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Week 3 Discussion: Efficiency and Sustainability in the City
Respond to these follow responses you must write a response to these statements with some solutions or questions you feel need to be answered. Remember your answers to these statements must be number.
1a. A lack of understanding of how land use and transit affect the environment is one of the most fundamental stumbling blocks in the move toward modifying planning docs and zoning codes to be more sustainable. It seems as though traditional ideas about land use and the need to design the built environment around Americans` prolific automobile usage is hampering efforts to rein in GHGs. Right now, according to the authors of this week`s reading, "Growing Cooler," there is also still a great deal of incentive for developers to continue building sprawl. Finally, there is a dearth of planning software available that would enable planners, residents, and other community stakeholders to see what alternative futures they might experience by implementing compact development and Smart Growth ideas. It`s hard for people to envision what their towns and cities might look like and by extension, the benefits that might be gained by changing their long-term plans and codes. Urban planners are seen as the experts in land use planning, so if they aren`t aware of or advocating for things like infill, increasing density of neighborhoods, improving public transit options, connecting streets to improve walkability and decrease vehicle usage, and encouraging mixed-use development, then it is unlikely that any material changes in codes or land use will come to fruition.
2a. One of the biggest challenges in modifying or replacing zoning codes and planning documents is time. As mentioned in the lecture this week it can take at least 6 months to modify and longer than a year or two to replace codes. When things take as long as this there is always a higher risk of setbacks, dissent and disinterest. There is also the issue that in most states the comprehensive plan for the land development is not binding and can very often be altered or skirted all together by the developer as long as they are up to code. I think this can be a huge problem for growth. There are also situations in which Smart Code is in direct conflict with current zoning and code. In this situation it can take a lot of time and effort to convince citizens and civil servants that this new code is better for the community, economy and environment. Sometimes old habits must be broken, like car favoring code, to insure a sustainable community for the long term.
1b. one way is through design competitions. I am currently engaged in the northern avenue bridge competition, where I am addressing the issues of climate change. There are so many opportunities in the project where a public space can function positively on the environment and ecology. There are currently many competitions underway that will be seen by the public and by the city officals and developers. competitions for city proposals have the opportunity to present bold and innovative approaches to sustainability. They also have the purpose of bringing awareness to the problems. Sometimes people dont even see there is a problem until there is a proposal of something addressing it. Then they will understand the short and long term issues and see a solution to them immediately. As I mentioned in my last post, its the economy stupid. economic and social benefits must be presented with these solutions to climate change, therefore the money invested will be multi purpose. That is what my team is attempting to do in the bridge project which I hope is seen as successful in providing a barrier to sea level rise, and linking the greenway to fort point and creating economic opportunities within the linkage. I think that the design must be multi purpose to be sold. Complex yet easy to understand
2b. Climate change is a crucial determinant of sustainable urban designs. We spoke in the beginning weeks of this course about sustainability referring to longevity or "standing the test of time." If we want our cities to be resilient to the changing climate and environment, we have to seriously consider the long-term effects of these changes.
Changing the overall focus of a city-wide comprehensive plan will definitely help enable new designs based on climate change. If resiliency becomes the focus on a city plan, than this will dictate and determine future decisions for the city based on climate change data and understandings. It is important to update policies and master plans to accommodate new information about the overall health and success of a city rather than just let these plans become obsolete.
Week 3 Discussion Response Name Course Instructor Date 1a. Zoning codes have influenced land use planning, and there is a need to change these regulations to achieve growth and development while supporting sustainability goals. Taking into account the demographic changes in cities is necessary to plan for the land use. Zoning codes are a challenge to planners who support improved efficiency and sustainability in the city. Engaging public officials and local communities would likely create a framework to support the land development and considering how land use and densities influence sustainability. It