TELUMI: The Transportation-Efficient Land Use Mapping Index

The Transportation-Efficient Land Use Mapping Index (TELUMI) is a tool to visualize and to quantify how land use relates to travel demand. Its purpose is to assist transportation and local planning authorities in allocating transportation investments appropriate to system-wide efficiency and multimodal travel. The TELUMI consists of ten maps, each displaying three classes of zones with high, latent, and low transportation efficiency (TE). High TE zones support multimodal transportation systems: they offer many convenient transportation options, accommodating transit, non-motorized, and other non-SOV travel. Low TE zones correspond to areas with few multimodal transportation options beyond SOV travel. Latent TE zones have limited travel options, but their land-use conditions could favorably support multimodal options. As a result, these zones offer opportunities for cost-effective investments in future multimodal transportation systems.

Nine map layers present TE zones defined by individual land-use variables. They include density (residential and employment), mix of uses (shopping and school traffic, the presence of neighborhood centers [NC]), network connectivity (block size), parking supply (amount of parking at grade), pedestrian environment (slopes), and affordable housing.The tenth layer is a composite index, mapping TE zones derived from the relative effects of the nine variables on transportation efficiency. It is based on a statistical analysis modeling the relationship between the land-use variables and actual bus ridership. Applied in Seattle and King County, Washington, the TELUMI shows only 8 and 9 percent of the area within the Urban Growth Boundary with high and latent TE, respectively. However, high and latent TE zones contain more than 40 percent of the residential units, and nearly 80 percent of the employment, indicating that these activities are concentrated enough to support multiple travel options.

The TELUMI is an interactive, multi-scaled tool that can also be used to simulate how changes in land use may affect transportation system performance.The visual dimension of the TELUMI’s maps make the tool an attractive means of communication with lay audiences, while its quantitative capabilities can speak to transportation and urban planning professionals. While the TELUMI now shows how to rate areas of the Puget Sound for their existing transportation efficiency, it can and should also be used to set goals for future transportation efficiency and to monitor progress over time. Changes in the values of land-use variables can be assessed in terms of their impact on the region’s overall transportation efficiency.


Figure 1: TELUMI composite layer for King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap Counties, Washington.



Figure 2: TELUMI Individual and composite transportation-efficiency layers for Seattle and King County, Washington.


The full report on this project is WA-RD 620.1 Transportation-Efficient Land Use Mapping (TELUMI): Phase 3 of Integrating Land Use and Transportation Investment Decision-Making; Anne Vernez Moudon, D.W. Sohn; University of Washington; 2005. Full report at

A summary of the project is available at

See also Moudon A.V, Kavage S, Mabry JE, Sohn DW. Transportation-efficient land use mapping index. Transportation Research Record 2005; 1902:134-144


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