Clean Urban Transportation

Many local governments already directly operate public transit services and oversee land use planning—two critical levers of change in reducing transportation carbon emissions. Well-designed housing near good public transit can be a powerful climate solution by reducing urban sprawl, protecting rural open space, and providing infrastructure efficiently, all of which reduce regional carbon emissions, particularly from transportation.

Some local governments are also experimenting with promoting clean vehicles and fuels. In 2006, Portland enacted a city-wide renewable fuels standard that later inspired the Oregon state legislature to pass a statewide clean fuels standard. In 2015, Amsterdam announced plans to expand its public electric vehicle charging network from 1,300 to 4,000 by 2018.

Leading organizations that help states and local governments to execute clean transportation strategies include:

  • The Greenlining Institute, a policy, research, organizing, and leadership institute focused on racial and economic justice that has played a pivotal role in advancing transportation equity as part of California’s efforts to reduce climate pollution. Greenlining is among the primary stakeholders working to make California’s climate programs equitable, including shaping the state’s ChargeAhead program, which aims to increase mobility and clean vehicle access for low-income residents.
  • The Center for Neighborhood Technology, which provides cutting-edge research, tools, and solutions to advance sustainable and equitable communities. One of CNT’s signature resources is the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index, which shows that living in a densely populated urban area can reduce household transportation costs and per capita carbon emissions.
  • Drive Oregon, which works to promote innovation in electric mobility, grow the Oregon electric mobility industry, and provide thousands of family-wage jobs in a range of related businesses statewide. Drive Oregon also partners cross-state with stakeholders in Washington to advance similar solutions across the Northwest.