Researchers in the UMD Transportation and Land use specialization study the interaction between transportation and land use, examining how it affects socio-economic activities and movement of people and goods. Researchers contribute to understanding of the impacts of density, diversity, and design of the built environment on transport accessibility, travel behavior, and mode choice on one hand and the impacts of effective transportation system on economic development, land use change, neighborhood livability, and environmental sustainability on the other. One main focus is on transportation demand modeling that predicts travel demand of passenger cars, trucks, and public transit and the distribution of generated trips within a transportation network to examines potential outcomes of various policies and planning measures. A grant from the State of Maryland supports a number of faculty and students to develop and operate the Maryland Statewide Transportation Model (MSTM). In addition, researchers conduct studies on public transit planning and management, transportation economics and finance, travel behavior analysis and modeling, sustainable transportation, and equity issues in transportation. Students and faculty in this specialization come from the fields of planning, engineering, economics, geography, regional science, public policy, sociology, and architecture and design.
Research on Transportation
Regional Strategies for Transportation Funding and Coordination
Planning Professor Hiroyuki Iseki researches funding and coordination strategies employed by local governments and transit agencies in the US to provide for sufficient regional public transportation. A 2011 report that used New Orleans as a case study identifies a set of indices with which to evaluate the regional coordination of transit service and the barriers that need to be resolved for regional transit coordination to be successful.
Transportation Policy Research Group at the National Center for Smart Growth
Dr. Fred Ducca is actively involved in developing more effective transportation and traffic modeling systems for the State of Maryland and the Federal Highway Administration. Most recently his work has focused on Mega-regions and the particular planning challenges they represent.
Research on Land Use
Evaluating Land Use Changes in Maryland and the Demand for Industrial Properties
Planning Professor Marie Howland works to design new models for more efficiently identifying and predicting land use change from a rural to urban use. Maryland's growing population, rapid urbanization and the dominant suburban economy demand creative approaches to new market challenges and emerging trends in land use.
Smart Growth in the State of Maryland
Work by Gerrit Knaap, Planning Professor and Director of the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG), looks at the effectiveness of state Smart Growth policies. Maryland has positioned itself as a national leader in statewide planning with the recently adopted PlanMaryland reaffirming a state commitment to an incentive-based development system of Priority Funding Areas (PFAs). Knaap's work looks at the challenges of developing and managing growth within PFAs, as well as modeling growth and opportunity in the Baltimore-Washington region.