Predicting the Relative Impacts of Urban Development Policies and On-Road Vehicle Technologies on Air Quality in the United States: Modeling and Analysis of a Case Study in Austin, TexasEPA Grant Number: R831839
Title: Predicting the Relative Impacts of Urban Development Policies and On-Road Vehicle Technologies on Air Quality in the United States: Modeling and Analysis of a Case Study in Austin, Texas
Investigators: McDonald-Buller, Elena , Allen, David T. , Kockelman, Kara , Parmenter, Barbara
Institution: The University of Texas at Austin
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: December 20, 2004 through December 19, 2007 (Extended to December 19, 2008)
Project Amount: $650,000
RFA: Regional Development, Population Trend, and Technology Change Impacts on Future Air Pollution Emissions (2004) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Climate Change , Air
Robust forecasts of land use, emissions, and activity patterns are essential for air quality model predictions. The objectives of this proposal are to:
1. Apply an integrated transportation-land use model (ITLUM) to investigate the impacts of regional development scenarios and trade policies on the magnitude and spatial distribution of emissions of ozone precursors. ITLUM-based forecasts will be compared with four pre-determined metropolitan development scenarios: i) low-density, segregated-use development based on extensive highway provision; ii) concentrated, contiguous regional growth within 1-mile of transportation corridors; iii) concentrated growth in existing and new communities with distinct boundaries; iv) high-density development and balanced-use zoning.
2. Compare the air quality impacts of regional development scenarios on predicted ozone concentrations and human exposure patterns using a photochemical grid model.
3. Test the hypothesis that predicted human exposure patterns based on ITLUM emission forecasts will differ from those based on the U.S. EPA’s post-Clean Air Act Amendment emission scenario projections.
4. Test the hypothesis that changes in land use and dry deposition patterns have at least as significant an impact on future air quality as changes in on-road vehicle emission control technologies.
The hypotheses will be investigated using a case study in the Austin, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Biogenic and anthropogenic emissions will be quantified and mapped for each scenario and used as input to the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions to evaluate air quality and human exposure patterns and to test the hypotheses.
Integrated modeling efforts, such as those proposed in this study, have the potential to facilitate policy decisions that chart a better and more cost-effective path towards healthful environments for U.S. communities. This work will provide the structure needed for comprehensive modeling of regional land use, transport, and air quality futures.