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Urban Form and Last-Mile Goods Movement: Factors Affecting Vehicle Miles Travelled and Emissions

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Publication: Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Volume: 61 (A)
Pages: 217-229
Publication Date: 2018

There are established relationships between urban form and passenger travel, but less is known about urban form and goods movement. The work presented in this paper evaluates how the design of a delivery service and the urban form in which it operates affects its performance, as measured by vehicle miles traveled, CO2, NOx, and PM10 emissions.

This work compares simulated amounts of VMT, CO2, NOx, and PM10 generated by last-mile travel in several different development patterns and in many different goods movement structures, including various warehouse locations. Last-mile travel includes personal travel or delivery vehicles delivering goods to customers. Regression models for each goods movement scheme and models that compare sets of goods movement schemes were developed. The most influential variables in all models were measures of roadway density and proximity of a service area to the regional warehouse.

These efforts will support urban planning for goods movement, inform policies designed to mitigate the impacts of goods movement vehicles, and provide insights into achieving sustainability targets, especially as online shopping and goods delivery become more prevalent.

Authors: Dr. Anne Goodchild, Erica Wygonik
Recommended Citation:
Wygonik, Erica and Anne Goodchild. (2018) Urban Form and Last-Mile Goods Movement: Factors Affecting Vehicle Miles Travelled and Emissions. Transportation Research. Part D, Transport and Environment, 61, 217–229.