What is sprawl?
Anthony Downs of the Brookings Institution lists ten characteristics that define sprawl development patterns:
- Predominance of low-density residential and commercial settlements, especially in new growth areas.
- Unlimited outward extension of new developments.
- Leapfrog projects jumping beyond established settlements.
- Single-use development that separates shopping, working and residential activities.
- Low-density, single-use work places and strip retail development typically located at the periphery of metropolitan areas.
- Reliance on auto transportation for virtually all trips.
- Fiscal disparities among localities.
- Lack of adequate housing choices located close to work opportunities, thus forcing long commutes.
- Reliance mainly on trickle-down to provide housing to low-income households.
- Fragmented land use decisions by local governments.
What is smart growth?
The Smart Growth Network, a national organization of diverse partners coordinated by U.S. EPA, has defined the following principles to help define "smart growth:"
- Mix land uses (housing, shopping, workplaces, civic uses).
- Take advantage of compact building design.
- Create a range of housing opportunities and choices.
- Create walkable neighborhoods.
- Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place.
- Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas.
- Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities.
- Provide a variety of transportation choices.
- Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost-effective.
- Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions.
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Where are we now?
What is sprawl? smart growth?
Race and regionalism
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