Monday, August 10, 2015

Map Wire: Calculating Underutilized Land on Transit Lines

For Realizing the Potential: Expanding Housing Opportunities Near Transit, a report done for FTA and HUD, we looked at five transit lines that were existing or under construction at the time. The lines included different transit modes including streetcar, light rail, and commuter rail. 

This map shows the method we created to look at underutilized land, or land where the building values were worth less than the land on which they were located.  Parcel data is always tricky given different estimating methodologies and tax systems as well as values attached to different land use types, but using this ratio gives an idea of how much land along a line might be available for redevelopment.

In the maps you can see that an established line such as Boston's Fairmount has less underutilized parcels than say Charlotte.  The parcels are also much smaller.  But Charlotte, based on the maps posted last week, has a lot of industrial land.  There's also something to be said for industrial preservation, and transit lines can create a lot of pressure for redevelopment, even in places with productive industrial uses.  It's a less mentioned form of displacement that has been happening in cities with industrial cores that have been on the receiving end of a lot of redevelopment and adaptive reuse. 

In any event, this map might be of interest. 

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