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If the environs of the HSR work more like a town and less like sprawl suburbia, then development for people living in those environs will be less sprawling than development to cater to people living in sprawling outer suburbs.

How will happen without changes in how we regulate land development?

by Jace on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 04:47:40 PM EST
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If you have sprawl-level densities around the HSR station, there is a sporting chance that someone will get pissed off that the existing residents are hogging all the valuable space right on top of the station with their low-density development.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 04:49:23 PM EST
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... it is a system of direct, cross and hidden subsidies for sprawl development. You are concluding that the HSR will have sprawl impact by first assuming away the fact that spending on intercity road transport is one of those cross subsidies, and second assuming that the land use planning landscape under local control is a single, uniform mass with no local variation.

Spending on Express HSR intercity transport capacity instead of road intercity capacity is a dramatic change in the landscape. With the investment in roadworks, roads in the outer suburban area form dendritic networks draining toward the exit in the direction of the dominant commute. With investment in HSR, transport is focused on a single point with a 50km to 100km radius, and unlike land in sprawl suburbia, where land value is primarily created by zoning fiat, land value rises as you get closer to the station, on the natural square power relationship that there is only a quarter as much land that is half the distance to the station.

Now, you may believe that US local political systems are immune to the interests of property developers, but I do not. I believe that with a strong commercial interest by property developers in being permitted to exploit the value of proximity by being permitted to engage in mixed use and infill residential development, they will by hood or by crook get the station sited where they can get permission to engage in infill development.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 10:58:00 PM EST
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Now, you may believe that US local political systems are immune to the interests of property developers,

This couldn't be further from the truth! I've seen the process at work too many times. Property developers exploit local level politicians because remember they're the only ones involved in development. There is no national level involvement, states at best set some policy as in pro-growth or anti-growth. All of the real decisions on development are made locally. Rural states and localities are almost universally pro-growth because of the potential growth in tax revenues and political influence. Property owners know this, the local politicians know this. The temptations are huge, despite known longer term impacts of sprawl. That states have to look at buying land to take it out of commission to limit development is an illustration of just how screwed up the process is.

by Jace on Fri Jun 3rd, 2011 at 07:54:14 AM EST
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... rules will stay the same after changing the rewards so that infill development around the station is more lucrative?

I'd expect that the rules will bend to allow developers to take advantage of those opportunities.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Jun 3rd, 2011 at 02:05:13 PM EST
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