Businessweek View recently estimated that in some areas housing costs are 50% higher because of zoning rules, and that local economies are performing 10% below their potential for the same reason. More recent studies put this much higher—at 36%.
So, if we want to develop cities and towns that thrive in a complex, fast-changing environment, we have to completely rethink how these built forms are regulated or perhaps left to grow “more organically.”
Here is a list of recommendations about how to create more livable, more successful in-fill projects and communities.
It examines what is going on in Kingston Ontario with first, the rehabilitation of a major brownfield site (the former Davis Tannery waterfront lands) and second, the development of a 1,500-unit neighborhood that meets many needs and tests from a multiplicity of stakeholders including the city, the developer, the planning community, neighbors, politicians at all levels of government, future residents, guests, visitors, tenants (both residential and commercial), buyers, investors and more… All of them working within a self-declared (by the city of Kingston) climate emergency to produce a community where people can live in an affordable, live-work-play, create-make-learn-grow, entertain-shop, exercise-grow-socialize, diversified-visitable, neo-urbanist, walkable, animated neighborhood. One that is both economically and environmentally sustainable.
This requires that the city develops policy planning tools and outside-the-box ideas as a way of attracting business investment and entrepreneurs as well as spurring innovation and creating/permitting development of mixed-use places that function better than current models.
This New Utopia: Recommendations should be read in conjunction with its (LONGER) companion document—NEW UTOPIA: BACKGROUND REPORT.
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