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Land Use & Transportation

How land is used in Miami-Dade County is important. Where people live and work determines their commuting patterns and often affects transportation choices. How people get around and their method of transportation also drives half (55%) of our community-wide greenhouse gas emissions and is a source of other air pollutants.

Transportation-related emissions result primarily from burning fossil fuels to power cars, trucks, planes, boats and ships, and heavy or mobile equipment. Because transportation is a key economic driver, there are typically many municipal, County, state, and federal stakeholders involved in transportation decisions, such as the U.S. and State of Florida Departments of Transportation, and municipal and County transportation agencies.

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In Miami-Dade, the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) guides land use and the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Governing Board prioritizes transportation improvement projects for federal, state, and local funding.

Greenhouse gas emissions, such as those linked to transportation, can be partially offset by protecting and expanding land uses that are dedicated to natural areas, both on land and along our coast. Wetlands, seagrass, trees, and even some farms can absorb and store carbon, which are societal benefits that are garnering more recognition.

While intricately linked, transportation, land use, and air quality considerations are often not equally prioritized and properly integrated into decision-making. Identifying and implementing strategic transportation and land use solutions that have economic, social, and environmental benefits can be very complex, and yet this work is critical to helping us address the current climate change crisis.

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For instance, areas with low tree canopy and vegetation can have temperatures as much as 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than areas.  The higher heat exposure in urban areas is called the “Urban Heat Island Effect.”  Excessive heat discourages the use of public transit, walking and biking and presents a public health risk to those that do use these modes of transportation. Internal combustion vehicles further contribute to urban heat island issues.  Considerations of heat exposure need to be integrated into land use and transportation policies and plans and streetscape designs.

Approaches

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Reduce transportation-related fuel consumption

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Expand and protect green and blue spaces

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