Even Smarter Growth? Land Use, Transportation, and Greenhouse Gas in Maryland

Avin, Uri, Timothy F. Welch, Gerrit Knaap, Fred Ducca, Sabyasachee Mishra, Yuchen Cui, and Sevgi Erd

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Urban form studies have generally used regional density vs. sprawl land use scenarios to assess
travel behavior outcomes. The more nuanced but nonetheless important allocation of jobs and
housing and their relationship to each other as a factor in travel behavior has received much less
attention. That relationship is explored in this statewide urban form study for Maryland. This is a
state where county land use has a long tradition of growth management, but one whose regional
and statewide implications have not been evaluated. How does a continuation of the County level
smart growth regime play out statewide compared to other scenarios of job and housing
distribution that are driven by higher driving costs or transit oriented development goals or local
zoning rather than local policy-driven projections? Answers are provided through the application
of a statewide travel demand model, the Maryland Statewide Transportation Model (MSTM).
The findings suggest that the debate should move beyond walkability, density and compact
growth and towards a more productive dialog about how we organize whole cities and regions.