IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Planning for economic and environmental resilience


  • Winkelman, Steve
  • Bishins, Allison
  • Kooshian, Chuck


Climate protection will require major reductions in GHG emissions from all sectors of the economy, including the transportation sector. Slowing growth in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will be necessary for reducing transportation GHG emissions, even with major breakthroughs in vehicle technologies and low-carbon fuels (Winkelman et al., 2009). The Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) supports market-based policy approaches that minimize costs and maximize benefits. Our research indicates that significant GHG reductions can be achieved through smart growth and travel efficiency measures that increase accessibility, improve travel choices and make optimum use of existing infrastructure. Moreover, we find such measures can deliver compelling economic benefits, including avoided infrastructure costs, leveraged private investment, increased local tax revenues and consumer vehicle ownership and operating cost savings (Winkelman et al., 2009). As a society, what we build - where and how - has a tremendous impact on our carbon footprint, from building design to transportation infrastructure and land-use patterns. The empirical and modeling evidence is clear - people drive less in locations with efficient land use patterns, high quality travel choices and reinforcing policies and incentives (Ewing et al., 2008). It is also clear that there is growing and unmet market demand for walkable communities, reinforced by demographic shifts and higher fuel prices ([Leinberger, 2006] and [Nelson, 2007]). Transportation policy in the United States must rise to meet this demand for more travel choices and more livable communities. The academic, ideological and political debates about the level of GHG reductions and penetration rates that can or should be achieved via smart growth and pricing on the one hand, or measures such as 'eco-driving' and signal optimization on the other, have served their purpose: we know which policies are 'directionally correct' - policies that reduce GHG emissions even though we may not know the scope of those reductions. Now is the time to implement directionally correct policies, assess what works best where, and refine policy based on the results. It is a framework that CCAP calls "Do. Measure. Learn." The Federal government is poised to spend $500 billion on transportation (Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 2009). CCAP encourages Congress to "Ask the Climate Question" - will our transportation investments help reduce GHG emissions or exacerbate the problem? Will they help increase our resilience to climate change impacts or increase our vulnerability? And, while we're at it, will our investment foster energy security, livable communities and a vibrant economy? Federal transportation and climate policies should empower communities to implement locally-determined travel efficiency solutions by providing appropriate funding, tools and technical support.

Suggested Citation

  • Winkelman, Steve & Bishins, Allison & Kooshian, Chuck, 2010. "Planning for economic and environmental resilience," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 575-586, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:44:y:2010:i:8:p:575-586

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rouhani, Omid M. & Niemeier, Debbie & Knittel, Christopher R. & Madani, Kaveh, 2013. "Integrated modeling framework for leasing urban roads: A case study of Fresno, California," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 17-30.
    2. Sharifi, Ayyoob & Yamagata, Yoshiki, 2016. "Principles and criteria for assessing urban energy resilience: A literature review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1654-1677.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:44:y:2010:i:8:p:575-586. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.