Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helen Jarvis
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This paper critically examines the widely held belief that social costs of growth, such as congestion, pollution and sprawl, can be stemmed by compact, mixed-use, design solutions. It is argued instead that when considering the future of cities, we have to actively engage in debates concerning the future of work and changes in the structure and composition of households. Discussion draws on household level research conducted in three West Coast US cities (Portland, Seattle and San Francisco) representing a hierarchy of size, status and growth management. Detailed analysis of 60 two-wage household 'biographies' highlights the way decision making (and ultimately compromise) shapes human-environment interaction. Evidence is presented which shows high levels of dissonance between stated preference for compact, mixed-use neighbourhoods and non-localised lived relations between different daily activities and communities. The results of this inter-city comparative study are discussed with reference to US (and UK) environmental policies currently favouring planning-led behavioural change.
Author(s): Jarvis H
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Housing Studies
Print publication date: 01/07/2003
ISSN (print): 0267-3037
ISSN (electronic): 1466-1810
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