The economic benefits of agglomeration (i.e. more people clustered together in one place) can be huge. Essentially, as more people cluster together, more jobs do too, and both wages and economic productivity increase. A recently released paper for Urban Studies reveals that transit may be the key to producing agglomeration, which can in turn yield an impressive economic benefit to the tune of $1.5 million to $1.8 billion a year per city.
The Atlantic Cities does a great job of explaining how agglomeration works in urban areas:
“One of the potential benefits of having more people in an area is that you have a wider labor force. That, in turn, means a better chance of matching the needs of a job with the skills of a worker — and, of course, making this match more quickly. Another benefit could be information exchange. As casual encounters among skilled laborers increase, say in the shops and on the sidewalks that crop up near transit hubs, so too does innovation.”
At the moment, we have few transit options within Montgomery County but that can change with the proposed Rapid Transit plan. Let the County Council know that you think these are worthy investments by emailing them at County.Council@
You can ready the full study “Transit Service, Physical Agglomeration and Productivity in US Metropolitan Areas” here.