Local Economy and Land Use Patterns
The Treasure Valley economy is at a unique point in its history. The economy is just now beginning to show signs recovering from the bust of the housing bubble, which had generated substantial growth in the housing industry and contributed to sprawl. Developments in land use patterns over the past few years, as well as all current and future affect the ability of residents of the Treasure Valley to access city amenities.
Our research will examine and compare trends in common indicators on the state of the economy, such as those pertaining to unemployment and output, to trends in land use and sprawl. We will determine the correlation between the two, if one exists. This will allow us to predict land-use patterns based on the state of the local economy. While there have been anecdotal arguments that a recession is a cure for sprawl, it remains to be seen whether the empirical data supports this conclusion as perhaps an economic downturn is accompanied by a decline in new construction, with no unique spatial implications. We predict that there will be a correlation, although we do not make any claims to its strength.