Browsing National Center for Smart Growth Research Works by Issue Date
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ItemHedonic Price Analysis of Easement Payments in Agricultural Land Preservation Programs(2002) Lovell, Sabrina; Lynch, LoriMore than 110 state and local governments have implemented agricultural land preservation programs to permanently preserve farmland. Assigning a value to the development rights to determine the cost of acquiring an easement on farm properties is difficult and can be costly. Data was collected on 409 preservation transactions from three Maryland counties and supplemented with farm-level spatial data via GIS. A hedonic price analysis is conducted to determine the marginal return to different farm characteristics using a spatial econometric model to correct for spatial correlation. Parcel characteristics such as distance to city and town, number of acres, prime soils and current land-use explain 80 percent of the variation in easement values. As expected, characteristics perform least well in explaining easement values in transfer of development right programs. This information can help formulate policy decisions and selection criteria to maximize the preservation of the agricultural economy and/or maximize public preferences. A supply curve is constructed using simulations that determine nonparticipant parcels’ easement values. To preserve the remaining eligible acres in the three counties, $167 million would be needed. This method can support programs choosing to use a point system rather than the more costly and difficult-to-apply standard appraisal methods. ItemDoes Job Creation Tax Credit Program in Maryland Induce Spatial Employment Growth or Redistribution?(2002) Knaap, Gerrit; Sohn, JungyulThe Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) program is one of the five major Smart Growth Programs initiated by the State of Maryland in 1996 and amended in 1997. Like other tax credit programs it is intended to create jobs, but it is also a place-based policy in the sense that eligibility is limited to jobs created in Priority Funding Areas (PFAs). This paper examines whether the JCTC program has furthered the goals of smart growth by concentrating job growth within well defined regions of the state. Towards this end, both the number and the relative share of employment inside and outside of the PFAs are compared using three econometric models. The empirical analysis examines employment in five economic sectors ((1) primary, (2) manufacturing, (3) transportation, communication and utilities (T.C.U.), (4) finance, insurance and real estate (F.I.R.E.) and (5) services) over the years (1994 to 1998) using ZIP Code data. The result shows that jobs in the T.C.U. and services industries have responded to the state incentive program while three other sectors have not; the distribution of jobs in the primary sector have grown counter to the state incentive policy and jobs in manufacturing and F.I.R.E. have been unaffected by the program. ItemTalking Smart in the United States(2002) Knaap, GerritAs in many countries around the world, concerns about contemporary urban development patterns and their effects on the natural and social environment are high and rising in the United States. Though these concerns are not new, the recent period of sustained economic growth has led to both rapid urban expansion and falling relative concerns about other problems like crime, unemployment, and government deficits. Urban sprawl is now a major public policy issue (U.S. Office of Technology Assessment 1995, U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) 1999, GAO 2000). How to address -- even define -- the problem, however, remains unresolved and contentious. Some view urban sprawl as a major threat to environmental quality, fiscal stability, and human health. Those with this point of view support policy reforms sometimes called smart growth, new urbanism, and sustainable development (Ewing 1997, Smart Growth Network 2002). To others, sprawl is simply the result of increases in population, rising real incomes, and the expression of consumer demands (Brueckner 1999). To those with this point of view, there is little evidence that urban sprawl has adverse social or environmental consequences or warrants a policy response (Gordon and Richardson 1997, Urban Futures 2002). In a nation rich in land resources and steeped in traditions of private property rights, this view is not easily dismissed. ItemThe Legacy of Contamination and the Redevelopment of Inner-City Industrial Districts(2002) Howland, MarieThis study examines the role that land contamination plays in hindering central city redevelopment. We tracked all sales, the selling price, existence of contamination, location, and length of time on the market in one industrial area of approximately 5,580 acres in Southwest Baltimore. The results indicate that after the mid 1990s, contaminated parcels are selling and the market has adjusted to contamination by lowering sales prices. Over the decade 45 parcels with either confirmed or historical reasons to