The following are fundamental programs for healthy and sustainable communities which only regional coordination and integration can achieve:
land use integration
To counter the negative effects of sprawl we must focus new development, redevelopment, and services in walkable, transit-served neighborhoods. These patterns serve not only youth, elderly, and low-income groups but also working middle-class households in search of more convenient and affordable lifestyles.
Fair housing policies
Each jurisdiction must provide its fair share of affordable housing in order for a region to function effectively. In addition to zoning for affordable housing, appropriate financing vehicles must be developed for adequate volumes of multi-family housing to be produced.
Regional open space networks
and urban growth boundaries
Without clear, defensible limits to growth, investments in infrastructure and jobs will continue to sprawl. It has been demonstrated that sprawl leads to higher costs in municipal services, housing and infrastructure, to more congestion, and to loss of valued open space. Sprawl and environmental degradation not only result in a diminished quality of life but also rising tax obligations.
Regional tax base equity
As long as basic local services are dependent on local property wealth, property tax-base sharing is a critical component of metropolitan stability. Property tax-base sharing creates equity in the provision of public services, levels the quality of education, breaks the intensifying sub-regional mismatch between social needs and tax resources, undermines local fiscal incentives which drive sprawl, and ends intermetropolitan competition for tax base.
Livable community design
Progressive regional policies and programs can be largely negated if the physical design of communities follows the old patterns of isolated uses, super block configurations, and auto-only streetscapes. Four design principles are central to making a fundamental difference in the quality of our communities: neighhorhood orientation, human scale, integrated diversity, and sustainability. In the end, development must reinforce neighborhoods through physical form as well as social and institutional programs.
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