Gerrit J. Knaap

Envisioning Beijing 2020 through Sketches of Urban Scenarios

Authors: Song, Y., C. Ding and G. Knaap
Synopsis: To provide the decision-makers in Beijing, China, with an assessment of alternative development futures, we introduce scenario planning to process of drafting Beijing’s 2020 Plan. The sketches of scenarios for Beijing are fruitful in several ways. First, the development of scenarios can meet the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning (BMCUP)’s needs to explore different urban development options. Second, scenario planning can accommodate uncertainty in economic and population growth caused in part by China’s rapid social and economic transformation. Third, in the course of creating evaluation framework to assess scenarios, scenario planning informs decision-makers about choices regarding predicted outcomes. We demonstrate that in a city that is experiencing unforeseen growth in the era of transformations, the decision-making process can be informed by evaluating the performance of alternative development scenarios.


Economies of Scale in Wastewater Treatment and Planning for Urban Growth

Authors: Lewis D. Hopkins, Xiaohuan Xu, and Gerrit J. Knaap (2003)
Synopsis: Can 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.


Does Job Creation Tax Credit Program in Maryland Induce Spatial Employment Growth or Redistribution?

Authors: Jungyul Sohn and Gerrit Knaap (2002)
Synopsis: The 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.


Talking Smart in the United States

Authors: Gerrit Knaap (2002)
Synopsis: As 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).


An Inquiry into the Promise and Prospects of Smart Growth

Authors: Gerrit Knaap (2002)
Synopsis: Prepared for Presentation at the International Workshop on Urban Growth Management: New Approaches to Land Management for Sustainable Urban Regions University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, 29-31 October 2001Smart 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.


Planning and Development Control at the County Level in the United States: Lessons from Montgomery County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia

Authors: James Cohen and Gerrit Knaap (2004)
Synopsis: This 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.


A Requiem for Smart Growth?

Authors: Gerrit Knaap (2006)
Synopsis: Presented at “Planning Reform in the New Century,” Washington University Law School, St. Louis, Mo, December, 2004In the days following the 2004 presidential election there was much consternation in Democratic circles. George Bush won again; the Republicans picked up seats in the House and Senate; and the Republican majority seemed to have grown in depth and strength. Pundits and progressives were already wondering--could the Democrats ever recapture the hearts of an American public now apparently obsessed with security, morality, and personal charm.Among academic and professional planners there was similar concern. Although John Kerry had never been a champion of smart growth, it was clear that the prospects for smarter growth were far greater in an administration headed by Kerry than one headed by Bush. Smart growth had not fully disappeared in the federal agenda in the first Bush administration, but the momentum had clearly waned. Further, the discussion in the planning chat-rooms and list serves focused on the blue and red maps, which made clear that Republicans dominated not only the central and southern states but also the rural and suburban areas of most every state in the union. The subject line of one long conversation on the PLANET list serve was “sprawling Republicans” which conveyed the alarm: the new American majority was deeply rooted in urban sprawl.In the wake of these political events, it is reasonable to ask: can smart growth survive another term of President Bush? If so, what must be done to regain the momentum and capture the favor of an ever-growing conservative majority? In this period of national reflection, therefore, I consider the state of smart growth and its prospects for the near- term future. I start with a brief history of its evolution, continue with an examination of recent trends, and follow with an assessment of whether smart growth will change those trends. I conclude with recommendations for how smart growth might adapt to the new political realities.


Indicators of Smart Growth in Maryland

Authors: Jason Sartori, Terry Moore, and Gerrit Knaap (2011)
Synopsis: Maryland is often referred to as the birthplace of smart growth, a movement in land use planning that contributed to what is now referred to as sustainability planning, sustainable development, and sustainable communities. Maryland adopted a Smart Growth Program in 1997 with the primary purposes being to use incentives to (1) direct growth into areas already developed and having public facilities, and (2) reduce the conversion of farm, forest, and resource land to urban uses.


