Solimar Virtual Library

Solimar Research Group conducts research on a wide array of planning and land use topics throughout the nation. Please select one of the following links to browse through reports pertaining to a specific topic or locale, or select "All reports" to view everything at once.

This library contains most of Solimar's research reports undertaken in partnership with government agencies, research institutions, and advocacy groups. It does not include Solimar's work for private clients.

It also contains many PowerPoint Presentations prepared and delivered by Solimar staff


Solimar Research Reports

2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 1999


Guidebook for Mixed-Use Districts in the South Bay

This guidebook distills "lessons learned" from a three-year research study for the South Bay Cities COG on how to "make mixed-use work" in a crowded by low-rise and transit-poor setting such as the South Bay of Los Angeles County.

Client: South Bay Cities Council of Governments and Southern California Association of Governments
Subject: Mixed-Use Development
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 2.28 MB

South Bay Cities Mixed-Use Centers Study Year 3 Technical Background Report

An extensive technical report documenting Solimar's conclusions based on a three-year research project on mixed-use centers in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Includes extensive qualitative, statistical, and geographical analysis of mixed-use district characteristics and the travel behavior of people who live and work near them. Also includes results of both on-the-ground analysis and travel behavior surveys for the Artesia Boulevard and Gardena Boulevard study areas.

Client: South Bay Cities Council of Governments and Southern California Association of Governments
Subject: Mixed-Use Development
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 6.28 MB

Using a Voluntary, Market-Based Mechanism to Manage Growth in Gallatin, County, Montana

A detailed analysis, including economic analysis, of a proposed transferable development rights program in Gallatin County, Montana, (Bozeman) along with recommendations for how to alter the proposed program in order to improve it.

Client: Gallatin County, Montana
Funder: Gallatin County and Sonoran Institute
Subject: Transferable Development Rights
Location: Montana
Download PDF 2.79 MB

California Infill Methodology Estimation Project, Phase II, Final Report

This report documents Phase II of the California Infill Methodology Estimation Project, which outlined new methods for both economic feasibility and environmental justice analysis on infill development projects and reports on the use of the infill method in workshops in Wilmington, Pacoima, and Silver Lake.

Client: City of Los Angeles
Funder: Caltrans
Subject: Infill Development
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 6.04 MB

Next Twenty: A New, Progressive Agenda for Chandler

This report, prepared in collaboration with Mary Jo Waits & Associates, documents the dwindling land supply in Chandler, Arizona, and discusses economic development strategies that should drive the use of remaining land.

Client: City of Chandler, Arizona
Subject: Economic Development; GIS Analysis
Location: Arizona
Download PDF 2.11 MB

Evaluation and Suggested Policy Framework for City Policy on Regional Transferable Development Rights

This report assesses both supply and demand of all five transferable development rights in the Tahoe Basin with special emphasis on the City of South Lake Tahoe. The report also makes recommendations for South Lake Tahoe's policies regarding the transfer of TDRs out of the city to other locations in the Tahoe Basin.

Client: City of South Lake Tahoe, California
Subject: Transferable Development Rights
Location: Lake Tahoe; California
Download PDF 5.04 MB

Economic Development Strategy, City of Lawndale, California

This report, funded by SCAG as part of its "Compass 2%" implementation program, uses GIS, business patterns information, and market analysis to assess economic opportunities in the City of Lawndale, California (along the 405 Freeway near LAX) and provide recommendations for an economic development strategy

Client: City of Lawndale, California; Southern California Association of Governments
Subject: Economic Development
Location: Los Angeles
Download PDF 1.78 MB

An Analytical Tool for Economic, Land Use, and Social Impact Analyses of Major Infrastructure Projects

This report, written by Professor Marlon Boarnet of UC Irvine along with William Fulton and Susan Weaver, lays out a new approach to analyzing socioeconomic impacts of infrastructure projects, especially road projects, that could be used to EIRs/EIS's to examine how such projects may be improved.

Client: Keston Institute for Infrastructure, School of Policy, Planning & Development, University of Southern California
Subject: Infrastructure
Location: California
Download PDF 1.01 MB

2006

The Shape of Metropolitan Growth: How Policy Tools Affect Growth Patterns in Seattle and Orlando

This report contains an extensive analysis of geographical patterns of growth in metropolitan Seattle and Orlando between the years 1990 and 2000 and assesses the role local and regional land-use policy efforts played in creating those patterns.

