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Urban Community Partnership Presentation - Membership Lunch

The Urban Community Partnership has been reviewing several case studies that are informing their work in Windsor and Santa Rosa.

Presentation: Our cities are in financial trouble. Insolvency looms at many city halls. Our land use pattern is a primary reason. But an alternative pattern exists, both rooted in history and necessary for the future.

  • Prior to 1950, cities grew incrementally and were pedestrian oriented. The result, although flawed on some levels, was a dense, relatively efficient land-use pattern that had the additional benefit of being affordable.
  •  The introduction of the car allowed the land uses to spread out. Combined with an overblown can-do attitude from winning World War II, we sprawled, adding infrastructure at a far greater rate than we added population or economic activity. The true cost of this expansion, including maintenance and replacement was not factored in.
  • The public has been unable/unwilling to pay the many costs of the maintaining the expansive land-use pattern. After decades of deferred maintenance and other forms of borrowing from the future, we’re running short of options and the municipal ledgers are looking bleak.

Conclusion: It is essential to look back to history for examples of land-use patterns that will be financially sustainable. We have the duty to combine the best land-use ideas uncovered by earlier generations with the best technology of today to build financial sustainable towns that we can pass along to the next generation. Development along the SMART alignment is only one good idea of many.

Lunch sponsored by Wright Contracting

Cost:  Free to AIA Members | $20 to non-members

RSVP: exec@aiare.org


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