Accessibility: Housing Units 1/4 mile to Business Centers
Sprawl can be described as the separated spread-out development practice that has dominated suburban development over the last 60 years. The Jobs/ Housing balance is a focus on the supply of housing in proximity to jobs. The ideal Jobs/Housing balance is one that offers access to various types of housing such as single family, duplexes, and multifamily housing in walking distance to jobs. The Jobs/Housing balance alludes to the importance of mixed-use developments where access to schools, services, entertainment, jobs and housing is made possible (Burchell, Downs, McCann, & Mukherji, 2005). For sustainable development, should companies be encouraged to locate in existing business centers or should we let the market decide? In a survey of Harris County residents in 2010, 80% called for redevelopment of older urban areas for mixed use development (Klineberg, 2010). However in a 2005 survey, Anglos preferred neighborhoods that do not have high percentages of African American or Hispanic people (Klineberg, 2005) This complicates the location theory of maximizing income to find housing close to jobs and factors most important in individuals choice of housing location. It also explains why some inner city neighborhoods such as the Houston Third Ward and parts of the Fifth Ward still have large supplies of vacant and underused property, despite their close proximity to the central business district.
Sustainability Benefit: Houston has a very efficient freeway system which connects most areas of the city to employment centers very efficiently.
Sustainability Issue: Less than 25% of Houstonians live within a quarter mile of high density business centers.