Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Urban vs Suburban

I came across this article on the Cordova Hills development, West Sacramento's approach to redeveloping itself, and the Urban Land Institute event at the Crocker last Thursday. It felt like so much deja vu. I took a class on land use policy in grad school in 2006. At the time, my professor really played up this debate, and, in the midst of the boom, the argument seemed feasible. Since then, we've flirted with $5/gallon gas, experienced a housing shock like none other, observed how global markets can upend local ones, are staring down the barrel of a generational timebomb in terms of healthcare costs for our aging population, struggling to meaningfully address childhood obesity and are in the midst of one of the driest winters on record in the driest decade on record. It is time to recognize that this way lies inequality, waste and turmoil. Keep the footprint dense, invest in transit, and preserve farmland and open space. When they are well-designed and well-managed, cities are more efficient and better for the environment. We have to accept that we must learn to live together.

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