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Urban Land Use and Transportation Center Convenes Founding Advisory Board Meeting

Members of the Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) Advisory Board including Jim Ghielmetti, James Boyd, Chuck Kooshian, Larry Greene, Gregg Albright, Jerry Walters, Maren Outwater, Gary Gallegos, Randy Iwasaki, Dale Bonner, Marlon Boarnet, and Pike Oliver met on May 13th at the Hyatt Place on the UC Davis campus. ULTRANS Director, Mike McCoy, welcomed the board and provided some background about the establishment of the Center. Specifically how the groundwork for the center began nearly thirty years ago with the Land Use and Natural Resources program at University Extension and continued through the work at the Information Center for the Environment. The Institute for Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) was created 20 years ago with a focus on fuel and vehicle technology while the topic of land use and travel behavior received carefully study. Combining these efforts to understand land use policy and travel behavior marked the formation of ULTRANS.

The Center engaged the State of California Air Resource Board, the California Transportation Commission, the California Department of Transportation, the California Energy Commission, the California Attorney General’s Office and the California Air Resources Board's SB 375 Regional Targets Advisory Committee (RTAC) process to assist with the development of policy language, modeling criteria, and general counsel to help frame land use and transportation programming at the state level. ULTRANS is deeply engaged with Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and regional Councils of Government in preparing for the implementation “Sustainable Community Strategies”. The Center has also joined with its UC ITS partners to provide advice to ARB in developing Best Management Practices (BMPs) for SB 375 that are scientifically defensible.

Professor Doug Hunt provided context to the discussion by reporting that the worldwide populations will peak at 9.5 billion people in 2080 with 50% of development taking place in urban areas and 50% in rural areas. Cities will be built out over the next 20 years, and over the next 50 years we will need to develop public policies to retrofit urban areas to accommodate this growth. He addressed the theory behind PECAS, demonstrating how PECAS-like models have been used to influence decision making in a host of locations. Doug emphasized the value of a system that incorporates the energy requirements, the economy, travel, housing and public policies. He also emphasized the requirement that modeling tools be installed in-house with education and training for staff.

Professor Mark Lubell explored the collaborative partnerships that exist in creating sustainable communities and discussed how these partnerships translate into action in local and regional government. Mark’s research is focused on the Sustainable Cities of the Central Valley, Regional Cooperation among Local Government, and Collaboration in an Ecology of Policy Games.

Professor Susan Handy and Deborah Salon’s showcased their research in evaluating local land use policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Deborah is investigating policies that cities have implemented to understand what is motivating action on climate change, what policies are being adopted to address this challenge, which strategies successfully facilitate policy adoption and implementation, and how do these policies differ across the cities. Professor Handy discussed an ongoing survey that she began last fall focusing on the new Target store in Davis. Her survey , conducted prior to the store’s opening, examines Davis residents shopping behavior in the downtown area and what mode of transport was used. A follow-up with intercept survey at Target this fall will look at changes in these shopping patterns. She is also examining the carbon footprints of the transportation and building sectors in these cities.

ULTRANS staff presented additional information on moving towards a collaborative national center of excellence in modeling and policy, and update of the CalSIIM and CSTDM models, the Center's work in supporting graduated students and developing graduate level course work, our role in advising federal agencies and legislators on the work being done in California in the area of climate change, and our successful fundraising efforts with state agencies and foundations.

The ULTRANS Advisory Board meets annually to review the Center's operation, provide input and feedback, and establish a set of expectations for the upcoming year.

Board of Advisors Annual Meeting -- DIGEST-2010.05.23.pdf729.54 KB