This study argues that significant unmet demand exists for alternatives to conventional auto-oriented development; and further that planning interventions that restrict densities and land use mixing in developed areas are a major reason that this demand remains unmet. In order to explore these hypotheses, this study carried out two principal investigations. The first is a national survey of developers, randomly selected from the database of the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC, the premiere national organization of land developers. Overall, the survey reveals considerable interest on the part of the private development community in developing in a fashion that is more compact than regulations currently allow. This interest varied by region, with the greatest interest expressed in the densely settled regions of the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Developers in the Southwest and South Central regions (Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana) expressed considerably less interest in developing in a more dense or mixed-use fashion than permitted by current regulation. Similarly, interest in developing more intensely than current regulations permit varied by setting. Little such interest exists for development in rural areas, but developers' interest in such development in inner suburbs was especially keen.
DR. ASEEM INAM
Dr. Inam's research interests include housing (e.g. affordable housing design), urban design (e.g. urban design as economic development), and international development (e.g. comparative urbanism). He has worked as an architect, urban designer, and planner in New Delhi, Mumbai, Paris, Montreal, Washington DC, St. Louis, and Los Angeles. He is a professor in the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Michigan. His degrees include a master's in architecture from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, a master's in urban design from Washington University, and a PhD in planning from the University of Southern California.