A new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council, Driving and build environment: The effects of compact development on motorised travel, energy use and CO2 emissions, examines how suburbanization - made possible largely due to the prevalence of automobiles and the extensive U.S. highway system - impacts the number of miles we drive, our reliance on petroleum fuel, and the percent of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

The report looks at studies on compact, mixed-use development where people live in denser environments with jobs and shopping close by, to determine whether a shift to this type of land use could lessen vehicle use, energy consumption, and CO{-2} emissions.