#CNU17 Repairing Sprawl in Just a Few (Easy?) Steps

Even if they stopped building sprawl tomorrow, it will still be with us for decades. "We have to live with it." That's how Galina Tahchieva introduced her presentation on "sprawl repair" Wednesday at the DPZ pre-Congress workshop.

Not all suburbs are alike, she noted. Some of the first-generation "streetcar suburbs" accommodated the automobile but were still based on a human scale. The postwar suburbs, though, developed along new highways. A third generation of exurban development in the 1980s and 1990s spread out development even farther.

Here are Tahchieva's steps for sprawl repair:

1. Improve connectivity of the streets by imposing a grid on them and looking for ways to connect the dots, and the cul-de-sacs.
2. Identify preservation areas, including those that might need legal protection. Their development rights may be transferrable to allow greater density elsewhere in the community.
3. Identify the commercial nodes. Which can be developed as town centers?
4. Identify the potential transit network.

"We have to be selective in repairing sprawl, but the interventions have to be very serious."


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