American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has a
Transportation and Climate Change Resource Center with resources about how state departments of transportation, regional planning organizations and states are addressing climate change. Included is a webinar series that AASHTO put together with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Also interesting is a report from the Washington Council of Governments (WASHCOG), entitled What Would it Take?, that summarizes what must be accomplished to meet certain environmental goals.
Environmental Groups Join in Dump the Pump
In its Dump the Pump Day press release, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) rightly noted that public transportation saves the U.S. "4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually." That does not even count vanpools, private bus service, carpools, and shared taxi rides. The National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club joined in, with messages about preventing future Gulf oil-spill type disasters and reducing our dependence on oil.
HUD Backs LEED-ND
That the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is funding its support of transit-oriented development (TOD) is old news, but it is backing a particular view of TOD: LEED-ND or LEED (the environmental standard for buildings) for Neighborhood Development.
According to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan,
Using the 'LEED-ND' green neighborhood rating system CNU [Congress for New Urbanism] developed in partnership with the National Resources Defense Council and Green Building Council, it's time that federal dollars stopped encouraging sprawl and started lowering the barriers to the kind of sustainable development our country needs and our communities want.More information is available at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/hud_to_use_leed-nd_criteria_in.html.
And with $3.25 billion at stake in these competitions, that's exactly what they will start to do.
And How Much Can We Collectively Lower Our Carbon Footprint?
The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) in partnership with the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) have issued a study that examines how much neighborhood design and access to transit affect people's carbon footprints. Transit Oriented Development and The Potential for VMT-related Greenhouse Gas Emissions Growth Reduction estimates that compact city locations show reductions in emissions of 78 percent, with still remarkable, though less dramatic, reductions for less dense transit-oriented areas.