Homeowners of Franklin County (which includes Columbus ) were surveyed in November 2001 and indicated that they wanted houses in less dense neighborhoods, with fewer houses and more space, and a nearby park. All other factors such as school quality, commuting time to work, neighborhood safety, housing price and others no longer seemed important.
Just a few months before prior to the terrorist attacks a survey of Franklin County homeowners found that a whole range of factors, including neighborhood density, schools, commuting time and price, were significant to homeowners.
"After 9/11, nothing else but housing density and parks mattered to people when they considered moving," said Hazel Morrow-Jones, co-author of the study and associate professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University .
"While such results may not be surprising for an eastern seaboard city or other likely target of terrorism, they are somewhat surprising for a mid-sized, Midwestern city."
A third survey done in spring 2004 suggests homeowners' neighborhood choices have moved back toward pre-9/11 levels, as the researchers expected. However the new normality seems to incorporate terrorism with crime when people say they want "safe" neighborhoods.
Morrow-Jones conducted the studies with Brian Roe, associate professor, and Elena Irwin, assistant professor, both in agricultural, environmental and development economics at Ohio State .
Their findings were published in recent issues of the journals Housing Policy Debate and Applied Economics Letters and presented at meetings of the American Agricultural Economics Association and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.