Re: [carfree_cities] Digest Number 833
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 10:59:33 -0800 (PST)
> From: Kevin Goss <skyviewmesa@...>
> Subject: Re: Re: My website about life in Phoenix, Arizona
>I know it's a heretical idea for Sprawlburbians to contemplate, but there is
> I do not feel that I am supporting the development of
> greenfield lands by moving to this subdivision. There
> are new homes being built in much more remote places
> around here. Did you know that metropolitan Phoenix
> is growing by more than 100,000 people per year? Do
> you have any suggestions on how to accomodate that
> amount of people without developing along the fringes
> of the urban area? This is an issue that doesn't
> appear to have any solution, other than putting a
> moratorium on all new development.
no law that says that new residents have to live farther out than the older
For over fifty years, the building industry has fostered the notion that
everyone needs to have a brand-new house on a previously undeveloped plot of
land. Their advertisements push images of living out in the country, which
may actually be accurate for the first year or two of the development's
existence, at least until the next development springs up along the road.
One way to counteract this is "infill development." Most American cities,
especially sprawly ones, have plenty of vacant land within their boundaries.
It's just not hip to live there. Infill development consists of building
housing and businesses on the existing vacant land.
Another tactic is redevelopment, either rehabilitation of abandoned
industrial sites or refurbishing of abandoned housing.
Portland,Oregon has had an urban growth boundary for over thirty years, and
its inner city neighborhoods are very healthy. There is even a huge building
boom going on in an old warehouse district adjacent to our downtown (which
is still thriving, thank you, due to decisions made thirty years ago). Since
residents can't move out-out-out, they've been rediscovering the delights of
older neighborhoods, so much so that gentrification has become a problem.
Now the poor are being forced to move into the outer fringes of the city,
which Is unfortunate, although the situation is not as bad as it might be,
thanks to our excellent transit system. This is an unintended consequence of
the urban growth policies, but people are working on solutions.
The secret for handling population growth is not to project current trends
as if they were the only alternative. You need to come up with whole new