News Brief

EPA Study Shows Increase in Urban Development

A new study of crime patterns in the Baltimore region found that increased urban tree cover corresponded to lower crime rates.

Photo: Fletcher6
A recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is shedding some light on residential construction patterns in urban areas. “Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions 2010” finds that redevelopment in urban centers is surpassing suburban construction in roughly half of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. The study is an updated version of a 2009 report that examined housing data from 1990 through 2007; this year’s report includes data from 2008.

Both reports illustrate that smart growth is becoming increasingly popular, due in part to the support of programs like the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaborative effort of EPA, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to increase the availability of affordable, transit-oriented, high-density development (see EBN Apr. 2010). Additionally, the 2010 report finds that the last five years have seen the most dramatic increase in urban redevelopment, despite economic trouble in the real estate market, and notes that new housing construction on undeveloped land is still common.

The full report can be downloaded at www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/construction_trends.htm.

Published May 1, 2010

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