis; Socioeconomic factors; Statistical analysis; San Joaquin Valley; High emitting vehicles; Vehicle scrappage

Availability: Transportation Research Board Business Office

Energy/Air Quality

Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 25

Authors: Davis, Stacy C; Diegel, Susan W Oak Ridge National Laboratory-Department of Energy Oak Ridge, TN ; Department of Energy-1000 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20585


Publication Date: Dec 2006


This statistical compendium was prepared and published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Program. Designed for use as a desk-top reference, the Data Book represents an assembly and display of statistics and information that characterize transportation activity, and presents data on other factors that influence transportation energy use. The purpose of this document is to present relevant statistical data in the form of tables and graphs. The latest edition of the Data Book is available to a larger audience via the Internet ( This 29th edition of the Data Book has 12 chapters which focus on various aspects of the transportation industry. Chapter 1 focuses on petroleum; Chapter 2 - energy; Chapter 3 - highway vehicles; Chapter 4 - light vehicles; Chapter 5 - heavy vehicles; Chapter 6 - alternative fuel vehicles; Chapter 7 - fleet vehicles; Chapter 8 - household vehicles; Chapter 9 - nonhighway modes; Chapter 10 - transportation and the economy; Chapter 11 - greenhouse gas emissions; and Chapter 12 - criteria pollutant emissions. The sources used represent the latest available data. There are also three appendices which include detailed source information for some tables, measures of conversion, and the definition of Census divisions and regions. A glossary of terms and a title index are also included for the reader's convenience.

Subject Areas and Index Terms

Data and Information Technology; Energy; Transportation (General); I15: Environment

Alternate fuels; Economic impacts; Energy; Energy consumption; Greenhouse gases; Statistics; Transportation modes; Vehicles

Availability: National Technical Information Service

Updated: 6/9/2011
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