Phoenix Rising: Measuring Urban Densification Associated with Light Rail Transit

Tags for this publication:

This paper explores how metrics that use annual parcel-level data allow policy makers and researchers to quantify the extent to which LRT and supportive policies such as zoning create more compact cities. The authors assessed changes in housing density in anticipation of Phoenix's Light Rail Transit system due to begin operation in 2008, using two measures- intensity (total living area divided by land parcel area), and coverage (percentage of parcel built upon). For land parcels with overlay zoning- an ordinance specifying the form and approximate density of future construction- intensity and coverage for housing built during a five year phase (2000-2005) more than tripled and doubled respectively compared to pre_2000 levels. Light Rail Transit and overlay zoning can stimulate wholesale shifts in housing mix and generate more compact housing even before systems become operational. To view the academic paper submission, click here

Carol Atkinson-Palombo