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Efforts to rein in sprawl slowly gathered steam over the past couple of decades, but the housing bust helped shape this latest crop of TOD [transit oriented development] newcomers. During the housing frenzy, Americans were willing to buy a pricey home an hour or more from their workplaces. But now gas prices around $4 a gallon have made that commute costly.

Plus, housing values have dropped by a third or more since the 2006 peak, so tying up one’s net worth in a suburban home that isn’t guaranteed to increase in value seems too big a risk.

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Suburban Swap: Trading a Backyard for a Train Station, Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2012