Monday, June 16, 2008

Two Types of Impact: Planning and Development on the Rails

While China seeks to sprawl and pursue what they think is the American Dream, the other world population giant India is looking to Japan for its thoughts on urbanization. This is a good sign for those who worry that energy will only get worse if China and India continue down the path of consumption.
Indo-Japan working group on urban development identified many areas including GIS based utility mapping, disaster management, emerging technologies in water and sanitation and clean development mechanism for further cooperation in the day long session today.

The group also agreed to explore on capacity building in urban transport, rail-based transit system, comprehensive mobility planning and management using intelligent transport systems.
Back in the United States, Phoenix is seeing a market shift around its soon to be open light rail line. In fact $6 Billion dollars has been spent on development along the line and now that gas prices are higher, land has become even more expensive and coveted.
Light rail is not the sole reason why projects in the transit system's vicinity have developed, real-estate analysts note. But the future system has definitely been a catalyst prompting developers to pay higher prices for property adjacent to the line for condominiums, office buildings and retail centers. Economic factors, including soaring fuel prices, have caused developers like Eugene Marchese to focus attention on transit-oriented projects.
I expect to see more of these stories about the direct benefits of investing in transit as well as these on the more high profile blogs. Maybe the pols would do well by starting to pay attention.


Justin said...

I just wish there were properties around transit lines that would be affordable for the people who really need transit.

arcady said...

Perhaps there could be, but most of our city-building has been constrained by law to rather inefficient, and therefore unaffordable, detached single-family homes at too low a density. The unfortunate reality is that for most of the country, "affordable housing" means a trailer park.

Brian Goldner said...

why do you assert that the chinese are pro-sprawl? Looking at their mass transit system, they're far ahead of india (and the US) and are taking leaps and bounds to improve it!
cases in point: chinese national high speed rail, subway development

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

This is an inference I've made based on friends I have who live there and planners who have been there and talked to Chinese planners. The planners have said that the Chinese get annoyed when we try and advise them that planning for the automobile is short sighted. Many think we are trying to stunt their growth by suggesting such.

However yes, they are doing huge projects with their subway system and intercity rail which I think is excellent.

arcady said...

Yeah, they do big subway expansions in China, but consider that the Shanghai Metro is less than 1.5 times as extensive as BART, in a city that has 3 times more population than the Bay Area. And the city planners of China have been busily trying to remove all the bicycles from the streets, in favor of the cleaner, more efficient automobiles.

Brian Goldner said...

arcady, for the moment you may be right about the size of the metro systems, however, I'd still wager that Beijing has a higher % share of public transit use (including buses, regional/commuter rail) and alternative transport (biking, walking) than the bay area. I agree with you tho, it's a shame that they aren't recognizing the legitimacy of bicycles in that city as much as they should be.