Client: Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Center
Subject: Growth Management; Land Use Policy
Location: Seattle and Orlando
Download PDF 1.47 MB

Santa Barbara Ranch Transferable Development Rights (TDR) Feasibility Analysis

This report uses extensive GIS and economic analysis to determine the feasibility of a transferable development rights program involving the Santa Barbara Ranch (Naples Townsite) property in Santa Barbara County, California. It also contains extensive background on the TDR experience elsewhere and contains conclusions about what factors create a successful TDR program.

Client: Santa Barbara County
Subject: Transferable Development Rights
Location: California
Download PDF 2.98 MB

Exposition Line Infill Development Potential Analysis

This report analyzes infill development potential at five stations along the Exposition Line in South Los Angeles and analyzes the financial feasibility of prototypical infill development projects that might be built near those stations.

Client: Los Angeles County
Subject: Infill Development
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 3.89 MB

Study of Infill Development Potential in the Unincorporated Areas of Los Angeles County

This report analyzes infill potential in a variety of unincorporated urban areas in Los Angeles County and analyzes the financial feasibility of prototypical infill development projects that might be built in those districts.

Client: Los Angeles County and Southern California Association of Governments
Subject: Infill Development
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 3.62 MB

Mixed-Use Centers In The South Bay: How Do They Function and Do They Change Travel Demand? Year Two Report

This report includes a detailed description of two study areas - Downtown El Segundo and Hawthorne Boulevard in the City of Hawthorne - as well as travel behavior survey results from those two study areas and business patterns analysis results for both Year 1 and Year 2 study areas.

Client: South Bay Cities Council of Governments and Southern California Association of Governments
Subject: Mixed-Use Development
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 1.86 MB

2005

San Gabriel Valley Subregional Housing Production Action Strategy

This report contains an estimate of future housing demand and available supply in the San Gabriel Valley under local General Plans, as well as a variety of strategies to increase housing production, including different options for using local government housing funds and a proposal to create a transfer system within the San Gabriel Valley for both Regional Housing Needs Assessment obligations and redevelopment housing set aside funds.

Client: San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and Southern California Association of Governments
Subject: Housing
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 717 KB

Mixed-Use Centers In The South Bay: How Do They Function and Do They Change Travel Demand? Year One Report

This report includes a detailed description of three study areas and one "control" area - Downtown Torrance, Downtown Inglewood, Riviera Village in Redondo Beach and the area near Pacific Coast Highway and Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance - as well as travel behavior survey results from those study areas.

Client: South Bay Cities Council of Governments and Southern California Association of Governments
Subject: Mixed-Use Development
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 11.7 MB

Downtown Phoenix: A Strategic Vision and Blueprint for the Future

Working with Mary Jo Waits and Associates, Solimar helped to prepare a strategic blueprint for the future of Downtown Phoenix, which included such innovative ideas as "The Connected Oasis" - outlining how shade and other mechanisms can be used to create a pleasant walking environment even in a desert climate.

Client: City of Phoenix
Subject: Downtowns; Infill Policy
Location: Phoenix; Arizona
Download PDF 3.06 MB

Analysis of Infill Development Potential Under the Green Line TOD Ordinance

This report identifies infill housing potential near the Hawthorne and Vermont stations (Lennox and West Athens neighborhoods) on the Green Line in South Los Angeles. Using GIS analysis, the report identifies parcels likely to be appropriate for infill using. Using pro-forma analysis, the report analyzes whether infill projects are economically feasible for developers under the Los Angeles County Transit-Oriented Development ordinance.

Client: Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning
Subject: Infill Development, Infill Policy
Location: Los Angeles; California
Download PDF 745 KB

2004

Urban Development Futures in the San Joaquin Valley

This report uses GIS modeling to "play out" for future growth scenarios for the San Joaquin Valley, including a scenario focusing on protecting agricultural land and two scenarios that assume the construction of different transportation improvements. It maps and quantifies the resulting growth patterns and identifies the issues that arise from each scenario. Written by William Fulton of Solimar, Michael Teitz of PPIC, and Charles Dietzel of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and published by PPIC.

