The Livable Communities Act: A Report Card


The Livable Communities Act would provide financial incentives for metropolitan areas to adopt "livability" policies, which are otherwise known as "smart growth," "growth management" or "compact city" polices.

It is not premature to issue a report card on the Livable Communities Act, since the effect of its favored policy prescriptions are already well known. Metropolitan areas more inclined toward the act’s menu of livability policies (such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Washington and others) are compared to other metropolitan areas (such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Kansas City and others). Our analysis shows that, for most people, livability policies produce less livability, in terms of higher costs and a lesser quality of life, especially in greater traffic congestion, longer travel times and more exposure to air pollution.

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