Transportation and land use together play a central role in the development of urban regions, shaping patterns of access to people, goods and services, economic opportunities, and information across space. Urban planning has long focused on urban form for its promise as a lever to direct travel behavior and transportation choices, as well as for more aesthetic concerns. Can land use effectively shift individuals’ trips from the automobile to more environmentally sustainable travel modes, while also yielding more livable communities? Conversely, the potential for purposive transportation investment to shape urban land development and resulting patterns of residential and employment location has also been a key concern. Increasingly, the transportation‐land use relationship, managed well, is viewed as a lever that can ameliorate the wicked economic, social, and environmental problems faced by 21st century urban regions; managed poorly, it will exacerbate them.
This graduate seminar examines key questions about the transportation‐land use relationship from several angles. First, the course considers normative and explanatory theoretical propositions articulating how transportation and land use should and do relate, and reflects on contemporary shifts in urban spatial development and travel patterns away from conventional city‐suburb distinctions. Second, the class critically reviews the historical and empirical evidence describing and quantifying co‐dependencies between transportation and land use. What does this evidence suggest about the potential for transportation investment in roads or transit to shape urban development and for urban form to influence travel behavior? Finally, it appraises the options for planning policy and practice to intervene in the transportation‐land use relationship. Sustainability‐oriented options may be exercised through different governmental and informal mechanisms, with different implications for institutions and politics.