February 5, 2010

Driving and the Built Environment: The Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel, Energy Use, and CO2 Emissions, An overview of Transportation Research Board Special Report 298, presented by Patricia L. Mokhtarian (member of the study committee)


Dr. Pat Mokhtarian, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chair of the Graduate Group, and Associate Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis


Requested by Congress and funded by the US Department of Energy, TRB Special Report 298 examines the relationship between land development patterns and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the United States to assess whether petroleum use, and by extension greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, could be reduced by changes in the design of development patterns. Applying findings from the most rigorous empirical studies to several future scenarios, the report estimates the contributions that changes in residential and mixed-use development patterns and transit investments could make in reducing VMT by 2030 and 2050, and the impact this could have in meeting future transportation-related GHG reduction goals.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Patricia Mokhtarian is Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Chair and Graduate Adviser of the Transportation Technology & Policy Graduate Group, and Associate Director for Education at the Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis. She received her B.A. in Mathematics from Florida State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering/Management Science from Northwestern University. Prof. Mokhtarian joined UC Davis in 1990, after a post-doc at UC Irvine, six years with the Southern California Association of Governments in Los Angeles, and two years in consulting. Her research interests include travel behavior modeling; travel demand forecasting; impacts of telecommunications on transportation, land use, and the environment; and transportation-land-use interactions. She is an emeritus member of the Transportation Research Board committees on Telecommunications and Travel Behavior (founding chair) and Traveler Behavior and Values, and has served on several National Academies study committees, most recently including the Committee on Development Patterns, Vehicle-miles Traveled, and Energy. She is an Editor of Transportation, and a member of the Editorial Boards of the Transportation Research Part A, Transport Policy, and Transportation Letters journals. She has published more than 100 refereed papers in international journals, and numerous other reports and articles.