Estimating Land Use Impacts on Transportation ? Findings from the Hanover Region

Estimating Land Use Impacts on Transportation ? Findings from the Hanover Region


M Bohnet, J-M Gutsche, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), DE


This paper discusses how transportation models can be used to assess the effects of land use policies by estimating the consequences of location decisions on car-km, modal share and public transport revenues.


Land use decisions can contribute decisively to a more or to a less sustainable mobility. Planning agencies responsible for land use policy are aware of this. But often knowledge and tools are lacking to quantify the impact of land use plans or of single developments on transportation patterns.
This paper presents findings of a research project funded by the German Ministry of transportation, conducted by the Hamburg Technical University together with the Hanover Region. It uses transportation demand models to estimate the transportation impacts of different land use developments.
The analysis demonstrates how commlonly used transportation models, often available in regional or municipal planning or transportation departments, may be used to assess the cost impacts of urban development. This method reveals the high costs associated with non-sustainable location decisions on public and private budgets, supporting the often qualitative discussion on sustainable mobility with quantitative arguments.
The results of different applications will be presented: The influence of the regional land use plan on transportation and the effects of location decisions for shopping and residential developments in different locations on transportation.
The effects of regional land use planning on transport patterns
To assess the effectiveness of the regional land use plan in the Hanover Region different scenarios for the distribution of population, jobs and retail establishments in the year 2020 have been developed:
A ?do-nothing? scenario, using current trends as a baseline, was compared with scenarios in which development occurs in accordance with, or working against, the regional land use plan The modelling results show that the implementation of the regional land use plan can reduce the kilometres travelled by car by 12%. Implementation would also maintain the mode share of trips made by foot, bicycle and public transportation. In the implementation scenario, public transport revenues remain stable, in the opposite scenario, they are projected to fall by 15%.
Retail locations: effects of big box retail on sustainable mobility
Urban development takes place in a process of many location decisions of individual stakeholders. One important driving force of urban development is retail, which has major influence on shopping mobility pattern and accessibility.
An analysis of the traffic impact of three retail mall developments in the Hanover Region was conducted regarding their effects on mode choice, kilometres travelled, public transport revenues or on existing retail locations.
Results reveal that the impact of new suburban malls can increase or decrease total kilometres travelled depending on the location of the mall. A mall in the city centre, due to its excellent access to public transport, was found to reduce car kilometres travelled, in spite of an increase in total distance travelled Thus, the additional annual revenues for public transport generated by the mall reach up to 1 Mio. ? per year.
Residential location choice: the high mobility costs of ?low land cost? locations
Residential location influences the mobility patterns of people. Suburban locations often provide cheaper housing prices and high quality of open space, but inhabitants trade off higher costs in time and money spent on mobility than inhabitants in central locations. The analysis shows that households in central locations with attractive mobility options show 50% lower rates of car ownership, even those that are able to afford a second or third car. Thus households in favourable locations were found to travel on average half as many kilometres as their suburban counterparts, and to save more than 50% on mobility costs.

In the Hanover region, 16 different residential locations were compared regarding mode choice, distance travelled per mode, and the revenue generated for public transport agencies. Some findings include:
- commuting trip distances increase heavily with the distance to the city centre
- a broad range of shops, schools and leisure facilities next to residential areas tend to reduce non-work trip lengths and increase walking and cycling
- residences within transit catchment areas clearly showed reduced car use and lower car kilometres travelled
- car ownership is significantly lower in central locations accessible by transit when controlling for socio-demographic and economic factors
Sustainable land use saves mobility costs to private households and to the public
This report supports the finding that sustainable urban planning is crucial to lower car dependency, especially in the context of rising petrol prices. The in-depth analysis linking location decisions to transport patterns demonstrates that every land use decision makes a difference in meeting sustainable mobility goals; that is, every individidual location decision of a commercial or residential development adds up to success or failure of the strategic plan.


Association for European Transport