Transportation and Land-Use Preferences and Residents' Neighborhood Choices: The Sufficiency of Compact Development in the Atlanta Region

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, land use - transit oriented development, land use - planning, land use - urban density, ridership - demand, mode - subway/metro


Transportation planning, Transit oriented development, Surveys, Stated preferences, Residents, Public policy, Population density, Neighborhoods, Land use planning, Land use, Demand, Choice models, Atlanta Metropolitan Area


This study uses survey data from a sample of 1,455 residents of metro Atlanta to analyze transportation and land-use preference and actual neighborhood choices. The authors develop a stated-preference scale on which desires for neighborhood type are gauged, from preferences for low-density, auto-oriented environments to desires for compact, walkable, and transit-oriented neighborhoods. This scale is then related to desires for change in one’s own neighborhood characteristics after a hypothetical move. If all neighborhood preferences were equally likely to be satisfied, then neighborhood preferences would not be correlated with a desire for change. By contrast, in the current study, stronger preferences for a more compact environment are associated with greater desire for change in one’s neighborhood characteristics. This suggests that the segment of the housing market that is interested in compact, transit-friendly neighborhoods is underserved and that there is unmet demand for alternative development in the Atlanta region. The results support transportation and land-use policy reform efforts that expand housing choice.