Incorporating Infrastructure and Vehicle Technology Requirements, Changes in Demand, and Decarbonization Policies Considerations into Freight Planning

Land use is a critical link between urban development and the production and consumption of goods. However, current environmental concerns such as pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and profound changes in consumer behavior pose significant challenges to land use planning. Freight‐oriented decarbonization policies are demanding rapid changes in land use to tackle the environmental burdens from the root, and these changes are slow. Additionally, the growing concentration of freight facilities near downtown areas due to the emergence of e‐commerce contributes to safety hazards, congestion, and pollution in disadvantaged communities (DAC) and exacerbates social and environmental injustices. This research aims to develop an equitable and sustainable freight‐oriented land use methodology to support future planning activities, facilitate the integration of freight activity across urban, suburban, and rural areas, and facilitate the transition of heavy‐ and medium‐duty vehicles toward zero‐emission. The project will analyze freight distribution patterns considering supply and demand and estimate social, environmental, and labor impacts in different communities. Furthermore, this study will evaluate existing planning practices to identify how the location of regional and hyper‐local (e.g., staging areas, micro hubs) freight facilities impact the implementation of strategic decarbonization policies for the freight sector. Based on the results, the research team will propose freight planning strategies that maximize distribution efficiency while promoting environmental and social justice.

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