A Functional Integrated Land Use-Transportation Model for Analyzing Transportation Impacts in the Maryland-Washington D.C. Region

Authors: Sabyasachee Mishra, Xin Ye, Fred Ducca, and Gerrit Knaap (2011)
Synopsis: The Maryland-Washington, DC region has been experiencing significant land-use changes and changes in local and regional travel patterns due to increasing growth and sprawl. The region’s highway and transit networks regularly experience severe congestion levels. Before proceeding with plans to build new transportation infrastructure to address this expanding demand for travel, a critical question is how future land use will affect the regional transportation system. This article investigates how an integrated land-use and transportation model can address this question. A base year and two horizon-year land use-transport scenarios are analyzed. The horizon-year scenarios are: (1) business as usual (BAU) and (2) high gasoline prices (HGP). The scenarios developed through the land-use model are derived from a three-stage top-down approach: (a) at the state level, (b) at the county level, and (c) at the statewide modeling zone (SMZ) level that reflects economic impacts on the region. The transportation model, the Maryland Statewide Transport Model (MSTM), is an integrated land use-transportation model, capable of reflecting development and travel patterns in the region. The model includes all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Delaware, and portions of southern Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, New Jersey, and West Virginia. The neighboring states are included to reflect the entering, exiting, and through trips in the region. The MSTM is a four-step travel-demand model with input provided by the alternative land-use scenarios, designed to produce link-level assignment results for four daily time periods, nineteen trip purposes, and eleven modes of travel. This article presents preliminary results of the land use-transportation model. The long-distance passenger and commodity-travel models are at the development stage and are not included in the results. The analyses of the land use-transport scenarios reveal insights to the region’s travel patterns in terms of the congestion level and the shift of travel as per land-use changes. The model is a useful tool for analyzing future land-use and transportation impacts in the region.


Characterising urban sprawl on a local scale with accessibility measures

Authors: Sohn, Jungyul, Songhyun Choi, Rebecca Lewis, and Gerrit Knaap
Synopsis: Although measuring sprawl based on morphology is conceptually simple and easy to implement, it is of limited use for deriving implications for urban planning. However, measuring sprawl based on accessibility enables us to observe the impact of development and establish a customized place-based policy by examining the spatial variation within the region. This study aims to develop and operationalize accessibility-based sprawl indicators. For this purpose, it employs two accessibility based sprawl indicator categories and develops their measures: accessibilities to urban functions and open space. From the case study, the findings reveal that the accessibility-based sprawl index shows a clear difference from the morphology-based ones, suggesting that the judgment on sprawl may be wrong if it is purely based on morphology.


Economic Scenarios and Development Patterns in the Baltimore‐Washington Region

Authors: Nikhil Kaza, Gerrit Knaap, and Kelly Clifton (2009)
Synopsis: This paper illustrates the use of scenarios in land use, environmental and transportation planning in and around the State of Maryland. Different assumptions about futures result in different patterns of growth with differential impacts on particular sectors of the economy. Such different patterns require formulation of contingent plans as well as robust plans. In this paper, we illustrate the quantitative modelling methodology of loosely linked economic demographic, transportation and other impact assessment models in constructing two scenarios; one of which represented the best possible guess about the continuation of the future and other involving rapid changes to energy prices and Federal spending. We illustrate the spatial development outcomes and the transportation and environmental plans that are necessary to deal with these different outcomes. Further, we illustrate that different planned actions have different efficacies in different futures and thus multiple futures should be carefully considered. Finally, we illustrate the notions of contingent plans and robust plans.


Exploring Alternative Futures Using a Spatially Explicit Econometric Model

Authors: Nikhil Kaza, Gerrit Knaap, and Douglas Meade (2008)
Synopsis: This paper illustrates the application of various forecasting methodologies in constructing multiple scenarios for the state of Maryland using Long term Inter Industry Forecasting Tool that tracks inter-industry outputs at a macro scale, and State Employment Model that disaggregates these outputs to the states. We then use accessibility, land availability and observed relationships of employment categories to distribute employment at a county level. In this paper, we identify the possible advantages and pitfalls of using large scale economic models to drive employment forecasts at the county level. This framework allows for simulating the implications of macroeconomic scenarios such as changes in exchange rates and unemployment levels, as well as local land use and transportation policies on local employment and demographics. In particular, we focus on two scenarios as test cases both of which involve very different ideas about how future might unfold and their effects on land use and transportation policy prescriptions. One of the scenarios involves, among others, rises in health care spending over the next few years and the other involves increases in energy prices. As will be shown, they have different spatial effects and suggest different policy actions on the part of various governments.


Smart Growth in Maryland: Looking Forward and Looking Back

Authors: Gerrit Knaap and John Frece (2007)
Synopsis: Spring of 2007 will mark the 10th anniversary of the passage of Maryland’s Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation Initiative; an effort designed to discourage sprawl development, foster more compact communities, protect the best remaining farms and open space in the state, and save taxpayers from the growing cost of providing services and infrastructure to serve far-flung development. Almost before its various provisions took effect in 1997 and 1998, the Maryland initiative generated interest and acclaim across the country. It received numerous awards and became the principal legacy of the program’s primary architect, former Governor Parris N. Glen- dening. Governors in other states, such as New Jersey, Colorado and Massachusetts, instituted their own “smart growth” proposals, often modeled after portions of the Maryland program. Even the popularity and wide usage of the now omnipresent phrase “smart growth” can be attributed in large part to the Maryland program.But, what has been the effect of Maryland’s Smart Growth pro- gram? Looking at it some ten years later, has it worked? Did it accomplish what it was designed to do? What have been the strengths and weaknesses of the Maryland approach, and how can lessons from the Maryland experience be used to offer a new set of policymakers in Maryland, as well as elsewhere in the nation, practical suggestions on how to make smart growth smarter?


Even Smarter Growth? Land Use, Transportation, and Greenhouse Gas in Maryland

Authors: Avin, Uri, Timothy F. Welch, Gerrit Knaap, Fred Ducca, Sabyasachee Mishra, Yuchen Cui, and Sevgi Erd
Synopsis: Urban form studies have generally used regional density vs. sprawl land use scenarios to assesstravel behavior outcomes. The more nuanced but nonetheless important allocation of jobs andhousing and their relationship to each other as a factor in travel behavior has received much lessattention. That relationship is explored in this statewide urban form study for Maryland. This is astate where county land use has a long tradition of growth management, but one whose regionaland statewide implications have not been evaluated. How does a continuation of the County levelsmart growth regime play out statewide compared to other scenarios of job and housingdistribution that are driven by higher driving costs or transit oriented development goals or localzoning rather than local policy-driven projections? Answers are provided through the applicationof a statewide travel demand model, the Maryland Statewide Transportation Model (MSTM).The findings suggest that the debate should move beyond walkability, density and compactgrowth and towards a more productive dialog about how we organize whole cities and regions.


The Fruits of Growth Management in the Sunshine State: An Examination of Urban Form in Orange County, Florida

Authors: Gerrit Knaap and Yan Song (2005)
Synopsis: The 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.).


Reclassification of Sustainable Neighborhoods: An Opportunity Indicator Analysis in Baltimore Metropolitan Area

Authors: Chao Liu, , Eli Knaap, Gerrit Knaap
Synopsis: The “Sustainable neighborhoods” has become widely proposed objective of urban planners, scholars, and local government agencies. However, after decades of discussion, there is still no consensus on the definition of sustainable neighborhoods (Sawicki and Flynn, 1996; Dluhy and Swartz 2006; Song and Knaap,2007; Galster 2010). To gain new information on this issue, this paper develops a quantitative method for classifying neighborhood types. It starts by measuring a set of more than 100 neighborhood sustainable indicators. The initial set of indicators includes education, housing, neighborhood quality and social capital, neighborhood environment and health, employment and transportation. Data are gathered from various sources, including the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) data inventory, U.S. Census, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many government agencies and private vendors. GIS mapping is used to visualize and identify variations in neighborhood attributes at the most detailed level (e.g census tracts). Factor analysis is then used to reduce the number of indicators to a small set of dimensions that capture essential differences in neighborhood types in terms of social, economic, and environmental dimensions. These factors loadings are used as inputs to a cluster analysis to identify unique neighborhood types. Finally, different types of neighborhoods are visualized using a GIS tool for further evaluation.The proposed quantitative analysis will help illustrate variations in neigh.


