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CO2 from land-use map helps region cope with climate change

Marc Lefkowitz  |  06/11/09 @ 3:35pm

Responding to a new federal Sustainable Communities Initiative, King County (home to Seattle) is deliberating a proposed ordinance that would require developers to account for, and possibly reduce, carbon dioxide from transportation, building materials and future energy use, New Urban News reports.

To address climate change, President Obama recently called on the US Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development to invest in integrated land use, housing and transportation planning at the regional level.

King County is mapping where carbon dioxide emissions are generated by household (similar to Chicago's Center for Neighborhood Technology CO2 from autos regional maps which include Northeast Ohio). The King County map will provide a baseline that can be used in its development review process. When a development is submitted to the county, it can be checked to see how its emissions compare to the baseline or average level of emissions countywide. The county can then determine what mitigation is needed.

Planners need tools that can evaluate and compare the potential CO2 effects of rezoning, comprehensive plans, transit investment and transit-oriented development. King County looked at the relationships between urban form, air quality, transportation and health. We integrated research results into I-PLACE3S, a web-based scenario planning tool developed by Sacramento Area Council of Governments (for) real-time feedback about the implications of planning decisions.

NOACA-and its new effort to incorporate land-use and transportation's impact on carbon dioxide emissions in its long-range plan-should consider this same planning process.

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