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Measuring the Air Quality and Transportation Impacts of Infill Development

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Measuring the Air Quality and Transportation Impacts of Infill Development (PDF) (77 pp, 5 M)

Many regions are struggling to balance transportation needs with community revitalization and environmental protection. Infill development can support all three goals. Well-designed neighborhoods in convenient, accessible locations make walking, biking, and public transit more appealing options. Therefore, encouraging infill development can help more people meet their everyday needs with less driving, which can reduce traffic congestion and improve regional air quality.

This report summarizes three regional infill development scenarios to illustrate how regions can calculate the air quality and transportation benefits of infill. The approach relies upon standard transportation forecasting models currently used by metropolitan planning organizations around the country. Each case tests slightly different approaches to quantifying the transportation and air quality impacts within traditional four-step travel-demand models. The analysis shows how standard forecasting tools can be modified to capture at least some of the transportation and air quality benefits of brownfield and infill development.

Some of the key modifications include:

Key Findings
In each of the regions, redirecting jobs and households to redevelopment sites was forecast to reduce travel, congestion, and emissions from cars.

The results of this analysis suggest that strong support for infill development can be one of the most effective transportation and emission-reduction investments a region can pursue.

For a hard copy of the report, call (800) 490-9198 or email nscep@bps-lmit.com and request EPA 231-R-07-001.

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