Metropolitan areas in the United States have invested heavily and steadily in urban highways over the last 60 years. These highways have contributed to rapid outward movement of low-density residential areas, and over time, to congestion, long commutes and degraded air quality. Questions are now being asked about how to change urban development trends to produce better circulation and more efficient land use patterns. In this monograph we review the economic forces that contribute to the way cities’ land use patterns evolve. We then focus on transportation investments as one of the key forces affecting these patterns. We present a framework that enables planners to match specific types of transportation investments with the land uses that would benefit most from them. Finally, we offer several practical recommendations for using transportation investments as a positive force to help achieve a desired urban form.
Copyright © 2001 by the Public Policy Center, The University of Iowa