Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Less Driving Makes Cities Richer

Because Portland-Vancouver drivers log 20 percent fewer miles a day than most U.S. urban dwellers and spend less on cars and gasoline as a result, the region's economy saves $2.6 billion a year, or about 3 percent of the area's annual economic output, according to a new study for the Chicago-based CEOs for Cities.

And most of that money, which otherwise would go to far-flung car makers and oil companies, appears to go instead to housing, entertainment and food in the Portland-area economy.



Anonymous said...

This is completely true.

With the 20 percent of my income that no longer goes toward car payments, insurance, gas, parking tickets, etc... I am able to take my girlfriend to more expensive restaurants, theater. And we are able to afford as much organic food as we want at the local farmer's market.

Most of that money does stay in our community. This could be an important message for the carfree movement in the US, "Ditch your car, save your city."

Will Fish said...

I feel that this is a bit misleading. More correctly Driving less makes some cities financially richer. I don't think that driving less is making Detroit richer and one could make the argument a

More important than the money is being rich in free time, environmental quality, and other abstractions that are more difficult to value.


socialscientist said...

Let's make the whole world richer.