"Marketplace" on the economy deterring sprawl

American Public Radio’s Marketplace this morning featured a very brief snippet on Growing Cooler and how the economic downturn and rising energy costs have altered the dynamics of the housing market. As the similar story on NPR showed earlier this week, markets with short commutes or in close proximity to transit and the core of metro regions are holding or increasing value while the exurbs are losing value like a sieve.

The program features a short interview with Jan Lars Mueller with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. The audio can also be found here. Note: Audio can also be found from APR on the transcript page.

Jan Mueller: “For a long time, cheap energy did allow people to make a choice to save money to live in a place that was less expensive further out. It’s becoming less competitive from a financial and a time standpoint to live further out.”

Mueller says Congress needs to encourage cities to invest more in existing infrastructure and less in new roads and developments. He says, these changes will help reduce global warming and preserve home values in a down market. Mueller points out that houses closer in to cities have appreciated more than homes that require a long commute to urban centers.

Also, as I write this, EESI, along with Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), are holding a Capitol Hill briefing on Growing Cooler called “Transportation Policy and Developing Climate-Friendly Communities.”

A lot of folks worked behind the scenes to make this happen, and we’re grateful to the support of EESI and Rep. Tauscher for making it happen. Reid Ewing and Steve Winkelman, two of Growing Cooler’s authors, are joining SGA’s Geoff Anderson and several others to talk about the potential for tackling the climate conundrum — and now an economic one as well — through more market-based investment in transit and walkable, compact neighborhoods.