Rehab existing land to fit new projects

That’s one of the recommendations urban planners and “smart growth” advocates, in the link below to Atlantic Monthly, say builders should adopt.  Builders should move away from the practice of “buying empty land further and further out and building on it, and should instead build more compact, walkable communities near public transit.”

Environmentalists will thank them and you will be less taxed because fewer resources (water, roads and services) are needed.

Sprawl is also taxing on health, says the article.  “People who live in far-out suburbs walk less, eat more, and exercise less than those who live in urban environments.”

Despite homebuyers asking for something new, builders keep building sprawl.  (If builders had been listening, perhaps the Crombie report on land use in Ontario wouldn’t have been necessary.)

“I think that the building industry has been incredibly resilient at resisting change,” says Chris Leinberger, a land-use strategist. “It’s somewhat akin to carriage makers not wanting to shift to making cars.”

“The home builders for 56 years made a lot of money by going out to the fringe and buying farmland and subdividing it,” Leinberger says. “That formula now has to change.”


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