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'Smart growth' strategies curb car use, greenhouse gas emissions, SF State study suggests

se of fuel tax increases. It suggests that a 10 percent increase in the dollar cost of driving one mile would result in an 18 percent decrease in annual vehicle miles traveled per household, compared to a 20 percent decrease from smart growth strategies.

"It's only a few percent points but it is a significant difference," Chattopadhyay said. "Smart growth is a more gradual, long-lasting change and it generates employment. Tax increases can be implemented more quickly but they are subject to change depending on the political situation."

Chattopadhyay notes that there are other benefits of smart growth not measured in his study. Neighborhood design that encourages walking, for example, may improve residents' health, and the development of compact cities might prevent urban sprawl and help preserve open space.


Contact: Elaine Bible
San Francisco State University

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