February 13 2012

Impacts of Public Transportation Access on Real Estate Development in New York City, New York

The majority of New Yorkers commute to work via subway. This fact continues to shape NYC's urban planning.

According to the 2006-2009 American Community Survey, 43% of New Yorkers commute to work by subway or railroad. New York City’s real estate market will be increasingly shaped by proximity to subway and rail lines, especially in light of the Bloomberg Administration’s commitment to the expansion and improvement of transit infrastructure.

Investment in public transit makes sense for a number of reasons ranging from improving regional accessibility and reducing traffic congestion to curbing greenhouse gas emissions and neighborhood revitalization.

It is striking to note the number of rezonings that have been enacted near transit hubs throughout the five boroughs in order to promote residential and commercial development.

Urban planners have noted an additional benefit of efficient public transportation. In addition to promoting sustainability and providing more access to jobs, public transportation has been shown to increase land values. It is true that in terms of residential properties, negative externalities associated with some types of public transit such as noise, crowding, and pollution may cause some to distance themselves from transit clusters. However, a 2011 report released by the Center for Housing Policy concluded, In a metro area with a strong housing market and a reliable transit system that effectively connects residents with jobs and other destinations, the price premium may well be much higher than average.”

The impact of the subway system on the land use patterns and real estate development of NYC is evident in examining the location of city-initiated rezoning.

Transit expansion, in addition to making for a more sustainable and accessible city, will continue to shape the fields of civil engineering, urban planning, and urban design as well as the physical landscape and real estate market of New York City.

How has public transit access (or lack of) positively or negatively impacted the real estate market of your town or city?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Christine Camilleri

Christine Devon Camilleri blogged for the GRID from October 2011 to May 2012. She is a Graduate student studying City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She also holds a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University. She has lived in New York City for the majority of her life, and currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. Prior to joining Global Site Plans she worked as a grassroots political organizer. She is especially interested in New York City’s post-industrial waterfronts and the implications of participatory planning processes for community development initiatives.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 12:05 pm and is filed under Government/Politics, Land Use, Transportation, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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2 Responses to “Impacts of Public Transportation Access on Real Estate Development in New York City, New York”

  1. New York Image Says:

    Very nice post about NYC. I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your posts.

  2. Christine Camilleri Says:

    I’m glad you enjoy them! Thank you!

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