Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning/MS in Engineering (Transportation Planning Specialization)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


College of Engineering


Anurag Pande

Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and its relationship with the built environment has been extensively studied. Most notably, five D variables of the built environment including density, diversity, design, destination accessibility, and distance to transit are the key variables included in this research to explain VMT generation from housing developments. This thesis uses prior research that developed robust statistical models and findings to create a framework to estimate VMT reduction affected by infill housing developed using incentives provided by the state compared to a regional comparator. The regional comparator is typically a suburban single-family housing development in the region. The models recommended for future application of the framework are based on ease of finding the data on variables included in the model and statistical robustness. The application of the framework in the Central Coast and San Francisco Bay Area regions of California shows that infill prototypes developed can generate an 11-27% reduction in VMT per capita. The findings are specific to a synthetic household defined for this study. The research provides ways to apply this framework to other regions of the state along with ideas to consider for future work. These ideas include exploring the VMT reduction potential based on households with different income levels appropriate for the regions, future modeling efforts, and selection of existing models. The findings of this thesis support that the combination of the five D variables can help attribute to a larger VMT reduction than the VMT reduction caused by the change of a single variable. When destinations are clustered, and jobs are available at a reasonable distance to the residence, a significant reduction in VMT is more achievable. The results inform public agencies on which locations are ripe for devoting further resources for incentivizing housing development to reach climate and housing goals.