Greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by planning, de- signing, and prioritizing walkable, diverse communities supported by sustainable multimodal transportation options.
The transportation sector contributes 4S percent of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, with the majority of trips taken for family and personal purposes in single occupancy vehicles. Re- ducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which reduces emissions, can be achieved by shifting trips taken in the personal vehicle to walking, biking and public transportation, and by shortening or avoiding trips altogether through community design and sustainable development strategies.
Recent studies demonstrate the significant impact this approach can have on avoiding greenhouse gas emissions – estimating that the five “Ds” of compact development – density, diversity, design, destination and distance to transit – could reduce VMT by 12 to 18 percent.1 Clearly, the success of this reduction depends on the extent and timing of implementation. Some recommendations call for increased funding for mobility solutions that achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions while improving the livability and economic strength of the region by reducing our dependence on personal vehicles. Other recommendations focus on more immediate strategic service improvements as well as initiatives to attract individuals who could drive their cars but who choose to ride transit or share a ride because of the conveniences and other benefits represented by these choices.
More than 1OO entities in the Southeast Florida region, including municipalities, county and state governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and regional planning bodies, exercise governance over transportation planning, operation, and investment decisions. A continued and expanded collaborative approach to these activities will be a cornerstone to implementing recommendations that not only serve to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but will realize cross-cutting benefits of more livable and desirable communities within our region.