Residential Infill Development Increasing

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Percentage of New Homes Built in Infill Areas

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A new EPA study shows infill development making up an increasing share of residential construction in U.S. metropolitan areas.

Image: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

By Erin Weaver

Residential construction in U.S. metropolitan regions is increasingly happening in previously developed areas, according to a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions” looked at 209 such areas and found that, between 2005 and 2009, 21% of new home construction was infill replacing parking lots, former industrial development, and other existing land cover. Of the 51 largest metropolitan regions in the study, 36 saw an increase in the percentage of infill development compared to the previous five years, and infill made up the majority of new home construction in New York City and several California cities. Infill development takes advantage of existing infrastructure and increases a community’s tax base; most metropolitan areas, however, are still expanding outward faster than they are gaining density of housing. For more on the study, see www.epa.gov.

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January 28, 2013