suspect contamination sold. Interviews with owners and brokers of the parcels on the market for two years or more indicate that outdated parcel sizes, inadequate roads for modern truck access, outdated and aging infrastructure, incompatible land uses, and high asking prices are the most significant barriers to the redevelopment of industrial central city districts. ItemLocal Government as Private Property(2002) Nelson, RobertCritics of private community associations often argue that they represent an undesirable combination of “private” and “governmental” powers. They suggest that the significant differences between a suburban municipality and a private community association should be reduced. The private status of a community association, for example, should not be allowed to shelter it from free speech and other constitutional requirements normally applied to local municipalities. Voting rights in private community associations perhaps should be newly extended to renters. In this paper, I suggest the opposite tack. Instead of requiring private community associations to conform to the legal requirements and social expectations of a municipality, I propose to liberate the municipality to function in the manner of a private business. Local government in America will continue to evolve towards a new form of collective private property – and this will be a good thing. ItemAn Inquiry into the Promise and Prospects of Smart Growth(2002) Knaap, GerritSmart growth is a term rising rapidly in use and ambiguity. The origin of the term is uncertain, though some credit Harriet Tregoning, former Director of the Development, Community and Environmental Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and now the smart growth Czar in the cabinet of Maryland’s Governor Glendening. Even if fiction, this story has a certain allure, since the USEPA and the State of Maryland have done much to make smart growth an agenda item of many states, local governments, and interest groups. Despite its popularity, however, the concept of smart growth remains ephemeral. Much has been written about smart growth in the popular press and newsletters of advocacy organizations, both pro and con, but little has been written about it in the academic literature (early contributions include Burchell et al. 2000, Downs 2001, and Nelson 2001). As the newly appointed Director of Research for the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland, it will be my job to do just that -- not just with papers of my own, but with papers written by scholars with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. This paper, therefore, represents a first step towards that end. But my goals for this paper are more ambitious; they include the articulation of an agenda for research on smart growth. This is a formidable task, since the ambiguity of the term leaves little in the realm of land use to eliminate as beyond the scope of the subject. To narrow my scope, therefore, I ignore all discussions about what constitutes urban sprawl and whether sprawl, however defined, is good or bad. Instead, I focus my analysis on smart growth policies adopted by the State of Maryland. ItemInformation Technology in the 1990s: More Footloose or More Location-bound?(2002) Sohn, JungyulThis paper examines if information technology has worked towards dispersion or concentration of economic activities in two steps of analysis. The first analysis using locational Gini coefficient and Moran’s I focuses on distribution of the urban area as a whole and finds that dispersion was prominent over the years. The second analysis using Gi* statistic as the dependent variable in the regression model, however, shows that the technology has induced more concentration rather than dispersion at an intrametropolitan scale, reflecting that there is a discrepancy in the results of the two analyses depending on the spatial scale of the analysis. ItemWhat Makes for a Successful Brownfield Redevelopment?(2002) Howland, MarieThis study tracks the remediation history and redevelopment on three brownfield sites in Baltimore, Maryland. The sites are Camden Crossing, Highland Marine Terminal, and Crown, Cork, and Seal. The first project, Camden Crossing, promises to turn previously industrial property into a town house development. Highland Marine Terminal and Crown, Cork, and Seal were industrial sites transformed into warehouse space. The proposed residential, Camden Crossing, project has met with continuous impediments and delays, and is now running more than eight years behind schedule. The two industry to warehouse sites can be characterized as successful, with profitable enterprises now operating on both. The factors that appear to compress risk and contribute to successful brownfield redevelopments are continuous industrial use, a strong market for the final use, and quick movement through the Phase I and Phase II testing, Maryland Department of the Environment approvals, and reuse. The continuous industrial use means that cleanup standards are not as stringent as for residential use, thereby speeding cleanup and lowering