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TCFC planning (and WCN strategy): Housing location and transport costs

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  • Todd Edelman
    Hi, Just a clarification: I am NOT serving in any official capacity for WCN in coordinating TCFC Istanbul 2007 or TCFC in the Americas in 2008. I just think we
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2007

      Just a clarification: I am NOT serving in any official capacity for WCN
      in coordinating TCFC Istanbul 2007 or TCFC in the Americas in 2008. I
      just think we need to think more about carfree places as real estate,
      rather than simply architectural places in between as short as possible
      walking or cycling or PT trips....

      A few weeks back Carlos Pardo posted this:

      Urban growth and cars: Chicken-and-egg issue

      By Elisabeth Rosenthal
      Thursday, January 11, 2007


      ..and I asked for some more ideas on this issue. There were a couple of
      interesting responses on Sustran list. The second long one by Todd
      Litman has links to much useful data (results of studies, etc) for our
      carfree discussion about the costs of transport and housing in suburban
      vs. urban locales (so, sometimes carfree vs. car) within other
      discussions of SmartGrowth and perhaps some distractions on just making
      less parking, but still accepting cars. Read on....

      - Todd E.

      At 08:09 AM 1/12/2007, Lee Schipper <SCHIPPER@...> wrote:
      > Six years ago I raised this issue to the UITP <www.uitp.com> guy
      > selling the Millennium data base.. why was there nothing about housing
      > and land costs/rents etc. The insides of most Asian and L American
      > cities are also expensive in the central, most desirable areas.
      > The UITP answer was that this was a fiduciary problem, almost a fiction.
      > In fact it is what drives sprawl. Land farther out is cheaper. Homes
      > are larger. And in the densest of cities, living space is less than in
      > the less dense cities. The W Bank's "Sustainable Transport" from 1996
      > takes the Newman And Kenworthy data (which morphed into the Millennium
      > data base) and looks at gasoline per capita vs housing space per
      > capita, and voila.. those living in the cities with the highest NK
      > "gasoline per capita" have the highest home area per capita and by
      > implication from N and K the lowest population densities
      > Yet look at all the environmentalist generated blather on sprawl and
      > you never see housing costs; how much more does it cost to live 100 m
      > from a metro vs 1 km away? We hear about which people spend the most
      > or least on transport, but not how much the same people spend on
      > housing, yet we know that housing cost may be a more sensitive
      > function of location than distance traveled.
      > I am writing this from a hotel in Tokyo close to the center and some
      > of the most expensive land in the world. And the Tokyo city residents
      > who live near in without a car have less space/capita to live in than
      > those in the rest of japan or even in the outer suburbs of Tokyo
      > So in discussing sprawl, lets talk about what could be the main
      > driving force, desire for living space. And let's remember in the US
      > case tax deductions let us deduct all our mortgage interest from the
      > home loan, in contrast to (more compact) Canada. Kinda makes you
      > wonder whether in all of the studies of km we should have been
      > studying square meters of home instead?

      On 12.1.2007 at 18:39 Todd Litman wrote:

      When discussing the tradeoffs between urban and suburban locations it is
      important to maintain a distinction between "density" (people per acre
      of land) and "crowding" (people per room or square foot of housing).
      Increased density does not necessarily increase crowding, often it
      simply reflects reduced lawns and different types of housing, such as
      shifts from large-lot to small-lot single-family, or shifts from
      single-family to townhouses and condominiums. Here in the U.S., many
      households move to suburbs for the sake of social attributes (security,
      better schools and public services, prestige) rather than physical
      features such as large lawns. By redeveloping urban neighborhoods, and
      building suburbs with urban-type densities, mix and transportation
      options, we can satisfy consumer needs in ways that reduce per capita
      vehicle travel and its associated costs.

