Blog Archives

Assessing Indirect Spatial Effects of Mountain Tourism Development: an Application of Agent-based Spatial Modeling

Many resort communities in the U.S. Rocky Mountain West are experiencing rapid in-migration and growth because the natural and built amenities in those areas attracted people and investment. This study uses an agent-based model to explore how homeowners’ investment and reinvestment decisions are influenced by the level of investment and amenities available in their neighborhoods in a case study area of town of Breckenridge, Colorado to help understand the dynamics and the indirect spatial impacts of amenity-led mountain tour-ism development. This paper found that individual level of appreciation of amenities and continuing investment in a neighborhood attracted investment and reinvestment, and created pressure for high density resort housing development at the aggregate level. Agent-based model is a useful tool to simulate the dynamics behind the housing investment and reinvestment and to investigate the indirect spatial effects of high-density resort development.

Residential Location and the Biophysical Environment: Exurban Development Agents in a Heterogeneous Landscape

Abstract. Agent-based models offer a promising framework for analyzing interactions between agents
and a heterogeneous landscape. Researchers have identified a complex of factors that influence
exurban development, including demographic shifts and location attractiveness of natural amenities
as a magnet to amenity-seeking migrants. Attractiveness is often defined in terms of local or on-lot
amenities, including scenic views, the availability of natural features, and low levels of noise. However, exurban-growth models have not fully incorporated a fundamental insight of this literature, that
the location behavior of exurban residents is sensitive to fine-grained variations in their biophysical
environment. In this study we evaluate how agents and households operate in exurban environments
and respond to biophysical features. We simulate household decision-making in terms of preferences
for features such as site accessibility, two-dimensional amenities, and three-dimensional scenic views.
Our results show that, as we build two-dimensional and three-dimensional landscape layers, our
model captures the characteristics of landscape change with increasing accuracy. This approach has
considerable potential to improve our ability to describe development dynamics in heterogeneous
land markets.

The Neighborhood and Home Environments: Disparate Relationships with Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors in Youth” Annals of Behavioral Medicine

To increase participation in physical activity, it is important to understand the factors associated with a child’s choice to be physically active or sedentary. The neighborhood and home environments may be related to this choice. To determine whether the neighborhood environment or number of televisions in the home environment are independently associated with child physical activity and television time. The associations of the neighborhood and home environments on active and sedentary behaviors were studied in 44 boys and 44 girls who wore accelerometers and recorded their television watching behaviors. Neighborhood environment variables were measured using extensive geographic information systems analysis. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to predict physical activity after controlling for individual differences in age, socioeconomic status, percentage overweight, and time the accelerometer was worn in Step 1. Sex of the child was added in Step 2. A neighborhood design variable, street connectivity, accounted for an additional 6% (p <or= .01) of the variability in physical activity in Step 3. A block of variables including a measure of neighborhood land use diversity, percentage park area, and the interaction of Percentage Park Area x Sex then accounted for a further 9% (p <or= .01) of the variability in physical activity in Step 4. Increased access to parks was related to increased physical activity in boys but not in girls. The number of televisions in the home accounted for 6% (p <or= .05) of the variability in television watching behavior. Neighborhood environment variables did not predict television watching that occurs in the home. The neighborhood environment is more strongly associated with physical activity of boys than girls. Sedentary behaviors are associated with access to television in the home environment. To promote physical activity in children, planners need to design environments that support active living and parents should limit access to television viewing in the home.

Building a better neighborhood housing partnership. Housing and Society

 Prior research has examined the role of intermediary organizations non-affordable housing development and community-based housing organization(CBHO) capacity building. This article built on this work by examining an applied research project aimed at assessing the feasibility of creating a neighborhood housing partnership (NHP) organization in Buffalo, New York. NHPs are
nonprofit umbrella organizations created through public-private partnerships.
They provide technical assistance, training, monitoring, and funding support to local CBHOs. This research was based on case study analysis. Selected NHP best practices in western New York and northeastern Ohio were described, and CBHO capacity in Buffalo was examined. Recommendations were discussed for 
reforms to Buffalo’s nonprofit housing sector shaped by institutional conditions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This analysis highlighted how local 
intermediaries need to be designed in response to these conditions, and offers insights into why NHP structures vary across the U.S.

Building a Better Neighborhood Housing Partnership

Prior research has examined the role of intermediary organizations in affordable housing development and community-based housing organization (CBHO) capacity building. This article builds on this work by examining an applied research project aimed at assessing the feasibility of creating a neighborhood housing partnership (NHP) organization in Buffalo, New York.