remdiation costs. Moreover, an uncertain market for the final product increases risk. For example, the warehouse market in Baltimore is much stronger than the residential market. The weak residential market in combination with stringent cleanup standards undermines the profitability of Camden Crossing. Finally, the delays in Camden Crossing have both resulted in and been further aggravated by changes in the Maryland Department of the Environment staff. Over the eight years the project has been under discussion, the Maryland Department of the Environment has revised and made cleanup standards more strict. ItemThe Rise of Private Neighborhood Associations: A Constitutional Revolution in Local Government(Edward Elgar Publishing, 2002) Nelson, Robert H.A revival of the neighborhood is seen by many commentators as a key element in a wider effort to reenergize the intermediate institutions of American society. The weakening of these institutions is blamed for a decline in trust, public spirit, and generally an erosion of civic values in the United States in recent decades. The rise of the private neighborhood follows in the wake of the rise of the corporate form of business ownership of property in the late nineteenth century, both representing fundamental turns away from individual ownership of private property and towards new collective forms of private ownership. Indeed, the rise of private neighborhood associations represents the most important property right development in the United States since the rise of the modern business corporation. ItemTravel and Environmental Implications of School Siting(2003) Ewing, ReidTravel and Environmental Implications of School Siting, released by the EPA on October 8, 2003, is the first study to empirically examine the relationship between school locations, the built environment around schools, how kids get to school, and the impact on air emissions of those travel choices. Over the next few decades, communities making decisions about the construction and renovation of thousands of schools will be challenged to meet multiple goals -- educational, fiscal, and environmental. The study finds that: School proximity to students matters. Students with shorter walk and bike times to school are more likely to walk or bike. The built environment influences travel choices. Students traveling through pedestrian-friendly environments are more likely to walk or bike. Because of travel behavior differences, school location has an impact on air emissions. Centrally located schools that can be reached by walking and bicycling result in reduced air emissions from driving. More data collection and research are needed to add further to the understanding of these effects. Specifically, improved data about both school travel and the built environment as well as new modeling techniques can build on these results. For some time, there has been a trend toward construction of big schools and requirements for large sites. Guidelines, recommendations, and standards that encourage or require building large schools on new campuses or discourage renovation are embedded in a variety of state and local regulations, laws and funding formulas. This study provides important information about the effect of school location on how children get to school. It shows that school siting and design can affect choices of walking, biking, or driving. In turn, these changes in travel choices could affect traffic congestion, air pollution, and school transportation budgets. ItemMeasuring the Health Effects of Sprawl: A National Analysis of Physical Activity, Obesity and Chronic Disease(2003) Ewing, Reid; McCann, BarbaraThe findings presented here are from the article, Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity and Morbidity, by Reid Ewing, Tom Schmid, Richard Killingsworth, Amy Zlot, and Stephen Raudenbush, published in the September 2003 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion. This report is intended to make this important piece of research more accessible to the general public. In addition to presenting research findings, this report summarizes recent research done by others on the links between the way we’ve built our communities, physical activity, and health. It also includes recommendations for change and resources for those interested in further exploration of this topic. ItemSmart Growth, Housing Markets, and Development Trends in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor(2003) Frece, John; Holler, Elisabeth; Knaap, Gerrit; Sohn, JungyulMaryland is a dense and rapidly growing state. For this and other reasons, Maryland has been a national leader in a movement known as smart growth. Smart growth has many objectives, but concentrating urban growth in well defined areas while protecting rural land from development are perhaps its primary goals. Though public support for smart growth continues to rise, so do concerns that policies used to promote smart growth could have adverse effects on land and housing markets. To evaluate these concerns, this study provides information on housing markets and