March 2, 2005

Denver Suburbs Move To More Walkability, Denser Development

"In a historic change, [Denver] suburbs have broken with the development pattern of the past 50 years and embraced density," the Rocky Mountain News reports. The rising cost of land, congested freeways, a burgeoning light-rail network and a growing consumer preference for more compact housing in walkable neighborhoods are all changing the look and feel of suburbia. ...

"Not only do cities like Phoenix and Houston sprawl far more than Denver, the suburbs of eastern cities such as Boston and Philadelphia are much more spread out."

Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer told the News: "What's happening today is that we're looking for focal points, a place that is a destination with intense uses and more intense housing. It's planning your community so people have to drive less."

Sense of place. Designing a destination instead of strings of soul-less strip malls. Allowing people to park once and then enjoy strolling to multiple destinations. It's the 21st century trend in development, and one that an increasing number of Americans say they want (see my post on how 90% of respondents to a Better Homes & Gardens survey said walkable neighborhoods were important to them -- more than cited spacious rooms or large lots). Why can't we do that here?

No comments:

Post a Comment