Developing Assessment Criteria for Sustainable Transport Appraisal
Merrill Jones Barradale, University of Colorado, BoulderShow Abstract
Yannick Cornet, University of Zilina
Defining a clear, comprehensive and non-overlapping set of assessment criteria is a crucial step in Multi-Criteria Analysis processes. Although criteria are typically developed based on planning objectives, there currently exists no standard procedure for conducting this exercise when both transportation and wider sustainable development goals need to be considered jointly. Based on a research applying the Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis approach to the case of a high-speed rail project in the UK, this paper develops a framework and a replicable stakeholder involvement process for selecting, defining and naming assessment criteria to be used in Sustainable Transport Appraisal (STA). The framework consists of a set of systematic guidelines and considerations for producing a coherent list that addresses known cognitive biases and can be understood by a broad range of stakeholders. One practicable outcome of the research is a list of 28 transport assessment criteria encompassing direct project impacts, indirect societal impacts, and environmental impacts. This list can serve as a starting point for planners wishing to conduct MCA-based Sustainable Transport Appraisal. One key take-away from this research is the renewed emphasis on an inclusive, interactive and iterative approach for defining sustainable transport assessment criteria.
Quantifying the Sustainability, Livability, and Equity Performance of Urban and Suburban Places in California
Bruce Appleyard, San Diego State UniversityShow Abstract
Alexander Frost, San Diego State University
For years, researchers and practitioners have worked towards measuring urban form, but a gap still remains in the research to quantify how urban and suburban place types impact economic, social and environmental outcomes at small geographic scales. To provide such analysis, this paper describes the development of a place typology and sustainability performance measures for all census tracts in the State of California.
This study finds there are clear trade-offs between urban and suburban living. Compared to suburbs, the households in urban places benefit from 42% reduction in annual vehicle miles traveled, 30% lower transport-related GHG emissions per capita, and saves more than $2,500 in annual transportation expense, while consuming less electricity (28%) and water per capita (42%). However, the cost of homeownership is 40% higher, despite rents being 15% cheaper. And while obesity and cardiovascular disease rates are 7.9 and 8.2% lower in urban places, there is a 9.6% higher rate of asthma and on average, urban areas experience higher concentrations of PM2.5 (6.5%), diesel PM (54%), and toxic releases from facilities (27.5%) compared to suburban communities.
From 1970 to 2015, the total percentage of residential units in urban neighborhoods decreased from 34 to 21% and the statewide housing units per capita dropped 7.5% between 1980 and 2015. Despite ambitious climate action and smart growth goals, the majority of new growth in the California continues to be in low-density suburban and rural areas, which are responsible for 80% of state’s total household carbon emissions.
Planning to Build Resilience into Transportation Assets: Lessons Learned
Beth Rodehorst, ICFShow Abstract
Brenda Dix, ICF
Jake Keller, WSP
Robert Hyman, Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST)
Brian Beucler, No Organization
Robert Kafalenos, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Khalid Mohamed, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Although many state and local transportation agencies recognize the need to make transportation assets more resilient in the face of a changing climate, there have been few methods and best practices they can draw on to determine which assets may be compromised under future conditions and how to evaluate and select adaptation measures. Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Transportation Engineering Approaches to Climate Resiliency (TEACR) project sought to synthesize lessons learned and innovations from a variety of recent FHWA studies and pilots to help transportation agencies address changing climate conditions and extreme weather events at the asset level.
This paper provides an introduction on where, why, and how to integrate resilience considerations into the transportation project development process; best practices on the steps for analyzing resilience; and a snapshot of lessons learned across various FHWA engineering-informed adaptation projects.
Using Indicators to Assess Sustainable Transportation and Related Concepts
Tara Ramani, Texas A&M UniversityShow Abstract
The overall goal of this study is to assess the concept of sustainability in relation to the related concepts of “health” and “livability” that have emerged in transportation planning discourse. This study achieves the goal using an indicator-based case study, conducted for the El Paso metropolitan area in the United States. Data from the regional travel demand model and other sources were used to quantify a sustainability index, livability index, and health index for individual traffic analysis zones in the region, for four analysis years over a 30-year planning horizon. Each index was comprised of representative indicators, which were normalized and aggregated in accordance with common multi-criteria decision-making methods. The analysis results demonstrated little correlation between the quantified livability, sustainability, and health indices developed for the El Paso region. The indices also showed relatively low levels of change over time for a location. That is, the relative performance of a traffic analysis zone tended to stay the same, despite the modeled changes to the transportation system, demographics, and land use. The main implication of the research findings is that despite overlaps at a theoretical level, concepts such as livability and health cannot necessarily serve as proxies for sustainability when implemented in practice. The study also provides insight into the challenges of making meaningful change in the area of sustainability over time and highlights the influence of factors beyond transportation, such as land use and socio-economic issues
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