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How streetcars shaped suburbanization: a Granger causality analysis of land use and transit in the Twin Cities

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Author Info

  • Feng Xie
  • David Levinson

Abstract

This paper presents a causality analysis of the coupled development of population and streetcars in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Historic residence and network data were assembled for 1900-1930, and linear cross-sectional time-series models were estimated at both a tract and block level using this data. It is found that, in contrast with transportation systems that were expanded in response to increased demand, the rapid expansion of the streetcar system during the electric era has been driven by other forces and to a large extent led land development in the Twin Cities. The main forces that have driven this process include technological superiority, monopoly, close con- nections with real estate business, and peopleÕs reliance on the streetcar for mobility. Proximity to the streetcar is found to be a crucial factor that determines the distribu- tion and development of residences: it is observed that residential density declines with the distance from streetcar lines, and signiÞcantly drops beyond a walkable distance; it is also observed that gaining a closer access to streetcar lines within 800 meters (about a half mile) predicts the increase in residential density to a signiÞcant extent.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeg/lbp031
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 453-470

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:10:y:2010:i:3:p:453-470

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  1. Michael Corbett & Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2007. "Evolution of the Second-Story City: The Minneapolis Skyway System," Working Papers 200912, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  2. Michael Iacono & David Levinson & Ahmed El-Geneidy, 2007. "Models of Transportation and Land Use Change: A Guide to the Territory," Working Papers 200805, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  3. David Levinson, 2007. "Density and Dispersion: The Co-Development of Land use and Rail in London," Working Papers 200801, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  4. Robert Cervero & Mark Hansen, 2002. "Induced Travel Demand and Induced Road Investment: A Simultaneous Equation Analysis," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(3), pages 469-490, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Atack, Jeremy & Margo, Robert, 2011. "The Impact of Access to Rail Transportation on Agricultural Improvement: The American Midwest as a Test Case, 1850-1860," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 4(2), pages 5-18.

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