Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Developing densely :: Estimating the effect of subway growth on New York City land uses

Developing densely :: Estimating the effect of subway growth on New York City land uses
by David King (Columbia University)

Abstract: In the early twentieth century, New York City’s population, developed land area, and subway network size all increased dramati- cally. 􏰀e rapid expansion of the transit system and land development present intriguing questions as to whether land development led subway growth or if subway expansion was a precursor to real estate development. 􏰀e research described in this article uses Granger causality models based on parcel-level data to explore the co-development of the subway system and residential and commercial land uses, and attempts to de- termine whether subway stations were a leading indicator of residential and commercial development or if subway station expansion followed residential and commercial construction. 􏰀e results of this study suggest that the subway network developed in an orderly fashion and grew densest in areas where there was growth in commercial development. 􏰀ere is no evidence that subway growth preceded residential devel- opment throughout the city. 􏰀ese results suggest that subway stations opened in areas already well-served by the system and that network growth o􏰁en followed residential and commercial development. 􏰀e subway network acted as an agent of decentralization away from lower Manhattan as routes and stations were sought in areas with established ridership demand.

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