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Susan Brooks

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How do we fix the sprawl?

I'm from Houston. Actually, just outside Houston, but near enough to it to make my point. I live in the suburbs. My city is very spawled. Once a city has already been built around the need of a car, how would/could that town "fix" the infrastructure to allow it to be more walkable? What's the first step? Who do I need to talk to in my local government to try to get these changes made?

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    Nov 21 2013: Hi Coleen, Vincent sorry for the delay getting back here. I will have to watch Ellen Dunham's presentation ; thank you for sharing Colleen. I watched Jeff Speck's talk which is followed by some very good comments. Seems like there are two positions regarding this issue: the urban planners and the people concerned about environment and 'green living' that promote implementing an urban growth boundary and those that think they should have the right to live as they please with little regard to future generations.( dis considering the developers and large tract landowners that want to maximize the value of the land) For those accepting urban sprawl I only have a question: how far can you go with this? obviously there is a limit to the land. I personally oppose the view that we OWN the land; Our life is a fraction of the life of the land.... I think we should think more in terms that we are using it during our life time and then leave it to future generations to use.
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      Nov 21 2013: In my experience with planning and development Anairda, I do not perceive two different positions with planners and people concerned about the environment. In fact, as a member of the regional project review committee, I am observing more and more people coming together in favor of planned development in densely populated village areas.

      You mention "those that think they should have the right to live as they please with little regard to future generations". People can still live that way if they choose. Since there are incentives for multi use/multi-unit complexes in our state, regional and local plans, landowners are not really maximizing the value of the land by choosing sprawl rather than well planned and developed densely populated community-type projects.

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