Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ziegler on Sustainable Metropolitan Development

Edward H. Ziegler (Denver) sent along his most recent paper, The Case for Megapolitan Growth Management in the 21st Century:  Regional Urban Planning and Sustainable Development in the United States (Download ziegler_megapolitan.pdf).  Here's the abstract:

This article provides an analysis of urban planning issues in the United States related to automobile-dependent regional sprawl and discusses the need for a metropolitan sustainable development governing framework for growth management in the twenty-first century. The paper discusses how unsustainable regional sprawl is now legally required throughout most  metropolitan areas of the United States as a result of local zoning, growth management, and parking programs. The paper examines the potential benefits of creating a metropolitan governing framework to identify and regulate “growth areas” in a region and how linking these areas to regional transit planning is necessary to achieve the development of higher-density, mixed use, and intensive urban core job/housing areas where people could live, work, shop, and play without the use of the automobile. The paper further discusses some related lessons from Europe and discusses potential legal and political issues and institutional arrangements related to creating this type of regional sustainable development framework for urban planning in the United States.

Ben Barros

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I'd be interested to see if the author discusses related, contentious issues such as methods to alleviate the urban sprawl and associated traffic problems. I'm thinking specifically about efforts to reduce massive traffic congestion by constructing new routes. Ok, what I'm really beating around the bush here is the so-called ICC ("Inter County Connector")...something known to you who live in the Baltimore/Washington area. There are currently only 3 main routes North-South between Balt/DC: Rt. 95 (the biggy), Rt. 295 ("Baltimore Washington Parkway--smaller, sometimes quicker, but only 2 lanes and madness inducing beginning at the Cheverly exit), and the venerable Rt. 1 (the local roads). The traffic volume and associated off-the-scale congestion has grown out of control over the years. Many times the ICC had been proposed as a solution (by the way, this route would basically create an East/West path north of and circumventing the Washington Beltway). Yet it has been a political dead end year after year, for a variety of reasons. One of those is resistance from the suburbanites who don't want the horrors of this traffic coming into their once quiet surroundings.

However, even these residents agree that a solution is needed to overcome the almost inconceivably bad traffic troubles extant. And so NIMBY once again pops up into the situation.

What to do?

Posted by: sam gompers | Nov 24, 2008 9:37:16 AM

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