Saturday, January 10, 2009

OTA Flashback: 1974 Sprawl Report

Thought this report was a bit interesting. It's buried deep in the weeds here but I was flipping through and found it on page 43. From the US Government Printing Office:
Several conclusions and findings are made in this report. The high density planned community consumed 40% less energy than the low density sprawl pattern. In annual terms this means 400 million BTU per dwelling unit in the low density sprawl pattern compared to about 210 million BTU per dwelling unit in the high density planned pattern. The high density planned community cost per residential unit was $21,000 compared to $49,000 per unit in low density sprawl pattern. This is for all community costs prorated.

Water and air pollution are substantially less and water consumption less in the higher density pattern. With 52% less travel time required in the snore(similar?) densely planned community, less accidents and other psychic benefits are described. Gas and electricity use ‘is a function of housing type and structural characteristics: no variation among planned and sprawl communities with the same housing mix is shown." But, ‘significant variation in consumption of gasoline occurs as a result of the differences among community types.. . ." The report concludes that significant energy savings can be attained through greater use of mass transit.
We never learn do we.


Anonymous said...

'more densely' I think.

kenf said...

File under "We never learn do we?"

From Lady's Circle (Posted by, September 1, 1965 via Planetizen: "One Woman's Confession: "I Hate Suburbia""

Morgan Wick said...

Oh, people have been complaining about suburbia on some grounds or another almost since the 1940s boom.

(Of course I didn't read the link...)

Alon Levy said...

They've been complaining about suburbia since the 19th century. At the time there were plenty of people who looked down on the streetcar suburbs, just as there were many who hated cities and plugged the Garden City ideal.

Anonymous said...

so the sprawl model doubled the profit assuming a fixed rate and the BTUs were "externalised" to the rest of us. not a failure of "learning" a failure of regulation.

Anonymous said...

It should be remembered that, using New York City as an example, that the north border of New Amsterdam was the present Wall Street. All areas north of that was suburbia. The Empire State Building is now Midtown, but it was suburban lands at one time. Even Harlem was a suburban town.
The difference is that those were high density, unlike today's suburbia which generally is low density.