What if you could add $2.6 billion annually to your local economy? That's what Portland has effectively done by getting its citizens to drive just 4 fewer miles a day, according to a briefing paper by our colleague Joe Cortright called Portland's Green Dividend. What Joe found has big implications for urban leaders across the country. As a result of enacting a growth boundary, increased density, mixed land uses, and investments in public transportation, walking and biking, Portlanders are saving time and money on transportation that gets funneled back into the local economy. Critics have long characterized Portlanders as "depriving themselves in the name of saving the environment." Some have argued that "planning, policies and regulations that restrict use or access to resources impede growth and lower household income." But the new study found that assumption is simply not true. There is, in fact, a Green Dividend that accrues to cities willing to make certain choices about urban form and transportation.
The whole report is here.