Climate change concerns have renewed interest in “Smart Growth” – land use that emphasizes more compact, mixed-use development. Low-Carb Land gives users the ability to sensitivity test how land use shifts affect on-road travel and resulting CO2 emissions. The tool enables planners to develop high-level, policy-relevant insights that can inform decision makers and the general public about the travel and greenhouse gas (GHG) implications of various growth alternatives.
Low-Carb Land is especially useful for small- to medium-sized agencies that lack the financial resources or technical expertise to
  • Evaluate travel impacts from compact, mixed use development
  • Assess how travel changes affect CO2 emissions
  • Compare the relative merits of various land use proposals
  • Improve communication of land use outcomes to the general public
  • Understand the GHG implications of employment and housing development options
STI developed Low-Carb Land with the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Washington State Department of Commerce, and the Thurston Regional Planning Council. Staff from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also provided valuable assistance.