Nearly three our out of four US metro regions saw an increase in infill development in the five-year period 2005-2009 compared to 2000-2004, according to a new report from EPA (pdf download). Residential Construction Trends in America's Metropolitan Regions: 2012 Edition examined the top 51 metro areas. "In many regions, this increase was substantial. Miami increased from 40 percent infill to 49 percent infill. Providence, Rhode Island, increased from 20 percent to 29 percent. Several medium-sized metropolitan regions (population 200,000 – one million) saw even greater shifts towards infill housing," the reports says. Infill accounted for one-fifth of housing construction. CLICK ON TITLE TO READ MORE.
Redevelopment is an implementation tool, just like zoning, specific plans and Form-Based Codes. It should be treated as such and conform with city-wide General Plans and more localized Comprehensive Plan policies.
Although city housing generally outperformed suburban housing in the recession, according to a Philadelphia-area study, there were significant exceptions. Prices in mixed-use, compact, suburbs with transit access declined — about 20 percent — less than the regional average. Additionally, some city neighborhoods saw large price declines, especially those inhabited mostly by poor people with high numbers of vacant properties and low incomes. “The recession hit disproportionately on the young and working class, and for many it became impossible to get a mortgage" said study author Kevin Gillen. "Homes in [poorer] neighborhoods are hit relatively hard.” Some of these neighborhoods, where housing and transportation costs are very cheap right now, will likely revitalize and that process has already begun in places, according to a detailed report in the December 2012 issue of Better! Cities & Towns.
At New Geography, Joel Kotkin is trumpeting a Wendell Cox study that supposedly reveals Americans still love sprawl. "For all the talk of how the Great Recession has driven people — particularly the 'footloose young' — toward dense urban centers, Census data reveal that Americans are still drawn to the same sprawling Sun Belt regions as before," he writes. But there is less here than meets the eye in Cox's and Kotkin's "net domestic migration" figures. Of the 51 largest metro areas, New York City lost 1.9 million people to domestic net migration in 2000-2009 — "the biggest loser," Kotkin chortles — and lost 99,000 more in 2010-2011. Yet the New York metro region has gained more than 2.5 million in total population since 1990, 853,000 since 2000, and 129,000 between 2010 and 2011. Net domestic migration reveals enormous numbers of New York retirees heading south for warmer weather — and often tax breaks — and doesn't necessarily say anything about economic vibrancy. An international city, New York attracts immigrants from around the world. So does Chicago, which lost 53,000 to domestric migration from 2010-2011, and is also steadily gaining population.