Monday, March 29, 2010
Here's the latest press release from EPA's Smart Growth program
shows a continuing shift in development toward urban neighborhoods in
the United States, despite a slow a real estate market.
This trend, described in EPA’s 2010 report, “Residential Construction
Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions,” shows that redevelopment
continues in many urban neighborhoods. Taking advantage of opportunities
to reuse land and to redevelop underused sites is a key smart growth
strategy. It helps communities protect natural lands from being
developed, strengthens the local economy, and puts new homes, stores,
and jobs within easy reach of surrounding neighborhoods.
The data show that, compared to the early 1990s, the share of
construction in urban neighborhoods was up 28 percent in mid-sized
metropolitan regions that have promoted redevelopment of underused sites
and development around transit, such as Portland, Ore; Denver, Colo.;
and Sacramento, Calif. For example, in 2008 Portland issued 38 percent
of all the building permits within its region, compared to an average of
9 percent in the early 1990s; Denver accounted for 32 percent, up from 5
percent; and Sacramento accounted for 27 percent, up from 9 percent.
The latest report shows that an even stronger trend toward urban
redevelopment in the largest metropolitan regions continued in 2008. New
York City accounted for 63 percent of the building permits issued within
its region. By comparison, the city averaged about 15 percent of
regional building permits during the early 1990s. Similarly, Chicago now
accounts for 45 percent of the building permits within its region, up
from just 7 percent in the early 1990s.
The original report, issued in Feb. 2009, examined building trends in
the 50 largest metropolitan areas from 1990 to 2007. The update
incorporates data for 2008, which included several months of national
More information on the report:
More information on EPA Smart Growth program:
Infill development is really great - unless is results in a giant dirt pile in your in-town neighborhood.
Jamie Baker Roskie