A survey of development-related issues shows that affordable housing and loss of open space rank highest among concerns of both public officials and private citizens. By Matthew Power

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently launched a Web site, smartgrowth.net, intended to solicit alternatives to current thinking (or lack of thinking) about development. It asks not only about problems, but about preferred solutions.

In one of its first surveys, 176 people responded. Of these respondents 49 percent came from the private sector, 39 percent from the public sector, and 12 percent said they represented nonprofit groups--or the general public. About half of all respondents were ULI members.

While a number of issues were ranked "urgent," lack of affordable housing led the pack in terms of a perceived crisis.

When asked to rank possible solutions, more transportation options ranked highest, followed closely by regional collaboration, higher-density development, new zoning options, and better pedestrian and bike access. Open space acquisition also made the list.

Issue No problem Slow boil Urgent Crisis
Traffic congestion 12.4% 42.7% 31.5% 13.5%
Crowded schools 25.8% 39.9% 28.1% 5.6%
Affordable housing 11.2% 32.6% 32.0% 24.2%
Loss of open space 19.7% 33.7% 30.9% 15.7%
Crumbling infrastructure 16.9% 43.3% 30.9% 9.0%
No-growth neighbors 30.3% 33.7% 20.2% 14.0%