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Dispelling the myth that preference makes practice in residential location and transport behaviour

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helen Jarvis

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Abstract

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.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Jarvis H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Housing Studies

Year: 2003

Volume: 18

Issue: 4

Pages: 587-606

Print publication date: 01/07/2003

ISSN (print): 0267-3037

ISSN (electronic): 1466-1810

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02673030304247

DOI: 10.1080/02673030304247


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