University of Wisconsin–Madison

Driving Down Emissions: Transportation, Land Use, and Climate Change

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2020
Level City or Town, State
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Community Development, Environment & Natural Resources, Health, Housing, Transportation & Mobility
Transportation accounts for the largest share of carbon emissions in the U.S. Car-oriented land use and community design play a significant role in the nation’s transportation emissions; communities are built in a way that makes it difficult and unsafe to access daily needs outside a vehicle, resulting in rising emissions, increased pedestrian fatalities, and poor health outcomes that disproportionately impact lower-income and communities of color. To combat this problem, this report suggests that policymakers make safety the top priority for street design to encourage more short trips, invest heavily in other options for getting around, and provide more homes where people naturally drive less.

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