CO2 emissions from more dense development patterns. The study will describe development patterns in the context of past and recent population and employment trends that affect residential and business location and travel in a region. In addition, it will consider future demographic changes and trends in immigration that may provide opportunities for development patterns that reduce VMT or for the use of alternative transport modes, as well as the political and institutional challenges (e.g., zoning) that likely would need to be addressed to take advantage of these opportunities. Finally, the study will offer estimates of the potential VMT reductions, energy savings, and GHG/ CO2 emissions reductions from various development scenarios and the likely time period over which they might occur.
The request for this study was made in Section 1827 of the Energy Policy Act:
(a) In General.—The Secretary shall enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences under which the Academy shall conduct a study to assess the implications on energy use and efficiency of land development patterns in the United States. (b) Scope.—The study shall consider—(1) the correlation, if any, between land development patterns and increases in vehicle miles traveled; (2) whether petroleum use in the transportation sector can be reduced through changes in the design of development patterns; (3) the potential benefits of— (A) information and education programs for State and local officials (including planning officials) on the potential for energy savings through planning, design, development, and infrastructure decisions; (B) incorporation of location efficiency models in transportation infrastructure planning and investments; and (C) transportation policies and strategies to help transportation planners manage the demand for the number and length of vehicle trips, including trips that increase the viability of other means of travel; and (4) such other considerations relating to the study topic as the National Academy of Sciences finds appropriate.