Transportation & Land Use

In the United States, transportation (cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes) contributes 29% (2019) of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the largest amount of all sectors, including industry and electricity. Over half of transportation emissions come from passenger cars, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and light-duty trucks, including sport utility vehicles. Emissions between 1990 and 2019 have trended upward as the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by passenger cars and light-duty trucks increased by 48 percent during that period. Much of this growth stems from the expansion of land for economic activities and housing. The result is car-dependent sprawl.

Land use is fundamentally a responsibility of local governments – which land is developed, what is built on it, and what modes of transport are fostered to travel over it. With a focus on reducing VMT, communities can use their powers to:

  • Shift from zoning which separates uses in favor of more mixed use, e.g., homes, stores, and businesses.
  • Encourage building more, less expensive housing near jobs and public transportation.
  • Expand zero-emissions public transit and incentivize its use.
  • Build infrastructure for active transport, including sidewalks and bike paths for walking, biking, scootering, etc.
  • Facilitate electrification of transit.
  • Incentivize reduced use of private vehicles.

Reduce VMT by congestion mitigation tax

Description: A ballot proposal was passed in San Francisco, CA in November 2019 that would place a tax on rideshare companies (also known as Transportation Network Companies) like Uber and […]

Reduce VMT by congestion mitigation tax Read More »

Description: A ballot proposal was passed in San Francisco, CA in November 2019 that would place a tax on rideshare companies (also known as Transportation Network Companies) like Uber and

Transportation District grants

Description: The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation District established a grant program to award transportation infrastructure dollars to the cities and counties that produce or preserve the largest number

Transportation District grants Read More »

Description: The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation District established a grant program to award transportation infrastructure dollars to the cities and counties that produce or preserve the largest number

Increased access to ZEVs

Description: The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund awarded funding to the Sacramento Air Quality Management District to start the CarShare program in the Greater Sacramento, CA area. It has provided free

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Description: The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund awarded funding to the Sacramento Air Quality Management District to start the CarShare program in the Greater Sacramento, CA area. It has provided free

California reach code (initially a zoning code) for solar PV

Description: In 2013, Lancaster, CA became the first city in the U.S. to require housing developers to install solar photovoltaics (PV) with every new home they build. This was accomplished

California reach code (initially a zoning code) for solar PV Read More »

Description: In 2013, Lancaster, CA became the first city in the U.S. to require housing developers to install solar photovoltaics (PV) with every new home they build. This was accomplished

Protected bike lanes

Description: To reduce the number of bike crashes and increase bicycle ridership, San Francisco, CA has created protected curbside bike lanes on several busy and otherwise hazardous streets. The projects

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Description: To reduce the number of bike crashes and increase bicycle ridership, San Francisco, CA has created protected curbside bike lanes on several busy and otherwise hazardous streets. The projects

Reduce VMT by zoning – ADUs

Description: An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a separate dwelling unit that contains independent kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities, and is located on a residential zoned lot, subordinate to main

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Description: An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a separate dwelling unit that contains independent kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities, and is located on a residential zoned lot, subordinate to main

Implement comprehensive plan

Description: Minneapolis 2040, the city’s comprehensive plan, addresses issues associated with housing, racial equity and climate change. The plan eliminates single-family zoning and instead allows residential structures with up to

Implement comprehensive plan Read More »

Description: Minneapolis 2040, the city’s comprehensive plan, addresses issues associated with housing, racial equity and climate change. The plan eliminates single-family zoning and instead allows residential structures with up to

Electric vehicle readiness policy

Description: The city of San Anselmo, CA amended its general plan to incorporate an “Electric Vehicle (EV) Readiness Policy.” The policy is comprised of three parts: 1) Increase charger stations

Electric vehicle readiness policy Read More »

Description: The city of San Anselmo, CA amended its general plan to incorporate an “Electric Vehicle (EV) Readiness Policy.” The policy is comprised of three parts: 1) Increase charger stations

Encourage new housing near mass transit

Description: The city of San Diego, CA is scrapping parking mandates for new apartment buildings and condos built near mass transit (specifically, built within a half-mile of a bus rapid transit

Encourage new housing near mass transit Read More »

Description: The city of San Diego, CA is scrapping parking mandates for new apartment buildings and condos built near mass transit (specifically, built within a half-mile of a bus rapid transit

Increase number of EVs

Description: Cool the Earth is a grassroots, non-profit organization that believes personal action is essential to reducing carbon emissions. One way Cool the Earth is working to reduce carbon emissions

Increase number of EVs Read More »

Description: Cool the Earth is a grassroots, non-profit organization that believes personal action is essential to reducing carbon emissions. One way Cool the Earth is working to reduce carbon emissions

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