I quickly mentioned the Capitol Hill policy briefing on Growing Cooler that was put on by the Urban Land Institute and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute a few weeks ago. SGA’s Geoff Anderson joined authors Steve Winkelman, Reid Ewing, and others in a discussion on where we live and how much we have to drive as a result — and how that hamstrings our best efforts to reduce emissions.
This Epoch Times story on the briefing about the core findings of Growing Cooler makes a subtle distinction about the “D-word” that is most welcome:
The book makes clear that it is not simply about building all high-rises and increasing population density. It’s about building in ways for residents to get from one place to another without driving, incorporating good regional accessibility, mixing residential and commercial land uses, and using interconnected streets and human-scale design, according to information provided by ULI.
Geoff talked about the demographic changes that are pushing us towards a marketplace that wants to deliver on the demand for walkable communities — but finding that there are many barriers in their way:
“The market wants compact developments,” said Anderson, and “is making money from them.” He cited Lakewood, Colorado, outside of Denver. Lakewood is now a “community” with a mix of housing and retail— “retrofitted” from a “giant box mall and a diamond parking lot.”
“… The developers saw a market and wanted to make some money,” said Anderson. “However, it is not automatic for such projects to succeed, as the obstacles to overcome are so large for creating this kind of development that you will likely fail. You have to be a very sophisticated developer to pursue these projects,” said Anderson.
Read the entire story in the Epoch Times