development trends in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.The study finds that housing demand in the nation and in Maryland is strong, as revealed by rising prices and homeownership rates as well as by falling vacancy rates and housing-to-jobs ratios. In general, the housing market in Maryland exhibits trends similar to those in comparable jurisdictions, such as neighboring Virginia. The performance of specific housing markets in Maryland, however, varies widely, with strong growth in the suburbs, variable growth in rural areas and persistent weakness in Baltimore City. Further, in the Baltimore and Washington suburbs, housing prices are rising rapidly while housing starts remain sluggish. Though this study does not prove that housing markets and development trends in Maryland have been adversely affected by land use policies, there is evidence to suggest that state and local constraints on development are contributing to problems of housing affordability and deflecting growth to outlying areas. The result could be more, not less, urban sprawl. Moreover, neither the state government nor most local governments in Maryland currently have adequate policies in place to monitor or address this problem. While the Maryland Smart Growth initiative has been successful in protecting natural areas and agricultural lands from development, it has not had similar success in assuring a steady, future supply of affordable housing. Local governments, meanwhile, appear to have little incentive to address this problem. To address this problem the state needs to assure that local governments address development capacity and housing affordability issues. This does not mean it should eliminate or immediately expand Priority Funding Areas. It does mean that the state should require local governments to include housing elements in their comprehensive plans, provide periodic estimates of housing and employment capacity, and develop modern and publicly accessible data on the location and capacity of developable land. Local governments must be active and willing participants in this process and the Maryland Department of Planning should provide whatever technical assistance may be needed. ItemAssessing the impact of urban form measures in nonwork trip mode choice after controlling for demographic and level-of-service effects(2003) Rajamani, Jayanthi; Bhat, Chandra R.; Handy, Susan; Knaap, Gerritt; Song, YanThe relationship between travel behavior and the local built environment continues to be a contentious issue, despite several research efforts in the area. The current paper investigates the significance and explanatory power of a variety of urban form measures on nonwork activity travel mode choice. The travel data used for analysis is the 1995 Portland Metropolitan Activity Survey conducted by Portland Metro. The database on the local built environment was developed by Song (2002) and includes a more extensive set of variables than previous studies that have examined the relationship between travel behavior and the local built environment using the Portland data. A multinomial logit mode choice model results indicate that higher residential densities and mixed-uses promote walking behavior for nonwork activities. ItemEconomies of Scale in Wastewater Treatment and Planning for Urban Growth(2003) Hopkins, Lewis; Knaap, Gerrit; Xiaohuan, XuCan urban growth patterns take advantage of economies of scale in infrastructure by relying on fewer and larger treatment plants? Estimates of potential cost savings from alternative wastewater treatment consolidation strategies for the metropolitan Chicago region suggest that the timing of consolidation is important. Carefully timed consolidation, even consolidation that occurs after development has occurred, might yield present value savings on the order of $170 million in capital costs. These potential savings are large enough that such strategies should be considered when planning for metropolitan growth. ItemInternally Connected, No Commercial, With a Touch of Open Space: The Neighborhoods of New Homes in the Portland Metropolitan Area(2004) Song, Yan; Knaap, GerritFor many years, neighborhoods have been classified as either “suburban” or “traditional.” But new homes today are built in many different types of neighborhoods with many different design features. In this paper, we develop a quantitative method for classifying the neighborhoods of new homes in the Portland metropolitan area. We proceed in three steps. First we measure urban form attributes of neighborhoods around newly developed homes. We then use factor analysis to identify a small set of factors that capture essential differences in urban form. Finally we use cluster analysis on these factor scores to identify distinctly different neighborhood types. Applying these methods to neighborhoods around new single family homes in the metropolitan Portland, Oregon, we are able to identify eight factors of urban form and six neighborhood types. We then show that most new single family homes in metropolitan Portland are built in new suburban neighborhoods