Nucleated Urban Growth Effects on Transportation Energy Consumption

by Joseph L. Schofer, (M.ASCE), Dir. of Research; Transportation Center, Northwestern Univ., Leverone Hall, 2001 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, Ill. 60201; also Prof. of Civ. Engrg., Northwestern Univ., Evanston, Ill.,
Robert L. Peskin, (A.M.ASCE), Consultant; Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co.,
William Weisel, (M.ASCE), Operations Planning Dept., Chicago Transit Authority; former Grad. Student, Northwestern Univ., Evanston, Ill.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 3, Pg. 331-344

Document Type: Journal Paper


An aggregate digital computer simulation model was used to test the urban passenger transportation energy consumption associated with different patterns of nuclear growth in a hypothetical city. The model simulated the effects of various central and noncentral locations for residential, employment, and retail growth clusters. Centralized urban growth is more efficient, in terms of transportation energy consumption, than noncentralized growth. Off-center manufacturing employment clusters are the least energy efficient of non-centralized cluster, and clusters at the edge of the established urban area are less attractive for all land use types. The implications for near term urban decision making are explored.

Subject Headings: Computer models | Urban development | Energy consumption | Simulation models | Residential location | Employment | Energy efficiency | Aggregates

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