Client: Public Policy Institute of California
Subject: Growth Management
Location: California
Download PDF 6.34 MB

TDRs and other Market-based Land Mechanisms: How They Work and Their Role in Shaping Metropolitan Growth

This report, written by Solimar staff in collaboration with Rick Pruetz, summarizes national trends on transferable development rights programs. The report identifies what the components of a successful TDR program are. Also includes a detailed analysis of 140 TDR programs across the country, including both geographical trends and trends associated with program goals (farmland preservation, environmental protection, historic preservation, etc).

Client: Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
Subject: Transferable Development Rights; Land Conservation
Location: National
Download PDF 760 KB

California Infill Estimation Methodology Project Final Report

Working with a group of stakeholders in Los Angeles, Solimar developed a new GIS-based method to estimate the potential for infill development. This infill tool uses off-the-shelf GIS software to identify parcels most ripe for infill development, especially. The tool can also quantify the amount of infill potential (parcels, acres, housing units) in any given study area. This report explains how the tool works.

Client: Environment Now, City of Los Angeles
Funder: Caltrans
Subject: Infill Development; Infill Policy; Land Use
Location: National
Download PDF 1.53 MB

Med and Eds: The Key to Arizona Leapfrogging Ahead in the 21st Century

Working with Mary Jo Waits & Associates and Collaborative Economics, Solimar documented the role of medical institutions, research universities, and other similar "landlocked" entities in economic development in the 21st Century. The report then lays out a strategy for Arizona to follow in creating an economy based on these "meds and eds".

Client: Arizona Health Sciences CEO Input Group
Funder: Horace W. Steele Foundation
Subject: Economic Development
Location: Arizona
Download PDF 2.47 MB

Playing the Inside Game: The Challenge of Urban Revitalization in Arizona

In this report, Solimar reviews the economic development and redevelopment tools available to local jurisdictions in Arizona and compares those to the tools available in other states. The report uses case studies of revitalization efforts in Arizona and makes policy recommendations to the Legislature.

Client: Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University
Subject: Redevelopment; Economic Development
Location: Arizona
Download PDF 353 KB

Taking Action Regionally: Background, Recommendations, and Action Steps for Santa Barbara and Western Ventura County

This report identifies a course of action that Santa Barbara County and Ventura County can take to work together to solve regional jobs-housing balance issues. Solimar worked with the UCSB Economic Forecast Project to create a series of growth scenarios and test which policies might improve jobs-housing balance. The modeling concluded that the issue was not in the amount of housing available in Santa Barbara but, rather, the high price of that housing.

Client: Santa Barbara County Association of Governments
Subject: Regional Planning
Location: Santa Barbara County; Ventura County; California
Download PDF 1.61 MB

Managing Metropolitan Growth: Reflections on the Twin Cities Experience

In this report, Solimar assisted Ted Mondale, formerly chair of the Metropolitan Council in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, to review and assess the metropolitan growth dynamics the Twin Cities was experiencing during his tenure and the policy tools the Met Council used to deal with those growth pressures.

Client: Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
Subject: Growth Management; Regional Planning
Location: Minneapolis-St. Paul
Download PDF 1.29 MB

2003

Comprehensive Evaluation of TDR Programs in the Lake Tahoe Basin

This report is the only comprehensive assessment ever undertaken of the transferable development rights programs in the Lake Tahoe basin administered by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The report explains the five different transferable commodities created by the TRPA code and quantifies overall supply. The report provides case studies of other TDR programs in the West, as well as case studies showing how TDRs have been effectively used in the Tahoe Basin. The report also contains recommendations for how the TDR program might be revised as part of the new Regional Plan scheduled for approval in 2007.

Client: League to Save Lake Tahoe
Funders: David & Lucile Packard Foundation; William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
Subject: Transferable Development Rights
Location: Lake Tahoe; California; Nevada
Download PDF 8.97 MB

Growth Policy Choices for Ventura County, California

This report examines population and urbanization growth patterns in Ventura County, between 1986 and 2000, using data from the state Department of Finance Demographic Research Unit and the Department of Conservation Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program. The report also uses a computer model to predict where future development will go under different policy scenarios.

