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. [W]e 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.
National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education