Investigating Opportunities to Mobilize Community Associations to Promote Sustainable Transportation and Land Use

Research Team: Jae Hong Kim (lead) and Nicholas Marantz

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: In recent decades, common-interest housing developments have become prevalent in many American cities. According to the Community Associations Institute's 2021 estimates, nearly 30% of the U.S. population now lives in a development or area governed by a community association, with homeowners associations being the most common type. Despite the widespread presence of homeowners associations (HOAs), there has been limited research on how they impact the adoption of new mobility technologies, innovative urban neighborhood designs, and sustainable land use and transportation initiatives. HOAs and similar community governing bodies have the authority to impose additional restrictions on community activities, which has often led to them being perceived as obstacles to achieving a more environmentally friendly and inclusive future. While this perception is grounded in reality, it doesn't fully account for the significant variation in how HOAs operate. This perspective also hinders innovative thinking about how HOAs could contribute to creating more sustainable communities. Exploring ways to engage these influential entities in pursuing various planning objectives is crucial.

Project Description: This project will improve the collective understanding of how HOAs and other community associations impact sustainable land use and transportation. The researchers will achieve this by: i) creating an integrated geospatial database that includes information about HOAs, land uses (including Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs), and transportation indicators, ii) investigating the relationship between the presence or absence of HOAs and factors such as ADU construction, travel patterns, and the built environment, and iii) identifying best practices and extracting lessons from successful cases.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $25,000