but a substantial portion is occurring in traditional urban neighborhoods. ItemCan City Lifestyle be a Catalyst for Smart Suburban Change?: A Comparative Investigation into How Asian and Latino Immigrants' Prior Urban Experiences and American's Prior Suburban Experiences Can Inform the Future Planning and Growth of Maryland Suburbs(2004) Chang, Shenglin; LaMontagne, Aimee; Sung, PingThe research investigates how Asian and Latino immigrants’ prior urban experiences can inform the future planning and growth of suburban communities in Maryland. The investigation of Maryland immigrants’ various built environment (dwelling, landscape, neighborhood, transportation mode) preferences will result in a set of ecologically appropriate and culturally sensitive design guidelines that will help shape the future of the rapidly growing suburban communities. ItemPlanning and Development Control at the County Level in the United States: Lessons from Montgomery County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia(2004) Cohen, James; Knaap, GerritThis report provides an overview of planning and development control at the county level in the United States based on a case-study analysis of two counties in the Washington, DC metropolitan area: Montgomery County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia. The intent is not to provide an in-depth analysis of the differences between these two counties but instead to demonstrate general principles and procedures of county planning in the United States. ItemPedestrian Flow Modeling for Prototypical Maryland Cities(2004) Allen, William G.; Clifton, Kelly; Davies, Gary; Radford, NoahPedestrian safety is emerging as a major area of concern for MPO's and planning agencies. Typically, pedestrian safety has been analyzed by either examining the absolute number of pedestrian crashes at a location, or computing an exposure rate from the number of crashes and the traffic volume. A more desirable measure would be an exposure rate based on the pedestrian volume, but it has not proven feasible to obtain pedestrian flow volumes on a widearea basis to support this analysis. This report describes a pedestrian flow modeling process that was developed under the sponsorship of the Maryland DOT and the University of Maryland National Center for Smart Growth. The process provides micro-scale daily pedestrian flows on all sidewalks and crosswalks in a substantial coverage area. Two test cases were analyzed: an urban scenario comprising about 10 square miles of downtown Baltimore, and a suburban scenario comprising about 15 square miles of Langley Park in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties. ItemThe Fruits of Growth Management in the Sunshine State: An Examination of Urban Form in Orange County, Florida(2005) Knaap, Gerrit; Song, YanThe state of Florida is nationally recognized as a leader in urban growth management. In 1972, Florida’s legislature passed a host of statutes aimed at addressing the increasingly apparent strains on the natural environment caused by then uncontrolled development. The Florida Environmental Land and Water Management Act of 1972 was based on the American Law Institute Model Land Development Code, and created a new regulatory process for “developments of regional impact” (DRIs) in those jurisdictions with local land use controls (FLA. STAT. §§ 380.06, 380.012 et seq.). It also provided for designation of environmentally sensitive “areas of critical state concern,” which entailed stringent state oversight of development (FLA. STAT. § 380.05). Other legislation passed that year include the Florida Water Resources Act of 1972, which created regional water management districts, and the Land Conservation Act of 1972, which authorized the Governor and Cabinet to buy environmentally endangered lands and land for outdoor recreational use (FLA. STAT. §§ 373.013 et seq., 259.01 et seq.). Specifically related to land use planning, the Florida State Comprehensive Planning Act of 1972 required the Governor to prepare a State Comprehensive Plan, which would articulate goals and policies to guide Florida’s future growth following enactment by the legislature (FLA. STAT. § 186.001 et seq.) ItemSeeing the Elephant: Multi-disciplinary Measures of Urban Sprawl(2005) Clifton, Kelly; Ewing, Reid; Knaap, Gerrit; Song, YanIn this paper we review and discuss multiple approaches of measuring urban sprawl. Our intent is not to propose new measures or methods but to present in a single paper an overview of approaches to measuring sprawl taken by scholars trained in a variety of disciplines. Our intent instead is to describe general approaches and to provide references to key sources for further examination. Based on our review, we draw two conclusions. First, over the last two decades we have made substantial progress in our ability to measure and analyze spatial patterns that constitute the problem known as urban sprawl. Second, because of the disciplinary boundaries in which this progress has been made, we understand parts of the problem better than we understand the problem as a whole.