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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Capitalization Effects of Work and Nonwork Accessibilities in Southeast Michigan

  • Author(s): Li, Guangyu
  • Advisor(s): Cervero, Robert
  • et al.

Is accessibility, the key to connect land use and transportation, still important in modern metropolitan areas? Some say no, arguing that well-established transportation network has weakened its influences. Others have found that accessibility is still critical in affecting households and business's location choices. Yet few studies have examined how accessibility is evaluated in housing transactions and how this relationship interacts with different local context, information that is needed for planners to make informed land use decisions.

This dissertation examines accessibility's capitalization effects using data from the Southeast Michigan region. In particular, it compares the impacts of work accessibility with the impacts of three major nonwork accessibilities, that is, shopping accessibility, school accessibility and recreational accessibility. The results from multilevel modeling show that work accessibility is still important in affecting property values, but the effects vary by local housing markets and development context. For example, the impact of work accessibility in Ann Arbor is very different from that in Detroit. The study also confirms the significant capitalization effects from the three nonwork accessibilities, especially when the local context has been accommodating.

By comparing model results across different accessibility measurements, this dissertation also echoes what previous studies have found, that is, the impacts of accessibility tend to be more localized in modern urban areas. Thus, good accessibility measurement should capture local variations by incorporating disaggregated information with refined methodology that is both theoretically sound and appropriate for the study context.

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