Client: Ventura Council Of Governments
Funders: USC Southern California Studies Center
Subject: Growth Management; Urban Growth Boundaries
Location: Ventura County; California
Download PDF 1.87 MB

Smart Growth in Action, Part 2: Case Studies in Housing Capacity and Development from Ventura County, California

This report is the second portion of a two-part study that attempts to help fill this void by examining the implementation of growth management techniques in Ventura County, California, a county of some 800,000 residents about 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and adjacent to Los Angeles County. (View first report) This report examines six case studies to determine why housing projects were approved at far less than densities allowed in General Plans.

Client: Reason Public Policy Institute
Subject: Growth Management; Housing
Location: Ventura County
Download PDF 1.30 MB

After Sprawl: Action Plans for Metropolitan Los Angeles

This wide-ranging report, written in part by William Fulton and Susan Weaver of Solimar, provides a lengthy menu of policy options for Metropolitan Los Angeles in order to implement the ideas proposed in Sprawl Hits the Wall.

Client: Southern California Studies Center
Subject: Metropolitan Growth: Growth Management
Location: Los Angeles
Download PDF 8.38 MB

2002

Our County's Next 100,000

Solimar provided background demographic and housing demand analysis for this three-part series on population growth and housing demand in San Luis Obispo, California.

Client: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune
Subject: Housing Demand
Location: San Luis Obispo; California
Download PDF 965 KB

Mid-Sized Cities Report

In this report, written by Solimar's William Fulton, mayors and other leaders from mid-sized cities throughout the nation and especially in the Northeast lay out an action plan for common problems and coordinated policy initiatives. Based on a convening hosted by Mayor Bill Johnson of Rochester, New York.

Client: Partners for Livable Communities
Subject: Urban Policy
Location: Upstate New York; National
Download PDF Currently not available

The Arts and Smart Growth: The Role of the Arts in Placemaking

Written by Solimar's William Fulton and Morris Newman, this report outlines how arts and culture and smart growth can work together to create stronger and more prosperous communities. With case studies.

Client: Grantmakers In The Arts; Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
Subject: Smart Growth; Economic Development
Location: National
Download PDF 554 KB

Which Way Scottsdale?

Written primarily by William Fulton of Solimar and Mary Jo Waits of the Morrison Institute, this colorful report highlights the economic and policy challenges facing the City of Scottsdale, Arizona, as the city runs out of land and its economy changes. This report was partly responsible for Scottsdale's decision to abandon a Wal-Mart Super Center on an old mall site and, instead, pursue a research center in collaboration with Arizona State University.

Client: Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University
Subject: Land Use: Infill Policy; Economic Development
Location: Arizona
Download PDF 1.27 MB

Solimar's Comprehensive Background Report: Scottsdale in the 21st Century; Looking Beyond Suburban Growth

A background report prepared by Solimar Research Group documenting Scottsdale's diminishing land resources and need to promote infill development. One of Solimar's first analyses of scarce land resources and infill potential.

Client: Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University
Subject: Land Use: Infill Policy
Location: Arizona
Download PDF 1.88 MB

Tools and Patterns of Growth Management Ballot Measures in California: 1986 - 2000

Written primarily by Solimar's Mai Nguyen, now a professor at the University of North Carolina, this was the third of three reports produced by Solimar on growth management ballot measures in California in the '80s and '90s. An in-depth report using advanced statistical methods.

Funder: David and Lucile Packard Foundation; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Subject: Growth Management
Location: California
Download PDF 2.24 MB

Holding the Line: Urban Containment Policy in the United States

Written primary by William Fulton and Cornell professor Rolf Pendall, this study provides both a theoretical foundation for and a national survey of different types of urban containment strategies, including publicly owned greenbelts, infrastructure service areas, and urban growth boundaries created by regulation.

Client: Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
Subject: Growth Management; Urban Growth Boundaries
Location: National
Download PDF 127 KB

Growth Management Ballot Measures in California

This report takes Solimar's research on both growth management and ballot measures in California, described in more detail in other reports, and boils the information down to its essence. This report includes an explanation of different types of growth management as well as a summary of the California experience in ballot-box land-use measures.