      Yes, more centralized housing often costs more than more dispersed
      location housing, but that is partly a result of limited supply. The
      best response is to find ways to build more affordable and accessible
      housing, called Location Efficient Development (
      http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm22.htm ), so households can enjoy the best
      options overall. Recent U.S. studies have examined combined consumer
      housing and transportation costs to create a household affordability
      index. The lower costs of suburban housing is often offset by increased
      transportation expenditures, compounded by increases in indirect costs,
      such as reduced employment options and higher rates of traffic crash
      disabilities and deaths. See:

      *CTOD* and *CNT* (2006), /The Affordability Index: A New Tool for
      Measuring the True Affordability of a Housing Choice/, Center for
      Transit-Oriented Development and the Center for Neighborhood Technology,
      Brookings Institute (www.brookings.edu <http://www.brookings.edu/>);
      available at www.brookings.edu/metro/umi/20060127_affindex.pdf

      Barbara *Lipman* (2006), /A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and
      Transportation Burdens of Working Families/, Center for Housing Policy (

      There are a number of smart growth strategies to encourage more
      affordable and accessible residential development. Here is some of the

      Danielle *Arigoni* (2001), /Affordable Housing and Smart Growth: Making
      the Connections/, Subgroup on Affordable Housing, Smart Growth Network
      (www.smartgrowth.org <http://www.smartgrowth.org/>) and National
      Neighborhood Coalition ( www.neighborhoodcoalition.org

      Scott *Bernstein*, Carrie Makarewicz, Kara Heffernan, Albert Benedict
      and Ben Helphand (2004), /Increasing Affordability Through Reducing the
      Transportation and Infrastructure Cost Burdens of Housing/, Atlanta
      Neighborhood Development Partnerships (www.andpi.org
      <http://www.andpi.org/>); available at

      *CNT* (2006), /Paved Over: Surface Parking Lots or Opportunities for
      Tax-Generating, Sustainable Development?/, Center for Neighborhood
      Technology (_ www.cnt.org/repository/PavedOver-Final.pdf_

      Todd *Litman* (2003), /Parking Requirement Impacts on Housing
      Affordability/, VTPI (www.vtpi.org <http://www.vtpi.org/>); available at
      www.vtpi.org/park-hou.pdf <http://www.vtpi.org/park-hou.pdf> .

      Todd *Litman* (2005), /Understanding Smart Growth Saving/, VTPI
      (www.vtpi.org <http://www.vtpi.org/>); available at
      www.vtpi.org/sg_save.pdf <http://www.vtpi.org/sg_save.pdf> .

      William Lucy and David L. Phillips (2006), /Tomorrow’s Cities,
      Tomorrow’s Suburbs/, Planners Press (www.planning.org

      Arthur C. *Nelson*, Rolf Pendall, Casy Dawkins and Gerrit Knaap (2002),
      /The Link Between Growth Management and Housing Affordability: The
      Academic Evidence/, Brookings Institution Center on Urban and
      Metropolitan Policy (www.brook.edu <http://www.brook.edu/>); available
      at www.brook.edu/dybdocroot/es/urban/publications/growthmang.pdf

      Ryan *Russo* (2001), /Planning for Residential Parking: A Guide For
      Housing Developers and Planners/, Non-Profit Housing Association of
      Northern California (www.nonprofithousing.org
      <http://www.nonprofithousing.org/>) and the Berkeley Program on Housing
      and Urban Policy ( http://urbanpolicy.berkeley.edu

      *SPUR* (1998), /Reducing Housing Costs by Rethinking Parking
      Requirements/, The San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
      (www.spur.org <http://www.spur.org/>).

      Todd Alexander Litman
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org <http://www.vtpi.org>)
      Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
      1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
      “Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”


      Todd Edelman
      Green Idea Factory

      Korunní 72
      CZ-10100 Praha 10
      Czech Republic

      ++420 605 915 970
      ++420 222 517 832
      Skype: toddedelman


      Green Idea Factory,
      a member of World Carfree Network
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