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Compact, Electrified Cities Can Greatly Reduce Emissions and Transportation Costs – ITDP

The recently released Compact Cities Electrified: United States from ITDP and UC Davis makes a case for the environmental, social, and economic impacts of shifting urban mobility towards compact cities built around walking, cycling, and public transit alongside large-scale transport electrification. The report finds that the US could feasibly reduce public-sector expenditures on urban transport at the city, state, and federal levels by a cumulative $2 trillion USD through 2050 using a combination of strategies that support electrification, compact city planning, and sustainable mobility. For individuals, the research also estimates that by 2050, such shifts could save each urban American an average of $2,000 USD every year. What’s more, combining these strategies will reduce carbon emissions from the national transport sector enough to meet the nation’s climate goals—but no single strategy would be enough to do so. 


This new research demonstrates that the US can achieve a crucial Electrification + Shift scenario, and it will not require any additional funding beyond the resources that the nation already expends for urban passenger transport—indeed, the Electrification + Shift scenario would require less government funding than doing Business As Usual, meaning that more government resources could be used for other areas of development or to lower taxes. Instead, Electrification + Shift would only require a change in policies and a reallocation of current resources.



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