Where We Live: Sustainable Density

How Big Is Too Big?

Where We Live: Sustainable Density
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Where We Live: Sustainable Density

Worldwide, more people are moving to cities than ever before...but can our cities handle the load?

Between 1990 and 2008, the EPA reports that in roughly half of the 50 largest metropolitan regions dramatically increased their growth.

Why are people flocking back? Lower crime rates...along with a desire by empty nesters and young adults for walkable communities...high-paying jobs, stores, restaurants, parks, and supermarkets.

Then there’s high cost of commuting as gas prices go up.

To many urban planners - disciples of “density” this is all good news. But how big is too big? Aging infrastructure, noise, crowds, traffic, crime, and the high cost of urban housing and education are also part of urban life.

Today, where we live - “sustainable” density.



Urban Density

I think dense urban cities are great. Having moved from NYC to Danbury CT, I find myself missing the density of the city. There are hardly any sidewalk in Danbury and where there are, no one is on them. Moving from a dense urban place to a low density town, I find myself spending tons of money on gas and cost up keep. I actually calculated my cost living here in Danbury compared to NYC, and they're the same when you take into account the cost of owning a car, but with no benefit of city living. Crowdedness on NYC sidewalk has to do with not enough sidewalk space, which can be increased if politicians were willing to take away road space from cars. The issue with noise from the urban dense city really comes from cars. If cars travel in a city could be curtailed through congestion pricing or some other policy means, cities like NYC would be really quiet. You can see how quiet NYC can be when they close down streets. Street closures in NYC makes it even more awesome!