, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 255–274 | Cite as

Transportation and land-use preferences and residents’ neighborhood choices: the sufficiency of compact development in the Atlanta region

Original Paper


This paper analyzes the transportation and land-use preference and actual neighborhood choices of a sample of 1,455 residents of metro Atlanta. We develop a stated-preference scale on which desires for neighborhood type are gauged, from preferences for low-density, auto-oriented environments to desires for compact, walkable, and transit-oriented neighborhoods. This scale is then related to desires for change in one’s own neighborhood characteristics after a hypothetical move. If all neighborhood preferences were equally likely to be satisfied, then neighborhood preferences would not be correlated with a desire for change. By contrast, in the current study, stronger preferences for a more walkable environment are associated with greater desire for change in one’s neighborhood characteristics. This suggests an undersupply of compact, walkable, and transit-friendly neighborhood types relative to current demand.


Zoning Land-use regulation Stated preference Residential choice Smart growth Compact development 



Funding for this component of SMARTRAQ was provided by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the Georgia Department of Transportation. We would like to acknowledge Christopher Leerssen, formerly with Georgia Tech, Mark Bradley and John Douglas Hunt with the University of Calgary for their considerable contribution to the design of the Community Preference Survey instrument. We thank Mr Guy Rousseau with the Atlanta Regional Commission for his comments on the manuscript. We would also like to thank Mr James Chapman with Lawrence Frank and Company, Inc, and Mr Carlos Arce and Ms Heather Contrino with NuStats, Inc for helping to design and oversee the collection of the unique data upon which this paper is based.

Disclaimer: The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, the Georgia Department of Transportation, The University of British Columbia, The University of Michigan, or the Georgia Institute of Technology. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Urban and Regional Planning Program, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban PlanningThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.School of Community and Regional PlanningUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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