Incentives, Regulations and Plans

Incentives, Regulations and Plans

The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece

This unique book allows readers to compare analyses of how North American states and European nation-states use incentives, regulations or plans to approach a core set of universal land use issues such as: containing sprawl, mixed use development, transit oriented development, affordable housing, healthy urban designs, and marketing smarter growth.

Chapter 7: Transit-oriented Development in the US: Contemporary Practices, Impacts and Policy Directions

Robert Cervero

Subjects: urban and regional studies, urban studies

Extract

Robert Cervero To some, ‘transit-oriented development’ (TOD) and ‘the US’ in the same title is an oxymoron. After all, the US is the world’s most car-dependent society, prodigious and disproportionate in its consumption of cars and the fossil fuels that propel them, and in the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases that come out their tailpipes. To the degree that cities and particularly suburbs of Europe and other parts of the world are increasingly looking like those in America, lessons and insights from US experiences in promoting transit-oriented development and curbing car dependence have saliency. TOD’s growing popularity in the US is due largely to three key factors. One, it is a visible, cogent form of smart growth. Citizens, politicians and those of different ideological persuasions appreciate that if there is a logical place to concentrate urban growth, it is in and around transit stations. Second, demographic and lifestyle trends are working in favor of TOD. Living around transit stations appeals to growing numbers of Americans, like childless couples, ‘generation x-ers’ (those in their 20s and 30s whose teen years were touched by events in the 1980s and 1990s), and ‘empty nesters’ who value convenience and access and place a premium on being in a walkable community replete with urban amenities. Third, TOD is market-based urbanism. That is, if car use was priced to reflect true marginal social costs, similar to what one finds in Singapore or London, then US cities would look more like these places, featuring...

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