Taking a show-and-tell approach to curbing sprawl, Washington-based Sierra Club has published a 32-page report that gives examples of 12 projects where good town planning created livable communities.
The projects range from large to small, from urban to suburban. They include “economically challenged” areas such as Fruitvale in Oakland, Calif., and well-off neighborhoods such as Manchester-by-the-Sea in Massachusetts. Despite their differences, however, the projects do have similarities, says Eric Olson, project coordinator for the study. “They are all walkable communities, involve public transportation, and address issues like stormwater runoff,” he says.
Olson says that the report shows how successful communities result when developers redevelop existing neighborhoods and incorporate public transportation, parks, and mixed-use components.
The one thing builders can take away from the study, Olson says, is that there is a market for these types of projects: “There is a demand for redevelopment in urban and old suburban areas, and many developers are thriving doing them.” Sierra has begun a follow-up study that will focus on successful stormwater management.
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