NCHRP Research Report 998: Planning Freight-Efficient Land Uses: Methodology, Strategies, and Tools presents a state-of-the-art guide for enhancing land-use practices to better incorporate the needs and impacts of freight activity, including the potential to improve the efficiency of the associated supply chains. This report will be of immediate interest to land-use planners specifically, and to transportation planners and policymakers generally, as they seek to understand how land-use policies can enable the efficient movement of freight while meeting other community goals.
Much attention has been focused on land-use strategies for reducing vehicle travel as well as providing a range of other economic, social, and environmental benefits. These strategies include compact, higher density neighborhoods; greater mixes of uses; pedestrian-friendly design; and infill development—strategies that are collectively referred to as smart growth.
However, research has almost exclusively focused on the impact of smart growth on passenger travel and has generally ignored goods and services movement by trucks. In addition, there are many other factors influencing land use, such as population growth and gentrification, and new supply chain management approaches, such as freight villages, freight hubs, and inland ports, that can affect freight movement. Freight traffic is growing faster than car traffic. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that truck vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will grow by 50% between 2015 and 2040, compared with 26% for light-duty vehicles. Furthermore, diesel engine pollutants have emerged as a top health concern among mobile source-generated air pollution, especially particulate matter and fine particles. These increases will greatly impact the nation’s ability to achieve its objectives for environmental sustainability and livability. As metropolitan areas increasingly adopt various land-use practices, research was needed on their impacts on goods movement by all freight modes.
Under NCHRP Project 08-111, “Effective Decision-Making Methods for Freight-Efficient
Land Use,” Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was asked to develop a guide to (1) quantify and evaluate the impact of land-use practices and policies to support the efficient movement of all modes of freight, and (2) develop quantitative and qualitative land-use assessment tools (e.g., models, matrices, guides) to assist local, regional, and state land-use and transportation decision-makers to support the efficient movement of freight.
In addition to this Guide, the following deliverables are available on the National Academies
Press website (www.nap.edu) by searching for NCHRP Research Report 998: