Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cool graphics showing transit lines and median income by census tracts at stations for NYC and Chicago

Image from the Alexandria Times, "Alexandria City Council approves Beauregard rezoning."

In relationship to the reporting ("Redevelopment looms in west Alexandria" from the Post) and opining ("Affordable housing hypocrisy" from the Examiner) about how when you add transit, poorer people get displaced--which in strong real estate markets is true over time, here are two graphics that show the relationship between income and transit station location in New York City and Chicago.

-- "Inequality and New York's Subways," New Yorker Magazine
-- "CTA and median incomes," Donkey Hottie Blog

For what it's worth, portfolio investment in maintaining housing affordability, inclusionary zoning, land trusts, and cooperatives are the best way to preserve some semblance of affordability in the face of economic change.

This is reprinted from a previous entry:

... it isn't the fault of the transit system, but the result of a market economy that values real estate on the basis of its accessibility, which derives from its level of mobility connectivity.

Better transit means that property is worth more and rents rise.  People of lesser means can't compete.

That means ensure the provision of affordable housing, through portfolio investment and by building more units of affordable housing in new developments.

But like all of these kinds of arguments, the point isn't to use equity-regressive taxation arguments etc. to stop transit or gas taxes, it's to put in place programs and protections so that some people aren't made worse off by the change.

Arguably, over time too, the impoverished have more economic advantages because of their access to more robust transit infrastructure, access to more jobs in more places, and less need to spend money on an automobile (which costs $7,000 to $9,000 per year), etc.

There has been some interesting work in the Seattle area on transit equity issues.  See Puget Sound Regional Equity Network: Principles of Equitable Development.

And I definitely need to read this report from the Dukakis Institute at Northeastern University, Maintaining Diversity In America’s Transit-Rich Neighborhoods: Tools for Equitable Neighborhood Change.

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