Planned development aims to curb urban sprawl and reverse the negative impact on the environment – or to put it positively, green development is characterized by compact, well-connected, richly-amenitized communities. In today’s rebound economy and vulnerable environment, its essential.
Communities, with networks of complete streets and well-programmed parks, make it easier for people to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives by providing safe places to exercise outside. Healthier living and working environments can drive the goal of healthier lifestyles home. Decades of sprawl development has added greenhouse gases to our environment, and equally importantly minutes to our daily commute. Designing communities near job centers and centered around transit have the dual benefit of saving time and sparing the environment.
Such neighborhoods include a mixture of housing types and tenures – from single-family homes to apartments of all sizes, duplexes, studios, condominiums and lofts. They cater to demographics amenable to dense, urban, and innovative housing options. Taking public transportation saves people money. Comparing the cost of a monthly transportation versus driving daily, paying for parking, tolls, and oil, an individual can save by selling their car and taking public transportation. This savings is especially poignant as we endeavor to advance the earning power of stagnant classes.
By reinvesting in existing infrastructure and rehabilitating historic buildings, neighborhoods can be designed that have homes near shops, offices, schools, parks, and other amenities. By involving residents in development decisions, these communities create vibrant places to live and work. The high quality of life also makes these communities economically competitive, creates business opportunities, and strengthens the local tax base. Cities need to promote communities and neighborhoods that are beautiful, safe, affordable and easy to navigate. It creates healthy communities surrounded by schools and strong local businesses, and low-cost ways to get around.