The Role of Well Designed Transportation Projects Enhancing Communities: Protecting Public Health, Safety and the Environment

Principal Investigator:

John Carmody, Director Campus/College level, Center for Sustainable Building Research

Co-Investigator

  • Virajita Singh, Research Fellow, Center for Sustainable Building Research

Project Summary:

As a component of the interdisciplinary research study titled "The Role of Well-Designed Transportation Projects Enhancing Communities," this research project examined potential benefits in the areas of health, safety, and the environment. All transportation projects have the potential to produce positive and negative impacts in these areas. Positive impacts may include better community access to services and goods that protect and sustain human health; however, these benefits must also be weighed against potential negative impacts on land, air, water, biodiversity, and resource depletion. In the past fifteen years, these concerns have been most commonly associated with the term "sustainable design." This project developed strategies and best practices to be employed in areas such as site selection, water and energy consumption, the indoor environment, construction materials, and waste handling. This research includes a review of environmental assessment methods, rating systems and guidelines that are currently being used to transform sustainable building practices in the United States. Researchers also examined case studies of exemplary transportation projects demonstrating the benefits of sustainable design approaches. The research includes case studies at three scales--large-scale development, buildings, and infrastructure--and identifies the lessons learned from these projects. Wherever possible, the impacts of design decisions on real measurable outcomes were determined as well.

Sponsor:

Project Details:

  • Start date: 07/2006
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Research Area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Planning, Safety