University of Wisconsin–Madison

Housing + Transportation Affordability in Washington, DC

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2011
Level City or Town
Policy Areas Community Development, Housing, Public Spaces, Transportation & Mobility
Incorporating location efficiency (measured here as the cost of transportation associated with places) into policy and affordability analysis exposes previously hidden financial burdens and time constraints for households, poor location decisions by developers, and missed and misplaced opportunities for municipalities. Furthermore, it challenges misinformed criticisms of the cost of building transit, since these critiques do not fully account for the benefits or take into account the hidden costs associated with sprawl and auto dependency. Not only are the high costs of transportation hidden, but so are the low costs, and therefore so is the inherent value of more convenient in-town urban, inner-suburban, and other urbanizing locations. Consequently, many of these convenient but undervalued areas suffer from disinvestment and lack the ability to attract new investment and redevelopment.

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