The environmental impacts of sprawling development have been well documented, but few comprehensive studies have examined its economic costs. In 1996, a team of experts undertook a multi-year study designed to provide quantitative measures of the costs and benefits of different forms of growth. Sprawl Costs presents a concise and readable summary of the results of that study.
The authors analyze the extent of sprawl, define an alternative, more compact form of growth, project the magnitude and location of future growth, and compare what the total costs of those two forms of growth would be if each was applied throughout the nation. They analyze the likely effects of continued sprawl, consider policy options, and discuss examples of how more compact growth would compare with sprawl in particular regions. Finally, they evaluate whether compact growth is likely to produce the benefits claimed by its advocates.
The book represents a comprehensive and objective analysis of the costs and benefits of different approaches to growth, and gives decision-makers and others concerned with planning and land use realistic and useful data on the implications of various options and policies.
In this new book, Anthony Downs looks at the causes of worsening traffic congestion, especially in suburban areas, and considers the possible remedies. He analyzes the specific advantages and disadvantages of every major strategy that has been proposed to reduce congestion. In nontechnical language, he focuses on two central issues: the relationships between land-use and traffic flow in rapidly growing areas, and whether local policies can effectively reduce congestion or if more regional approaches are necessary.
In rapidly growing parts of the country, congestion is worse than it was five or ten years ago. But Downs notes that the problem has apparently not yet become bad enough to stimulate effective responses. Neither government officials nor citizens seem willing to consider changing the behavior and public policies that cause congestion. To alleviate the problem, both groups must be prepared to make these fundamental changes. Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Book of 1992 Co-published with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
This book argues that such flows of residents are not random. Rather, they are closely linked to overall migration into or out of each metropolitan area and to the way U.S. cities develop. Downs contends that both urban development and the social problems it spawns are built upon social arrangements designed to benefit the middle-class majority. Racial segregation divides housing in each metropolitan area into two or more markets. Socioeconomic segregation subdivides neighborhoods within each market into a class hierarchy. The poor live mainly in the oldest neighborhoods, close to the urban center. The affluent live in the newest neighborhoods, mostly at the urban periphery. This separation stems not from pure market forces but from exclusionary laws that make the construction of low-cost housing illegal in most neighborhoods. The resulting pattern determines where housing is built and what housing is left to decay.
Downs uses data from U.S. cities to illustrate neighborhood change and to reach conclusions about ways to cope with it. he explores the causes and nature of racial segregation and integration, and he evaluates neighborhood revitalization programs, which in reviving part of a city often displace many poor residents. He presents a timely analysis of the effect of higher energy costs upon urban sprawl, argues the wisdom of reviving older cities rather than helping their residents move elsewhere, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of public and private policies at the federal, state, metropolitan-area, city, and neighborhood levels.
This book describes the case study that analyzes what will happen to a declining metropolitan area and its central city if current trends on urban decline continue, and how that outcome might be affected by various policies designed to counteract further loss. This case study focuses on the Cleveland Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) and its central city, Cleveland. The likely future course of urban decline acquired through quantitative estimates and methodologies for comparing policies is also covered in this text.
This publication is aimed primarily at economists, urban planners, and political scientists, including those who formulate policies affecting declining urban areas.