Client: Local Government Commission
Funders: David and Lucile Packard Foundation; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Subject: Growth Management
Location: California
Download PDF 1.00 MB

Open Space Protection: Conservation Meets Growth Management

Written by William Fulton and Solimar research affiliate Linda Hollis, this report provides a nationwide survey of land conservation efforts state-by-state and also documents the disconnect between land conservation efforts and growth management efforts, which sometimes work at cross-purposes.

Client: Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
Subject: Growth Management; Land Conservation
Location: National; Florida; Sonoma County, California
Download PDF 2.25 MB

Smart Growth In Action: Housing Capacity and Development in Ventura County, California

This report documents growth management efforts in Ventura County, California, especially the SOAR initiatives, and estimates remaining housing capacity in the County under the General Plan of the County and its 10 cities.

Client: Reason Public Policy Institute
Subject: Growth Management; Housing
Location: Ventura County; California
Download PDF 401KB

Legal Mandates Related to the Conservation of Land and Natural Resources

This report, commissioned by the California Resources Agency as part of the "California Legacy" project, documents all the legal requirements that the State of California and its agencies must seek to meet in the arena of land and natural resources conservation. A lengthy and useful compendium.

Client: California Resources Agency
Subject: Land Conservation
Location: California
Download PDF 1.44 MB

2001

Sprawl Hits the Wall: Confronting the Realities of Metropolitan Los Angeles

This full-color "atlas" documented growth patterns in metropolitan Los Angeles and especially the choices the region is facing now that it is running out of land. Published as part of a series on metropolitan growth patterns around the nation by Brookings.

Client: Southern California Studies Center, University of Southern California; Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
Subject: Land Use; Metropolitan Growth
Location: National
Download PDF 9.46 MB

Who Sprawls Most? How Growth Patterns Differ Across the U.S.

One of the most-read research reports ever released by the Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program, this report documented land consumption patterns nationwide for the first time. Using National Resource Inventory and Census data from 1982 to 1997, Who Sprawls Most? confirmed that metro areas in the West are growing denser, while metro areas in other parts of the country are sprawling more. With case studies in a separate PDF file.

Client: Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
Funder: Fannie Mae Foundation
Subject: Land Use
Location: National
Download PDF 933 KB
Case Studies PDF 13 KB

Trends in Local Land Use Ballot Measures, 1986 - 2000: An Analysis of City, County and Statewide Trends

The first of Solimar's three reports on land-use ballot measures in California, this report primarily discusses the geographical distribution of different types of land-use measures in the late '80s and 1990s in California.

Subject: Land Use; Ballot Measures
Location: California
Download PDF 3.89 MB

Hits and Misses: Fast Growth in Metropolitan Phoenix

This full-color "atlas" documented growth patterns in metropolitan Phoenix and documented for the first time that Phoenix, while auto-oriented and relatively low-rise, is nevertheless developing densely compared to the rest of the nation. Published as part of a series on metropolitan growth patterns around the nation by Brookings.

Client: Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University; Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
Subject: Land Use; Metropolitan Growth; Economic Development
Location: Arizona
Download PDF 8.08 MB

1999

Growth Governance in Southern California

Based on surveys of local governments in California in 1988 and 1992, this report lays out a typology of regimes used by local governments in Southern California to manage growth and uses the results to characterize the differences within the region on growth management.

Client: Claremont Graduate University Research Institute
Funder: William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
Subject: Growth Management; Land Use
Location: Los Angeles; Orange County; Southern California
Download PDF 877 KB

Landscape Portrait Of Southern California's Structure Of Government And Growth

This report looks at the entire range of governmental structures in California that deal with growth management and services provision, including cities, counties, joint-powers authorities, regional planning entities, special districts, and other such organizations. An overview of local government structure in the region.

Client: Claremont Graduate University Research Institute
Funder: William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
Subject: Growth Management; Land Use; Regional Planning
Location: Los Angeles; Orange County; Southern California
Download PDF 2.50 MB

Solimar Powerpoint Presentations

Presentation of the Solimar Infill Estimation Tool (1.53 MB)

Staff Blog