Jan 09, 2015

The video begins at 6:12.

The search for solutions to urban sprawl, congestion, and pollution has inspired a wealth of alternatives, including smart growth, New Urbanism, and transit-oriented development. Since 1970, researchers have sought to assess such alternatives by evaluating their transportation benefits. Implicit in research efforts, however, has been the presumption that, for these options to be given serious consideration as part of policy reform, science has to prove they will reduce auto use and increase transit, walking, or other physical activity. Zoned Out argues that the debate about transportation and landuse planning in the United States has been distorted by a myth – the myth that urban sprawl is the result of a free market. According to this myth, low-density, auto-dependent development dominates U.S. metropolitan areas simply because that is what Americans prefer.

This seminar confronts the free market myth by pointing out that land development is already one of the most regulated sectors of the U.S. economy. Noting that local governments use their regulatory powers to lower densities, segregate different types of land uses, and mandate large roadways and parking lots, it argues that the design template for urban sprawl is written into the land-use regulations of thousands of municipalities nationwide. These regulations and the skewed thinking...

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Jan 08, 2015

The video begins at 5:38.

The Land Use Scenario DevelopeR (LUSDR) is a land use model that incorporates most of the land use behavior and policy sensitivity desired in a land use model and yet has a simple structure and manageable data requirements.

Brian Gregor is a Senior Transportation Analyst at the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Nov 25, 2014

The video begins at 0:52.

Abstract: This presentation considers co-evolutionary process between the development of land and transport networks. Using data from the rail and Underground in London and the streetcar system in the Twin Cities, the empirical relationship is established statistically under several different contexts, and hypotheses about the positive feedback nature of the interaction are tested. Using insights from empirical observation, a numerical simulation is constructed to more formally test the relationship, and to understand the extent to which allowing networks to vary in response to land use (and land use to vary in response to network) affects the spatial organization of each. Models of network growth which fix land use, and models of land use which fix network growth, underestimate the degree of hierarchy that emerges in the system. Given transportation creates land value, and recognizing the problem of underfunding transport infrastructure, new funding sources can be used to increase transport investment, create additional land value, and improve social welfare.

Prof. David Levinson serves on the faculty of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering at the University of Minnesota and directs the Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems (NEXUS) research group. He holds the Richard P. Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation. He also serves on the graduate faculty of the...

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Jan 10, 2014

Note: In advance of the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting, the biggest forum on the transportation research calendar, OTREC.us is profiling some of the researchers who will present their work.

In transit-oriented development, planners typically focus on the neighborhood within a quarter of a mile of a transit stop.

Housing and commercial developments within this "walkable zone" are thought to be the ones primarily affected by, or dependent on, the transit stop.

New research from the University of Utah expands the traditional one-quarter-mile distance away from transit stops to a broader radius of about one and one-quarter mile from a stop.

The project's principal investigator, Susan Petheram, led a team of researchers who used the Salt Lake County assessor's database to analyze property values surrounding light rail stops. Petheram is a NITC doctoral dissertation fellow and the research stems from her dissertation.

"We were seeing a certain negative impact [on property values] right around the core station area for single family homes," Petheram said. Slightly farther out from the station, but...

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Jun 21, 2013

Susan Petheram, a Ph.D. candidate in the Metropolitan Planning, Policy, & Design program at the University of Utah, has recently been awarded a NITC dissertation fellowship.

NITC fellowships are awarded to fund research on surface transportation topics that fit under the NITC theme of safe, healthy, and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities. Petheram's research focuses on the integration of transportation and land use, and on building healthy communities through transit access.

Her dissertation research involves evaluating some of the effects of the light rail system in Salt Lake County. Scarcely more than a decade old, the TRAX light rail system has three lines in service as of 2013, and some of the transportation researchers at the University of Utah are taking advantage of this living laboratory to explore the effects of a light rail system upon the neighborhoods and suburbs that it serves. 

Calvin Tribby, for example, another NTIC fellow from the University of Utah, is observing the new transit opportunities' effect on public health. Petheram's research focuses on a different angle: the light rail's effect on property values.

In particular, she is interested in finding out whether positive...

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