Sustainability and Scaling of Urban Transportation Networks

Drastic growth of urban transportation networks call for sustainable planning and designs. The dynamics of transportation networks, as well their manifestations, essentially regulate the growth, economies, scaling, and environment of cities. This study proposed a novel modeling framework for analyzing the historical urban development and its impacts, and at the same time, provided informative predictions for future transportation infrastructure growth. Urban population was selected as the primary indicator, as well as the control scaling parameter if transportation network density, while the urban environmental and socio-economic impacts are measured by the exacerbated urban thermal environment, i.e. urban warming. Based upon the population–warming correlation, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area was selected as the testbed, and both linear and exponential regression were tested with historical as well as projected temperature and population datasets. The proposed population growth models were validated using the historical demographic data from 1969 to 2014 in the study area. Furthermore, the predicted future population growth from 2016 to 2050 using the proposed model is found in reasonable agreement with the estimates from the Arizona Department of Administration – Office of Employment and Population Statistics for the first 15 years, with higher model uncertainty manifested in longterm projections. Similar regression analyses were conducted for ten major megapolitan areas in U.S. from 1969 to 2014. Reasonable coefficients of determination ranging from 0.164 (Great Lakes) to 0.563 (Arizona Sun Corridor) suggest that correlation between the annual average temperature and population is statistically significant in the selected megapolitan areas. Results indicate that the proposed model is also applicable for urban areas with different geographical controls. Based on the urban dynamics derived in this study, statistical datasets for road network, air traffic, and railroad system were collected from multiple sources, for future development of more comprehensive mechanistic models. The developed mechanistic scaling model can then be used for characterizing the intra- and inter-city transportation networks and their impact on sustainable urban growth.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 39p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01664827
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Contract Numbers: NTC2016-SU-R-04
  • Created Date: Mar 30 2018 9:51AM