This presentation will provide an overview of our research on freight and urban form. There is an extensive literature on the relationship between passenger transport and urban form. Starting with the standard urban economic model, we know that location, land prices, and commuting give rise to declining density gradient of the monocentric city. Extensions of the model and empirical research have provided us with a good understanding of how travel behaviour responds to urban structure. There is no comparable literature that explains the relationship between freight activity and urban form. Our work seeks to provide a framework for understanding the spatial organisation of freight activity. We developed the concept of the “freight landscape” to describe the types of flows associated with population and employment density. We tested the concept with data from Los Angeles and San Francisco. More recently a third test was conducted using data from Paris. Results are encouraging. We then focused on density as a proxy for land price and examined the spatial distribution of freight intensive activities. As expected, freight intensive activities are crowded out of central locations, providing one explanation for the suburbanisation of warehouse and distribution activities.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Genevieve Giuliano is Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government in the Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Director of the METRANS joint USC and California State University Long Beach Transportation Center. Her research areas include relationships between land use and transportation, transportation policy analysis, travel behaviour, and information technology applications in transportation. Current research includes examination of relationships between land use and freight flows, spatial analysis of freight activity location, impacts of freight activities on local communities, and applications for transportation system analysis using archived real-time data. She has published over 170 papers. Professor Giuliano is a past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and of the Council of University Transportation Center. She has received numerous distinguished scholarship and service awards. She was member of the National Freight Advisory Committee, and currently serves on the California Freight Efficiency Group. She has participated in many TRB policy studies; currently she is serving on the Committee on the Future of the Interstate Highway System.

For more information about the ESD Seminars Series, please contact Karthik Natarajan at karthik_natarajan@sutd.edu.sg.