Highway and Sewer Impacts on Urban Development

by Frank T. Rabe, Environmental Impact Center, Newton, Mass.,
James F. Hudson, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., MIT, Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 2, Pg. 217-231

Document Type: Journal Paper


Public investments in highways and sewerage facilities have an important influence on the form, location, and timing of urban development. However, the magnitude and variability of this influence remains uncertain. Statistical analyses of historical highway and sewer investments in four U.S. metropolitan areas suggest that the role of these public investments in bringing about new urban growth depends upon local land market conditions, as well as existing levels of wastewater and transportation service. Simple models were estimated that relate the amount of residential, commercial, and industrial development to the availability of vacant land, sewer service, proximity to highways, and residential vacancy rates. These models provide a preliminary analytical basis for projecting the likely effects of proposed highway and sewer projects on local urban development.

Subject Headings: Investments | Highways and roads | Sewers | Urban development | Hydraulic models | Public buildings | Statistics | Transportation studies

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