Smart Growth, Housing Markets, and Development Trends in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor

Authors: Gerrit Knaap, Jungyul Sohn, John W. Frece and Elisabeth Holler (2003)
Synopsis: Maryland 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.


Internally Connected, No Commercial, With a Touch of Open Space: The Neighborhoods of New Homes in the Portland Metropolitan Area

Authors: Yan Song and Gerrit Knaap
Synopsis: For 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.


Managing Growth With Priority Funding Areas: A Good Idea Whose Time Has Yet to Come

Authors: Rebecca Lewis, Gerrit Knaap, and Jungyul Sohn (2009)
Synopsis: Problem: In 1997, the State of Maryland adopted a bold new approach to growth management based on a novel instrument: priority funding areas (PFAs). PFAs contain growth by directing state spending to areas designated by local governments and reviewed by the state government. Despite widespread acclaim and subsequent imitation, little is known about whether PFAs effectively contain urban growth.


State Agency Spending Under Maryland’s Smart Growth Areas Act: Who’s Tracking, Who’s Spending, How Much, and Where?

Authors: Gerrit Knaap and Rebecca Lewis (2007)
Synopsis: In 1997, the Maryland General Assembly enacted the Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation initiative, an attempt by state government to use the state budget to concentrate urban development in certain areas. The primary vehicle for this approach was embodied in the Smart Growth Areas Act, which required that all “growth-related” funding by state agencies occur in locally designated “Priority Funding Areas” (PFAs) that met certain state criteria. The intent of the Act was to restrict state spending so it became easier for local governments and private developers to concentrate urban development within the PFAs, while at the same time, discourage development outside PFAs.


The Transportation-Land Use Policy Connection

Authors: Gerrit Knaap and Yan Song (2005)
Synopsis: In this paper, we explore the transportation-land use policy connection. More specifically, we consider the question: can land use policy be used to alter transportation behavior? The answer is of some importance. If the answer is yes, then there is hope that land use policies can be designed and implemented that will bring some relief to the gridlock and complex transportation problems facing US metropolitan areas. This is the underlying assumption behind most smart growth policy reforms. If the answer is no, then land use policy may still be important, but is not likely to play an important role in resolving transportation issues.We proceed as follows. First we offer a schematic that identifies necessary conditions for land use policy to play a role in addressing transportation issues. Specially,we argue that for land use policy to play an effective role, three conditions must hold.  First, land use must be able to alter transportation behavior. Second, transportation infrastructure must not fully determine land use. Third, the condition on which we consider most extensively, land use policy must significantly and constructively affect land use. After presenting the schematic, we consider the evidence on each of these conditions. Based on our review of the evidence, we conclude that land use policy can play an effective role in addressing transportation issues, but that the role is likely to be small, often counter productive, and most effective at the neighborhood scale.


Web-Based Planning: A Survey of Local Government Planning Websites

Authors: Gerrit Knaap and Elisabeth Holler (2003)
Synopsis: The worldwide web has provided the planning community with numerous opportunities to reach new audiences, analyze data, and publicize events. Planning departments across the country have placed zoning maps, comprehensive plans, and meeting schedules, among other things, on their websites. Plans that were once kept in the planning office, and only available to those who could personally stop in to see them, are now available online at any time. When combined with opportunities to view community access television broadcasts and communicate with the planning department by email, there have been significant improvements in communication with the public over the last ten years. In addition, advances in computer technologies, such as GIS mapping, have allowed planners to conduct more sophisticated analyses and better understand trends in their communities.This issue of the PAS Memo provides the results of a comprehensive survey of local planning websites in more than 200 communities. It differs from previous studies for two reasons: first, it focuses specifically on local government; second, it identifies whether or not specific website features (such as mapping) are available. The results create a description of how planners are currently using the web. Based on the results of this study, specific examples of the current state-of-the-art show what can be achieved in a planning website.


