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What About Our Schools? (2008)

By Heidi Gorman and Robert Galvin
Urbanomics

Urbanomics, a respected firm specializing in fiscal and impact analysis, has completed a new study examining the rate of school children generated by transit-oriented development (TOD). This report, “What About Our Schools?” addresses—and dispels—one of the most common public misperceptions hindering TOD proposals. The study was commissioned by InterCap Holdings, LLC, the sponsor of the “Edison Exchange”—a series of developer-sponsored planning meetings organized by InterCap to examine the redevelopment of the firm’s property, located adjacent to the Edison station.

Urbanomics studied over 500 distinct TOD projects, singling out 32 locations that are characteristically similar to the Edison project according to demographic and school performance indicators. Projects included in the study varied in terms of housing types, including both rental and condominium projects, as well as urban and suburban settings, such as Portland, OR and Silver Spring, MD. The findings conclude that the number of school children generated from comparable TODs is exceptionally low: 3 school children per 100 units on average. This figure is consistent with data in the updated report, Who Lives in New Jersey Housing, published by the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, which was reviewed in our April 2007 issue and included in our list of Recommended Readings.

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