Is Support for Traditionally Designed Communities Growing?

Evidence From Two National Surveys

This article examines whether public support exists for the creation of traditionally designed communities with a mix of connected residential and commercial properties. Traditionally designed communities may offer environmental and social benefits but are unlikely to be developed unless there is significant public support for their creation. 

The authors used data from two national consumer surveys that queried consumers about the degree to which they would support the development of a traditionally designed community in their area. The first survey was conducted in 2003 and had 5,873 respondents and the second survey was conducted in 2005 and had 12,630 respondents.

Key Findings:

  • Support for traditionally designed communities increased from 44 percent of respondents in 2003 to 59 percent of respondents in 2005.
  • Support was strong among all groups of respondents except those from rural areas.
  • Traditionally designed communities were perceived as being good for children and the elderly. Respondents raised concerns over possible limitations on space.

Support for traditionally designed communities was strong across most populations and may provide support for policies in favor of these communities.