Latest from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute

The Best Tool for Reducing Traffic Deaths? More Transit!” ( ). This StreetBlog column uses research from the report, “A Hidden Traffic Safety Solution” ( ). “A New Traffic Safety Paradigm” ( ), provides additional information on the traffic safety benefits of more multimodal transport planning.

Why the Transportation Energy Intensity of Buildings Matters” ( ), by Alex Wilson and Paula Melton. This Building Green study points out that the energy used traveling to and from buildings (“transportation energy intensity”) often exceeds the energy used to run them, so accessible location is essential for truly efficient buildings.

Cities Can Save $17 Trillion by Preventing Urban Sprawl” ( ) by the World Resources Institute. This column describes research in the New Climate Economy report, “Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century,” which identifies practical ways to reduce climate emissions and achieving economic development and social equity goals. It uses data from the 2015 report, “Analysis of Public Policies That Unintentionally Encourage and Subsidize Urban Sprawl” ( ), which estimated that sprawl is conservatively estimated to cost the US at least 7% of national GDP. This report provides an encouraging message: environmental protection can be achieved in ways that increase economic efficiency, productivity and opportunity.

The Surprising Power of Parking Management” ( ). This Reinventing Parking podcast includes a discussion by Paul Barter and Todd Litman concerning how parking management can help solve diverse urban problems. Put simply, conventional development practices require housing for cars not people, resulting in 2-6 off-street parking spaces per vehicle and a shortage of affordable housing. More efficient management can reduce the number of parking spaces needed to serve a destination, providing huge savings and benefits. Everybody wins!

CityLab University: Induced Demand” ( ). When traffic-clogged highways are expanded, additional trips generally fill much of the increased capacity. This article is based on our report, “Generated Traffic: Implications for Transport Planning” ( ).

Educated Millennial Population Growth in Cities and Its Impact on Transportation” ( ), by Sam Schwartz and Julia Fiore. This ITE Journal article describes the growing number of younger urban residents who want more affordable housing and transport options, based on VTPI’s affordability research ( ).

Rural Multimodal Planning: Why and How to Improve Travel Options in Small Towns and Rural Communities” ( ).  This report that explores why and how to implement more multimodal planning in rural areas and small towns. Current trends are increasing demand for non-auto travel options in rural communities, including aging populations, rising poverty, growing health and safety concerns, and growing tourist industries.

True Affordability: Critiquing the International Housing Affordability Survey” ( ). This report critically evaluates the International Housing Affordability Survey, which rates regional housing prices relative to incomes.

Quantifying Social Costs and Benefits to Guide Individual Action” ( ), by CityFi. This column uses VTPI analysis to compare the external costs of various transport modes, as a way to communicate the value of choosing more resource-efficient transport options.

The Effects of Long Commutes and What To Do About Them: An Annotated Bibliography” ( ), for CloseCommute Systems ( ). Closer Commutes identifies ways to reduce commute travel in multi-worksite employers, which collectively employ about 40% of the urban workforce.

Recent Planetizen Blogs ( ):


Planning for Crime Reduction” ( ). Few issues are more emotional, and therefore vulnerable to bad analysis, than urban crime risk. Solid research indicates that more compact and mixed development tends to increase neighborhood security. Jane Jacobs was right! This column includes some original analysis which compares murder, homicide and suicide rates by community type, which indicates that large cities have lower total risk than smaller cities, towns and rural areas. This indicates that Smart Growth is safer as well as healthier.


Dynamic Planning for Affordability” ( )

Conventional planning is static, designed to lock in existing land use patterns. We need more dynamic planning to respond to changing household needs and community goals.


Win-Win Solutions for Climate Protection and Health” ( ). The Call to Action on Climate and Health is an ambitious plan to achieve both global climate and health goals. Planners can help identify win-win solutions that provide multiple benefits and so can build broad implementation coalitions.


How Filtering Increases Housing Affordability” ( ). Good research indicates that building middle-priced housing increases affordability through “filtering,” as some lower-priced housing occupants move into more expensive units, and over time as the new houses depreciate and become cheaper.


Let’s be friends. Todd Litman regularly posts on his Facebook page ( ). Befriend him now!

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Urban Planning for Future Regional Sky Transit” ( ). Video of May 12 presentation at the 2018 Sustainable Aviation Symposium concerning the potential benefits of urban air taxis.


City Talks Panel: Alternative Urbanisms in Victoria” ( ).

The University of Victoria’s Fall City Talks series kicked off September 20 with a panel discussion on alternative urbanisms including youth-driven indigenous land restoration, Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour, urban place-making, affordable Infill, and anarchist festivals.


Driving Change: Technology and the Future of the Automated Vehicle” ( ). Report includes evidence presented by Todd Litman to the Canadian Senate Committee on Transport and Communications concerning autonomous vehicle implementation.


Healthy Solutions to Climate Risks” presented September 12 at the Global Climate and Health Forum ( ), part of the Global Climate Action Summit ( ) in San Francisco.  This presentation highlighted win-win strategies that can reduce climate change emissions and achieve other health objectives including reduced local pollution, increased physical activity and fitness, reduced traffic accidents, and increased affordability and inclusivity.


Preparing for A Changing Mobility Future: Emerging Planning Issues” ( ). November 9 presentation at Ohio State University Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA). Includes video.