Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Those Pie Charts Again

Rob Puentes at Brookings used the pies to talk to congress (Grist has a greater review here, and you can get the speech transcript here). A few commenters on Yglesias' site said well duh, people in the center city are richer. Really? Well let's debunk that right now with a report by CNT on the diversity of housing near transit. Areas around transit stations are more diverse than the region as a whole.
Eighty-six percent of transit zones are either more economically diverse, more racially diverse or more diverse on both points than the average census tract (when the comparison area is either the average of all central city tracts in the region if the given transit zone is in the central city, or the average of all suburban tracts in the region if the given transit zone is in a suburb). This is especially true in regions with extensive transit systems — Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco — but is not limited to these cities. Diverse transit zones are present in all transit regions, including Dallas, Cleveland and Syracuse. Furthermore, 59 percent of residents near transit are people of color.
This backs up my point that in order to increase income diversity around transit, we need to have more extensive transit systems. That way, it doesn't become such a niche market. A few other findings from the report:
Diversity is found in central city transit zones and suburban (non-central city) transit zones, suggesting that the low transportation costs and the increased accessibility that transit offers supports diversity in both urban and suburban contexts.

Neighborhoods near transit provide housing to a greater share of the region’s lower-income households than regions overall.

Transit zones support important segments of the population in terms of both housing tenure and household size.

Transit zones have a greater than average proportion of homeowners who spend more than 30 percent of income on housing: 35 percent versus 31 percent.

Transit zones provide important mobility opportunities — and the economic benefits that accrue from it — that allow people to live with fewer cars. In three-quarters of transit zones, households have one car or less. In some small transit systems, fully 100 percent of transit zones house a majority of households with one car or less. This low rate of auto ownership is true for higher-income households in transit zones as well as lower-income ones.

Transit zones provide important environmental benefits given their high rates of non-auto travel to work and low rates of land consumption per household.
I suggest reading it, but those are the basics.


Alon Levy said...

When did New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago become richer than their suburbs?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Not sure what you mean Alon but there is this perception these days that all people who live in Central Cities are rich. Not sure where it came from, perhaps from the stories about astronomical housing prices.

Anonymous said...

It's not long ago at all that "inner city" was a synonym for poverty. In fact, if you read that Michelle Bachmann piece posted somewhere today, it still is.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

heh. That woman is nuts.