Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Community Investments Vol 22, Issue 2
The Role of Transportation Planning and Policy in Shaping Communities

Author(s): Naomi Cytron, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Summer 2010

Community Investments

This article reviews some of the social and environmental costs of transportation planning over the past half-century, and highlights some promising trends in planning and policy development at the local and federal level. These legislative measures, incentives, and new patterns of growth—including transit-oriented development (TOD)—are poised to remedy some past harms by better aligning transportation, housing, and environmental considerations. Equitable TOD, though not a silver bullet, has particular potential to enhance access for low-income communities to employment, education, and other opportunities, while at the same time supporting environmentally sustainable urban growth patterns.

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