Authors: Mitchell Jorstad*,
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Transportation Geography
Keywords: Transit,Gentrification,United States,Investment,Development,Scarcity,Inadequacy
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Proteus, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
America is a serious underperformer when it comes to its public transit networks. Other nations across the globe invest heavily in their public transit systems, while the US neglects its own in favor of ever-expanding road networks. This limited supply of public transportation in the US means that in many cities, property adjacent to or near a transit route can be worth substantially more than similar property without transit access. Public transit’s rarity of supply in the United States makes its access incredibly valuable and can lead to spikes in land values wherever it is built, and this is often seen in cities that have introduced new transit lines within the past decade.
This effect of public transit is a double-edged sword in today’s American cities that can serve as forces both for and against construction of new transit networks. On the plus side, new transit lines can draw in new development to struggling neighborhoods, drawing private investment where it may have been absent from before. However, the spike in land prices and sudden influx of development often benefits large developers and landowners, and can lead to gentrification and displacement of current residents. Transit is in such low supply that there is incredibly high competition for the land around it, and thus not everyone can take part-and those that are excluded are sometimes those who need it most. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that new transit faces anti-gentrification opposition, even if the accessibility benefits it offers offset its gentrifying effects.