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

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Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. SMARTRAQ stand for Strategies for Metropolitan Atlanta’s Regional Transportation and Air Quality led by Dr. Frank was a 4.6 million effort that integrates travel, residential location choice, air quality, and public health data (see www.act-trans/smartraq.ubc.ca).

  2. The Community Preference Survey instrument is available at www.smartraq.net.

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Acknowledgments

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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Levine, J., Frank, L.D. Transportation and land-use preferences and residents’ neighborhood choices: the sufficiency of compact development in the Atlanta region. Transportation 34, 255–274 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-006-9104-6

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