A Choice-Based Rationale for Land Use and Transportation Alternatives
Authors test whether development forms and regulation satisfy resident preferences by categorizing areas and surveying residents of Atlanta and Boston. Areas categorized as: central business district (cluster A), other central city (cluster B), inner suburban (cluster C), middle suburban (cluster D), and outer suburban/exurban (cluster E). Nearly half of Boston is relatively pedestrian-friendly (A and B) while nearly 90% of Atlanta is car-oriented (C, D, E). Atlanta residents have more car-oriented preferences than Boston residents, but not nearly as great a difference as in the cities' forms. Atlanta residents preferring pedestrian-friendly locations are under-supplied.
Contrary to perception that regulation mandates density, authors say "worry about the planning function being used to force high-density development on an unwilling market is chimerical" because even if density is allowed, capital to do dense development can only be deployed if there is actual demand.
Theoretical and practical relevance: