Moderating urban sprawl: is there a balance between shared open space and housing parcel size

Seong-hoon Cho, Dayton M. Lambert, Roland K. Roberts and Seung Gyu Kim

Cho, S.-H., D. M. Lambert, R. K. Roberts, and S. G. Kim. "Moderating Urban Sprawl: Is There a Balance between Shared Open Space and Housing Parcel Size?" Journal of Economic Geography 10.5 (2009): 763-83. Web.

Hedonic Pricing , Individual Parcel Size , Shared Open Space , Smart Growth Policy , Urban Sprawl

This article addresses the tradeoff between the values households’ place on shared open space and parcel size, and the implications for housing development policy. Marginal implicit prices of shared open space and single-family housing parcel size are estimated using geographically weighted regression corrected for spatial autocorrela- tion. The marginal rate of substitution (MRS) of shared open space for lot size is calculated for individual households. Defining target areas based on site-specific MRSs could provide policy makers with more accurate information for designing or updating location-specific land use policies in efforts to moderate urban sprawl.

Main finding
The main goal of this study according the the authors is to uncover the spatial dynamics that result in tradeoff between the values placed on shared open space in the neighborhood and parcel size - and ultimately to understand the following implications for housing development policy. The study demonstrates that "one size" fits all approach to urban development policy is generally overlooking important local variations. It argues that it is very important for policy makers to determine the MRS s of shared open space for lot size prior to developing the target land. "The hedonic function estimated in this study only measures the amenity values from larger lots and shared open space, which can be used to measure the cost of smart-growth policy intervention through its impact on housing values." Further research needs to be done to test the hypothesis that open space quality, neighborhood density and parcel size are related.

Description of method used in the article

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