PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES THROUGH INFILL:THE EFFECT OF INFILL HOUSING ON NEIGHBORHOOD INCOME DIVERSITY

2013-07-30

PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES THROUGH INFILL:
THE EFFECT OF INFILL HOUSING ON NEIGHBORHOOD INCOME DIVERSITY

Speaker : Jeongseob Kim, Ph. D. (Univ. of Florida)

<Abstract>

Infill development, as an alternative to sprawl, can promote socio-economic sustainability as well as environmental sustainability by realizing more compact urban form and ensuring economic vitality and diversity. Compact development and more diverse housing options realized through infill can alleviate spatial segregation and promote social diversity in communities by attracting diverse new residents into the neighborhood. However, as infill housing reflects neighborhood conditions, the impacts of infill housing on neighborhood income diversity vary depending on neighborhood types. Specifically, providing assisted rental housing in economically distressed neighborhoods may further concentrate the poor. Gentrification derived from infill can displace lower income households and lead to new residential sorting. Also, moderate or more expensive infill housing, which is similar to what exists, in middle or higher income neighborhoods will only attract households with a similar level of income as existing residents. Accordingly, a mixture of incomes in these neighborhoods may not be achieved through infill.

In this regard, this research seeks to provide empirical evidence about the effects of infill housing on neighborhood income diversity and to outline the strategies for sustainable infill development through the combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis. As a case, infill development and subsequent neighborhood change in the Orlando metropolitan area from 1990 to 2009 is analyzed using various data sources such as property tax rolls, the U.S. Census, and American Community Survey. In this research seminar, a brief theoretical background, the spatio-temporal patterns of infill housing, and findings and policy implications from the spatial econometric models and case studies are presented. The results of these analyses indicate that infill development is only positively associated with neighborhood income diversity in gentrifying communities. But, a larger share of new construction among infill housing and the mix of housing types have the potential to promote neighborhood income diversity. Therefore, more detailed infill development guidelines and incentive programs that address housing types, price, and development phases should be implemented in order to promote a mixture of incomes.