Land Use Impacts of Accessibility Changes
The economic geography of a region is reshaped by major transport projects. Theory has long predicted that land use will adjust over time in response to changes in relative accessibility. Other things equal, firms gravitate to locations offering superior accessibility to skills, other production inputs and customers. The same dynamics apply to households, but within a more constrained canvas. However, the interdependency between land use and transportation, and the impact of transport infrastructure projects on land use is almost always ignored in policy circles.
Presenting at the 32nd Australasian Transport Research Forum 2009, SGS Associate Director Praveen Thakur described recent research which statistically assessed and quantified the relationship between relative accessibility and location decisions of firms (jobs) and households (population) in Melbourne. Regression analysis undertaken by SGS has confirmed that relative accessibility is a significant factor in a suburb's ability to attract and retain jobs and households. Using the three final transport options proposed by the East West Link Needs Assessment study in Melbourne as case studies, the research has also showed that similar transport projects can have varyingly different and significant impact on the economic landscape.
Praveen Thakur's paper "Land Use Impacts of Accessibility Changes" drew on a study undertaken by SGS Economics and Planning Pty Ltd on behalf of Victorian Government, Department of Transport as part of the East West Link Needs Assessment Project. Praveen is an Associate Director of SGS, based in Perth. An economist, Praveen has developed accessibility-driven land use forecasting models which have been applied in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
More information about the 32nd Australasian Transport Research Forum 2009 is at http://www.atrf2009.co.nz/