In response to COVID-19 pandemic supply chain issues, the State of California issued Executive Order (EO) N-19-21 to use state land to increase warehousing capacity. This highlights a land-use paradox between economic and environmental goals: adding warehouse capacity increases climate pollution and traffic congestion around the ports and warehouses, while there is a deficit of affordable housing and high homeless rates in port-adjacent underserved communities. This study aims to inform regional policymakers and community stakeholders about these trade-offs by identifying current and future supply of and demand for warehousing and housing in Southern California through 2040. The study uses statistical analysis and forecasting, and evaluates across numerous scenarios the environmental impact of meeting demand for both with the Community LINE Source Model. Warehousing and housing are currently projected to be in high demand across Southern California in future decades, despite short-run adjustments in the post-pandemic period of inflation and net declines in population. Using state land for warehousing creates environmental justice concerns, as the number of air pollution hotspots increases even with electrifying trucking fleets, especially when compared against low-impact affordable housing developments. However, low-income housing demand appears to be positively correlated with unemployment, suggesting that the jobs provided by warehousing development might help to ameliorate that concern.
Workforce and Labor, Sustainable Transportation and Land Use, Planning and Policy
Digital Object Identifier
Mineta Transportation Institute URL
land use, supply chain
Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Infrastructure | Public Administration | Public Affairs | Social Policy | Urban Studies
Tianjun Lu, Jian-yu Ke, Azure Fisher, Mahmoud Salari, Patricia Valladolid, and Fynnwin Prager. "Should State Land in Southern California Be Allocated to Warehousing Goods or Housing People? Analyzing Transportation, Climate, and Unintended Consequences of Supply Chain Solutions" Mineta Transportation Institute Publications (2023). https://doi.org/10.31979/mti.2023.2231