Tuesday 28 November 2006

Smartgrowth in Ireland?

In communities across Ireland, there is a growing concern that current development patterns - dominated by what some call "sprawl" - are no longer in the long-term interest of our cities, existing suburbs, small towns, rural communities, or rural areas. Though supportive of growth, communities are questioning the economic costs of abandoning infrastructure in the city, only to rebuild it further out.

Spurring the smart growth movement are demographic shifts, a strong environmental ethic, increased fiscal concerns, and more nuanced views of growth. The result is both a new demand and a new opportunity for smart growth.

The features that distinguish smart growth in a community vary from place to place. In general, smart growth invests time, attention, and resources in restoring community and vitality to center cities and older suburbs. New smart growth is more town-centered, is transit and pedestrian oriented, and has a greater mix of housing, commercial and retail uses. It also preserves open space and many other environmental amenities.

There is plenty of thinking in Ireland on Smartgrowth, but little real action

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