Friday, July 23, 2010

An Interesting Analysis Related to Land Use and Schools...

Architect and planner Steve Mouzon--a strong advocate of sustainable development on the lot, block, and community scale--recently posted a very informative comparison of three elementary school sites in Alabama and how land use regulations affected them:

Let’s look at the difference between the way we used to build schools, the normal way we build schools today, and a better way of building schools today. All three schools shown here are elementary schools, and are located in the state of Alabama so that it’s close to an “apples and apples” comparison. Satellite views of the schools are shown at the same scales for equal comparisons. I’ve darkened the land outside the property lines of the school to make the school property obvious.

As you can read in the article, the minimum acreage requirements for school sites can be ridiculously large in many states. The damage that oversized school sites cause to a pedestrian scale development can be huge (literally).

Steve's analysis does a succinct and reasoned job of explaining the different options.

--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.

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