The Market for Transportation-Land Use Integration: Do Developers Want Smarter Growth than Regulations Allow?
- 539 Downloads
Transportation and land use research of the past decade has focused in large part on the question of whether manipulating land uses in the direction of “smart growth” alternatives can reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) or otherwise improve travel behavior. Yet the notion of “manipulating” land uses implies that the alternative is somehow self-organized or market-based. This view appears to underestimate the extent to which current planning interventions in the United States – largely focused on lowering development densities, mandating ample road and parking designs, and separating land uses – impose an auto-oriented template on most new development. Rather than a market failure, the paucity of “smart growth” alternatives may be a planning failure – the result of municipal regulatory exclusion. This problem definition would shift the burden of proof for policy reform, as uncertainty in travel-behavior benefits would hardly justify the continuation of exclusionary regulations. If municipal regulations in fact constrain alternatives to low-density, auto-oriented development, one would expect developers to perceive unsatisfied market interest in such development. This article studies, through a national survey (676 respondents), US developers' perceptions of the market for pedestrian-and transit-oriented development forms. Overall, respondents perceive considerable market interest in alternative development forms, but believe that there is inadequate supply of such alternatives relative to market demand. Developer-respondents attribute this gap between supply and demand principally to local government regulation. When asked how the relaxation of these regulations would affect their product, majorities of developers indicated that such liberalization would lead them to develop in a denser and more mixed-use fashion, particularly in close-in suburban locales. Results are interpreted in favor land-policy reform based on the expansion of choice in transportation and land use. This view contrasts with a more prevalent approach which conditions policy interventions on scientific evidence of travel-behavior modification.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Boarnet MG & Crane R (2001) Travel by Design: The Influence of Urban Form on Travel. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Bogart WT (1998) The Economics of Cities and Suburbs. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Downs A (1999) Some realities about sprawl and urban decline. Housing Policy Debate 10(4): 955–974.Google Scholar
- Ewing R & Cervero R (2001) Travel and the built environment-synthesis. In: Redefining, Reevaluating and Reinventing Transit: The Transportation/Land Use/Environmental Connection. Annual Policy and Research Symposium Series. Convened by the UCLA Extension Public Policy Program, UCLA Conference Center, Lake Arrowhead, CA, October 14-16, 2001.Google Scholar
- Fischel W (1985) The Economics of Zoning Laws: A Property Rights Approach to American Land Use Controls. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- papers/2000_1002.pdf.Google Scholar
- Gordon P & Richardson H (2001) The sprawl debate: Let markets plan. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 31(3): 131–149.Google Scholar
- Kavage S, Vernez-Moudon A, Cail M, Lee C & Pergakes N (2002) Implementing Transportation-Efficient Development: A Local Overview. Seattle, WA: Washington State Transportation Center, University of Washington.Google Scholar
- Levine J, Inam A, Werbel R & Torng G (2002) Land Use and Transportation Alternatives: Constraint or Expansion of Household Choice? San Jose, CA: Mineta Transportation Institute. MTI Report 01-19. http://transweb.sjsu.edu/pubs.htm.Google Scholar
- Pendall R (1999) Do land use controls cause sprawl? Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 26: 555–571.Google Scholar
- Willson RW (1995) Suburban parking requirements: A tacit policy for automobile use and sprawl. Journal of the American Planning Association 61: 29–42.Google Scholar