Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sprawl vs. Infill Growth

Some time before and then especially after the GI’s of WWII came marching home, America's cities, towns, and neighborhoods grew by spreading outward. Covering up land with homes on low density suburban lots, low rise commercial buildings, acres of surface parking, and wide streets where city busses, big-rig semi-trucks, or track-based transportation would never travel. This template has been common for planners, architects, engineers, and developers. And has provided some of the most preferred suburban, if not remote and isolated, neighborhoods for many Americans to buy into.

Until 2008 -- a year during the 110th United States Congress. This ‘new normal’ may last for awhile. The creation of vast tracts of suburban sprawl may have significantly slowed -- if not completely halted -- in some areas. The seemly inexorable movement outward over previously undeveloped areas of land is given pause to reconsider.

Infill Growth
This pause may also be a type of opportunity. Leaders and professionals in the built environment could be encouraged to turn with head and shoulders to look back over the “rings of suburbia” (copyright notice), toward the city core itself; to see various places for growth, revitalization, and new forms of economic development in the existing built environment.

Of course as never before, there could be a few problems. Physical challenges and knee-jerk reactions. The existing built environment is not at all of bean fields and cows.

GIVE ME A MOMENT a lifestyle
Unscheduled post. Next scheduled post: 1.19.2012
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