An Integrated Framework for Estimating Long-Term Mobile Source Emissions Linking Land Use, Transportation and Economic Behavior

EPA Grant Number: R831450
Title: An Integrated Framework for Estimating Long-Term Mobile Source Emissions Linking Land Use, Transportation and Economic Behavior
Investigators: Harrington, Winston , Nelson, Peter , Safirova, Elena , Shih, Jhih-Shyang
Institution: Resources for the Future
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 1, 2004 through July 31, 2007
Project Amount: $749,080
RFA: Consequences of Global Change for Air Quality: Spatial Patterns in Air Pollution Emissions (2003) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Climate Change , Air


The aim of the proposed research is to create a flexible modeling framework to estimate long-term mobile source emissions in a metropolitan region, a framework that reflects the importance of geographic specificity, technological change, and especially behavioral adjustments by consumers. The interactions between transportation, land use, and vehicle ownership decisions are fundamental to the model structure. The importance of these interrelationships increases for issues that require a long planning horizon, such as climate change. The development of the framework will provide insight into the sensitivity of estimates of future mobile source emissions to assumptions about economic growth, demographic change, technological innovation, and behavioral responses. We will also evaluate the long-run effectiveness of different policies aimed at reducing mobile source emissions and their impact on air quality.


For this study, we will integrate three urban-scale computational models into a unified dynamic equilibrium framework in which land use and transportation decisions of residents and firms are determined. The models will be calibrated on Washington, DC data and will be interfaced with the MOBILE6 model to generate emissions resulting from a land use and transportation pattern of the metro area. As a test of this framework we will also input resulting emissions into a regional air quality model and analyze the effects of a subset of the policies mentioned above on air quality. The urban scale models are 1) a transportation model (START), a land-use model (RELU), and a vehicle choice model. All three models are designed for fast run times and flexibility of parameter specification to facilitate sensitivity analysis and policy testing.

Expected Results:

The research will result in a useful integrated framework that can be applied to different metropolitan areas. In addition, the work will lead to a better understanding of the relative importance of the driving forces behind long-term emission trends, such as land use changes, demographic and economic changes and technological change. We anticipate that the policy simulations will be highly valuable to policymakers at the local as well as at the national level as aids to understanding the interdependence and relative importance of land use, transportation policies and air quality and emission standards. Finally, the research will demonstrate how future emission scenarios can be integrated with regional air quality models to project long-term effects of air pollutant emissions.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 39 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

air, air quality, analytical, behavioral models, CGE modeling, clean technologies, consumer behavior, cost-benefit analysis, decision making, economic behavior, economics, emissions, environmental regulation, future emissions, general equilibrium, global change, greenhouse gas, greenhouse gases, housing location, industrial location, infrastructure, land use, land use modeling, land use policies, long run, long-run effects, long term, long-term impact, long-term effects, mobile source, mobile sources, modeling, nitrogen oxides, ozone, particulate matter, particulates, preferences, public policy, residential location, sensitivity analysis, social science, socioeconomic, technological change, traffic congestion, transportation, transportation infrastructure, transportation modeling, travel demand, travel pattern, uncertainty, urban development, vehicle emissions, vehicle miles traveled, vehicle ownership, VMT, VOC, Mid-Atlantic, Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA), District of Columbia (DC)., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Air Quality, Environmental Chemistry, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, mobile sources, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Risk Assessment, Atmosphere, engine exhaust, vehicle emissions, human activities, motor vehicle emissions, air quality models, emissions measurement, Global Climate Change

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • Final Report