Land Use Information: A Critical Survey of U.S. Statistics Including Possibilities for Greater Uniformity

By Marion Clawson; Charles L. Stewart et al. | Go to book overview

I Introduction

□ Land use statistics are required for a variety of planning purposes at the local, regional, and State levels. The need is growing for the collection of land use information in a form that will allow comparability between localities and between regions, and that will also permit the study of trends over time in individual urban areas. The lack of uniformity has led to duplication of effort in many cities. Often land use data collected for one specific purpose had little or no value for another but similar purpose, requiring a new field inventory within a short spare of time. With the increasing attention being focused on urban planning and research and with the growing amounts of public funds being invested in land use inventories, the need for greater uniformity is quite plain and past due.

Amendments to section 701 of the Housing Act of 19541 in 1959 and in 1961, and the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962,2 greatly increased the need to collect land use information that is equally useful to both urban development planning and transportation planning programs. These amendments placed a new and greater emphasis on the need to integrate urban development planning and transportation planning. Among the common denominators to both processes that allow such integration are a land use inventory and a land use forecast. A survey of existing land uses and the updating of such information, together with forecasts of the future growth and distribution of land uses, is essential in the continuous process of comprehensive planning for urban development and trans portation planning.

Both the Urban Renewal Administration and the Bureau of Public Roads are aware of the important role a standard land use coding system can play in this planning process. Such a system will facilitate the interchange of statistical information and research findings between communities and public and private organizations. It would also reduce in a significant way existing obstacles to the comparison, analysis, and updating of land use data in many of our urban areas. This cooperative effort by the two agencies is a step toward advancing both these ends. □

____________________
1
40 U.S.C. 461.
2
23 U.S.C. 134.

-276-

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