Barriers to Development Inside Maryland's PFAs: Perspectives of Planners, Developers, and Advocates

Authors: Casey Dawkins, Jason Sartori, and Gerrit-Jan Knaap (2012)
Synopsis: This study presents a summary of stakeholder perspectives on the effectiveness of Maryland's Priority Funding Areas and barriers to growth within PFAs. It relies upon responses to a telephone survey of forty-seven representatives from three key stakeholder groups—planners, policy advocates and consultants, and developers.


Targeting Spending for Land Conservation: An Evaluation of Maryland's Rural Legacy Program

Authors: Rebecca Lewis and Gerrit-Jan Knaap (2012)
Synopsis: In 1997, Maryland burst into the national spotlight with a package of legislation collectively referred to as smart growth. At its core, the innovative Maryland approach relied on directing state investments in urban infrastructure to Priority Funding Areas while directing state investments in land preservation to rural legacy areas. This article examines the performance of Rural Legacy Areas. Although smart growth in Maryland and the performance of Priority Funding Areas have received considerable attention at the national level, there have been few analyses of the performance of the Rural Legacy Program.


Employment Centers and Agglomeration Economies: Foundations of a Spatial Economic Development Strategy

Authors: Chengri Ding, Yi Niu, and Gerrit-Jan Knaap
Synopsis: Previous research provides evidence that jobs and firms in U.S. metropolitan areas are concentrated in economic centers, creating a polycentric urban form. Previous research also suggests that firms realize localization economies when they locate near other firms in the same industry and urbanization economies when they locate near firms in other industries. In this article, we tie these concepts together in an exploration of the spatial distribution of employment in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. Our analysis suggests that the spatial distribution of employment in Maryland is characterized by the existence of concentrated employment centers that create a polycentric urban form. What is more, we find these centers provide both urbanization and localization economies as well as unspecified locational advantages.


Mapping Opportunity: A Critical Assessment

Authors: Eli Knaap, Gerrit-Jan Knaap, and Chao Liu
Synopsis: A renewed interest has emerged on spatial opportunity structures and their role in shapinghousing policy, community development, and equity planning. To this end, many have triedto quantify the geography of opportunity and quite literally plot it in a map. In this paperwe explore the conceptual foundations and analytical methods that underlie the currentpractice of opportunity mapping. We find that opportunity maps can inform housing policyand metropolitan planning but that greater consideration should be given to the variablesincluded, the methods in which variables are geographically articulated and combined, andthe extent to which the public is engaged in opportunity mapping exercises.


Retail Location and Transit: An Econometric Examination of Retail Location in Prince George’s and Montgomery County, Maryland

Authors: Ting Ma, Eli Knaap, and Gerrit-Jan Knaap
Synopsis: Transit oriented development (TOD) is a widely accepted policy objective of many jurisdictions in the United States. There is both anecdotal and empirical evidence to suggest that the vitality of TODs and the transit boardings from any TOD depends significantly on the extent of retail development in the transit station area. We focus in this paper, on the determinants of retail location in two counties, MontgomeryCounty and Prince George’s County, Maryland, with a particular focus on the influence of proximity torail transit stations. We used data from two counties in the Washington DC suburbs to constructmeasures of transit and retail accessibility and constructed an econometric model to estimate the relationship between urban contextual factors and retail firm locations. The results from our analysis provide empirical support for the notion that retail firms are attracted to locations with high levels of transit accessibility. By extension, these findings suggest that investments in transit—particularly fixed rail transit—may be an effective method for stimulating retail development in metropolitan areas.


