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Equity Analysis of Land Use and Transport Plans Using an Integrated Spatial Model

UCD-ITS-RR-09-46

Research Report

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Suggested Citation:
Rodier, Caroline J., John E. Abraham, Brenda Dix, John D. Hunt (2009) Equity Analysis of Land Use and Transport Plans Using an Integrated Spatial Model. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-09-46

This paper describes a study to investigate how a spatial economic model can be used to evaluate the equity effects of land use and transport policies intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Activity Allocation Module of the PECAS (Production, Exchange, and Consumption Allocation) Model for the Sacramento region is used to simulate two scenarios for the year 2035 arising from a recent planning process, ‘Business-As-Usual’ and ‘Preferred Blueprint.’ Advanced aggregate travel models and activity-based travel models have been applied to evaluate distributions of travel time and cost effects of transport and land use policies across different socio-economic groups. But the PECAS model system, with its representation of the interactions among the transport system and the rest of the spatial economic system, enables an evaluation of the distributions of a wider range of economic impacts, including wages, rents, productivity, and consumer surplus, for segments of households, labor, and industry. In this study, the PECAS model is applied to illustrate the distributional measures that can be obtained from this type of model and to provide insights into the equity effects of different transport and land development patterns. The results show that a more compact urban form designed around transit stations may reduce travel costs, wages, and housing costs by increasing accessibility, which can lead to substantial net benefits for industry categories and lower income households. Higher income households may be net losers, since their incomes are more dependent on reduced wages, they are less willing to switch to higher density dwellings, and they are more likely to own their own home.