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Advances in integrating urban form and energy-economy modeling for simulating transportation GHG-energy policies

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Author: Budd, Thomas
Vancouver, British Columbia is one of many leading municipal jurisdictions that has set ambitious GHG emission and renewable energy targets. This analysis uses Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy as a case study of municipal policy that affects land use, transportation infrastructure, and population densification to assess the impact of urban form and density on transportation GHG emissions, energy use, mode-choice, and travel demand. The CIMS-Urban energy-economy model is used to provide realistic estimations of the effect of municipal policies on technology use and personal mobility behaviour that account for most urban transportation energy demand. The results indicate that improvements to urban form, in the absence of other policies that target vehicle energy efficiency and fuel switching to renewable sources, will not provide sufficient reductions in GHG emissions to achieve ambitious decarbonization targets. Additionally, urban density policy must be accompanied with mixed-use land zoning changes to be effective.
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