Is Alternative Development Undersupplied? Examination of Residential Preferences and Choices of Northern California Movers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - transit oriented development, mode - pedestrian


Transit oriented development, Residential location, Place of residence, Pedestrian friendly communities, Northern California, Land use, Consumers' preferences, Consumer preferences, Choices, Accessibility


Previous studies suggest that there is an unmet demand for pedestrian- and transit-oriented development. However, most of these studies used the stated-choice method, which has many inherent disadvantages. Further, combining conflicting residential attributes into hypothetical situations may distort consumer choices. By using data of Northern California movers, a new study adopted an alternative approach to exploring this issue, namely, examining the priority of transportation and land-use preferences in residential choice and the discrepancy between preferences for and perceptions of these attributes. It was found that preferences for accessibility to transportation systems and different land uses are secondary in residential choice, movers’ perceptions of accessibility attributes on average exceed their preference for corresponding attributes, and a small share of movers experienced dissonances of all accessibility characteristics but proximity to workplace. Therefore, the study fails to support the argument of the undersupply of alternative development.