Housing Market Impacts of Inclusionary Zoning

Authors: Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Antonio Bento, and Scott Lowe (2008)
Synopsis: Many communities across the country face affordable housing challenges. An increasing number of communities are considering inclusionary zoning as a response. Inclusionary zoning programs, which require developers to sell a certain percentage of newly developed housing units at below market rates to lower income households, are politically attractive because they are viewed as a way to promote housing affordability without raising taxes or using public funds. Standard economic theory, however, suggests that such programs act like a tax on housing construction. And just like other taxes, the burdens of inclusionary zoning are passed on to housing consumers, housing producers, and landowners. As a result, inclusionary zoning policies could exacerbate the affordable housing problem that they are designed to address.Although debate over the merits of inclusionary zoning has continued for nearly three decades, there have been no rigorous studies on their effects on housing prices and starts. We offer such an analysis here, estimating the effects of inclusionary zoning policies on single family housing prices, single family and multifamily housing starts, and the size of single family housing units in California over the period from 1988 to 2005. In our analyses, we are able to isolate the impacts of inclusionary zoning programs by carefully controlling for spatial and temporal conditions, such as the neighborhood or school district within which the house is located, and changing market conditions over time.We find that inclusionary zoning policies had measurable effects on housing markets in jurisdictions that adopt them: the share of multifamily housing increases; the price of single family houses increases; and the size of single family houses decreases. These results are fully consistent with economic theory and demonstrate that inclusionary zoning policies do not come without cost.Overall, we find that inclusionary zoning programs had significant effects on housing markets in California from 1988 to 2005. Although cities with existing or new programs during the study period did not experience a significant reduction in the rate of single family housing starts, they did experience a marginally significant increase in multifamily housing starts. More specifically, we found that in municipalities with inclusionary housing programs, the share of multifamily housing starts increased seven percent. The reasons for this shift are relatively clear when viewed in the proper context. Housing markets in California expanded rapidly over the 1990s as pent up demand exploded following the 1991 recession. The imposition of inclusionary zoning requirements was not strong enough to slow the overall rate of housing production but did cause a measurable shift from single family to multifamily housing production. We further found that the magnitude of this shift varied with the stringency of the inclusionary requirements.We also found that housing prices in cities that adopted inclusionary zoning increased about 2-3 percent faster than cities that did not adopt such policies. In addition, we found that housing price effects were greater in higher priced housing markets than in lower priced markets. That is, housing that sold for less than $187,000 (in 1988 dollars1) decreased by only 0.8 percent while housing that sold for more than $187,000 increased by 5.0 percent. These findings suggest that housing producers did not in general respond to inclusionary requirements by slowing the rate of single family housing construction but did pass the increase in production costs on to housing consumers. Further, housing producers were better able to pass on the increase in costs in higher priced housing markets than in lower priced housing markets.Finally, we found that the size of market rate houses in cities that adopted inclusionary zoning increased more slowly than in cities without such programs. Specifically, we found that housing in cities with inclusionary zoning programs was approximately 48 square feet smaller than in cities without inclusionary programs. Further, most of the reductions in housing size occurred in houses that sold for less than $187,000. These findings suggest that inclusionary zoning programs caused housing producers to increase the price of more expensive homes in markets where residents were less sensitive to price, and to decrease the size of less expensive homes in markets where residents were more sensitive to price.


The American Way of Land Use A Spatial Hazard Analysis of Changes Through Time

Authors: Carruthers, John I., Selma Hepp, Gerrit-Jan Knaap, and Robert N. Renner
Synopsis: This article examines the ability of proportional hazard models to evaluate changes in land use through time. There are three specific objectives: (a) to review previous research on the complexity of urbanization and explain how the spatial hazard framework accommodates that complexity; (b); to estimate a series of spatial hazard models characterizing land use in the twenty-five highest growth core based statistical areas (CBSAs) of the United States in 1990, 2000, and 2006; and (c) to use the estimation results to track land use change region-by-region over the 16-year time frame. Overall, the analysis reveals that the spatial hazard framework offers a highly effective means of describing land use change. Along the way, it also illustrates that the classic model of urbanization continues to hold in an evermore complex world—albeit, in an explicitly uncertain and inherently probabilistic manner.


Assessing the impact of urban form measures in nonwork trip mode choice after controlling for demographic and level-of-service effects

Authors: Jayanthi Rajamani, Chandra R. Bhat, Susan Handy, Gerritt Knaap, and Yan Song (2003)
Synopsis: The 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.