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167272-1 Report Abstract

Microsimulation of Household and Firm Behaviors: Anticipation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Austin, Texas

Sumala Tirumalachetty and Kara M. Kockelman, University of Texas at Austin, May 2009, 129 pp. (167272-1)

Anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be attributed to household and firm travel and building decisions. This study demonstrates the development and application of a microsimulation model for household and firm evolution and location choices overtime, along with evolution of the light duty vehicle fleet, residential building stock and travel decisions of persons and businesses in Austin, Texas over a 25-year period (from 2005 to 2030). Year 2005 zonal-level population and address-level employment data for the Austin, Texas region, coupled with various other aggregate data sets, are used to simulate the evolution of individual households and firms over time and space. Simulation results suggest a nearly 130% increase in vehicle-miles traveled (VMT), as population increases. and nearly the same increase in GHG emissions under the business-as-usual scenario. Total GHG emissions from household energy consumption are predicted to increase nearly 86% over the 25-year forecast period in the base scenario, and around 70% in other scenarios.  In contrast, average energy demand per firm is predicted to increase by 57% over the 25-year forecast period, mainly due to a transition to larger firm sizes.

Keywords: Microsimulation, GHG Emissions, Land Use, Travel Demand, Austin, Texas

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 2.1 MB)