VMT and Neighborhood Design: Decades of Evidence from Iskandar Malaysia

Majid, Mohammad Rafee and Johar, Foziah (2012) VMT and Neighborhood Design: Decades of Evidence from Iskandar Malaysia. In: Conference On Urban Planning & Management in Malaysia, 8 November 2012, Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. (Submitted)

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Abstract

Close to sixty eight percents of the population of Malaysia is currently living in urban areas, doubling its value of thirty three percents in 1970. By the year 2020, when Malaysia is expected to be an industrialised nation, about two thirds of the population will be in urban areas living in mass-produced housing schemes first constructed in the late 1960s. These concentrated mass housing schemes, however, were not accompanied by a solid public transportation program, leaving Malaysian roads congested with private vehicles. Mileages travelled by these private vehicles are very much influenced by the design of the housing areas especially for internal travels within the areas. Nonetheless, little is known about how neighborhood designs in Malaysia influence household vehicle-mile-travelled or VMT. Understanding the effects of neighborhood design towards VMT may help reduce internal travels, thus reducing transportation carbon emission. This paper presents the findings of a study carried out in Iskandar Malaysia on the influence of neighborhood design attributes – density, diversity, proximity, connectivity, etc. – on household VMT. Thirty residential neighborhoods representing several decades from 1970s to 2000s were selected and travel diaries of their randomly selected households were recorded. Results obtained confirm the prevalent theory on the relationship between neighborhood design attributes and VMT. On average, daily travels range from 40 km/day for neighborhoods built pre-1980s to about 100 km/day for those built in the 2000s. Preference for curvilinear design rather than the higher connectivity grid design has increased household VMT. Some of the neighborhoods are also bigger with lower density and, unfortunately, less diversity of land uses. High density neighborhoods are normally small ones exclusively zoned for housing, forcing the residents to travel beyond the neighborhoods for amenities and facilities. As Iskandar Malaysia is targeting an increase in population from the current 1.5 million to 3.0 million by 2025, serious rethinking of its neighborhood development is a must to fulfill its commitment on becoming a low carbon city.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT), Sustainable Neighborhood, Neighborhood Design
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Built Environment > Urban Design
Faculty of Built Environment > Urban and Regional Planning
Depositing User: FAB IR Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 06:03
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2014 06:49
URI: http://epublication.fab.utm.my/id/eprint/358

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