Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar
Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon
“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector:
the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown
High Rise Cost
One often hears the claim that density saves money, especially high rises. Here is
a quote from Edward Glaeser’s Atlantic Magazine article:
Prices do rise substantially in ultra-tall buildings—say, over 50 stories—but for
ordinary skyscrapers, it doesn’t cost more than $500,000 to put up a nice 1,200-square-foot
apartment. (Atlantic, March 2011 - local)
$500,000 for 1200 sq-ft is $417 per sq ft.
A typical 2,000 sq-ft house in an unsubsidized development is about $180,000 (on
¼ acre!) for about $90 per sq-ft.
The high rise costs 363% more!
How does that affect standard of living?
Lets look at 1,200 sq ft in the high rise and in sprawl:
Amortized annual cost of high-rise vs. Sprawl (interest only)
Extra Cost of High rise
Sprawl saves $29,000 per year. That will pay a lot of commuting expense if you are
one of the few people who work in the central city. Otherwise you commute is likely
within your suburb (or in a nearby one as only 20% of the jobs are in the central
city now days.)
That $29,000 saved will pay for a better education for your kids, better medical,
better vacations. In other words a higher standard of living.
Car expenses are actually much lower than frequently stated. See: