June 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm #154920
Why We Shouldn’t Rely on Smart Growth Incentives to Fix Sprawl… [Via AtlanticCities]
Based on a new study of the Washington D.C. metro, the article referenced above compares the successes and failures of PlanMaryland, the state-wide program “to encourage smart growth and to discourage sprawl.” What is the answer to successfully implementing Smart Growth measures? Incentives, Education & Public Awareness, or New Laws?
Would like to hear what fellow Land8 members have to say… (not limited to 130 characters here)June 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm #154924
Smart growth, obviously, is about more than density. I think the pattern of development may be more important. They need to make sure that even lower density developments are walkable and allow for mixed uses. Even people who want to live in lower density areas probably would appreciate the ability to walk and bike to meaningful destinations. The density may need to come incrementally. Americans are only beginning to appreciate urban areas again. In time the demand will probably be there. I think they probably need a combination of laws (about the overall pattern of developments more than the density), incentives and education.June 4, 2013 at 11:36 pm #154923
The devil really is in the details. Unfortunately, with gov cuts (planning) and the rest of us working 60 hrs to make the same as the old 40, those with much to gain are taking the process over–changing the meaningful things and leaving the window dressing. Noble initiatives get morphed into faintly recognizable marketing tools.June 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm #154922
The demand for what might be considered traditional suburban housing still exists, and many think of it as the ultimate form of housing for which they should aspire. Developers are responding to market demand. A bigger determinant likely to evolve will be congestion and gas prices. Higher density living becomes more attractive when one realizes how much time is being spent in commuting and how much is being spent on fuel. I recall reading that urban development in Houston became more popular only after commutes became less than tolerable. Personal experience suggests that those new to city living have a hard time adapting. They expect suburban levels of quiet and convenience. What may appear as “street life” to some looks like threatening behaviour to them. They don’t want to have to deal with people that are percieved as not being of their class. I live in one of the few parts of the country where there is a high demand for urban housing, and live in a neighborhood that could best be described as “mixed” and “evolving”. Empty lots are being filled in and many of the older homes have been renovated. There is easy access to public transporatation. While I know it is more “correct” from a planning perspective, I don’t feel completely comfortable here. I wish I had more space, more greenery around…private greenery, not a public park where I have to hear someone else’s favorite music or deal with dangerous dogs. Perhaps these kinds of attitudes are what continue to drive the demand for single-family homes on large lots.June 9, 2013 at 8:36 pm #154921
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