Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cities adding population need to get ahead of the changes through planning

So says a Yale University professor, as reported by the New Haven Register in "Urban areas poised for growth spurt; Yale researcher says planning needs to start now."  From the article:

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Yale’s Karen Seto and other researchers predict that by 2030, urban areas around the world will expand by more than 463,000 square miles.

They say it’s the equivalent of adding 20,000 football fields of urban space every day for the first 30 years of the 21st century.

“The main message here is that there is this major urban transition that’s happening,” said Seto, an associate professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and lead author of the study.

“People are moving into cities around the world. Those people are going to need housing, shopping, transportation systems. It will have an impact on everyone, including people in New Haven.”  ...

In North America, the study predicts urban land cover to nearly double — by 96,000 square miles.  “I’m not talking about New York or Washington, D.C.,” Seto says. “I’m talking about New Haven and Branford and Hamden.  “We’re going to urbanize in a big way. I hope this can be a wake-up call for Americans, that we need to become leaders in how we go about it.” 

Note that I make a similar point in the line:

Chance favors the prepared city.

It's a riff on the line from Pasteur, that "chance favors the prepared mind."  (See the old blog entries "How will Obama relate to the District?" and ""Chance" continues to favor the prepared road builders.")

In short, you need to be prepared for opportunity (chance).

Although I have also made the same point ("Lessons from Walmart's foray into Washington, DC") about big box chains now wanting to enter the cities, that cities need to have the right planning policies and regulations in place before the chains come knocking, not after, when it's too late.  Also see "Hundreds march, protest against Walmart" from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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