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Smart Growth Means Intelligently Including Parks, Green Features

How can parks fit into the smart growth movement? Kaid Benfield, director of NRDC’s Smart Growth Program writes two nice posts about what he calls the environmental paradox of smart growth. He notes in his first post:

Environmental impacts will occur with development; to limit them, we must concentrate them, and this can mean increasing them in some places.  This is what I call the environmental paradox of smart growth.  Only if we understand the paradox can we address it.  Only if we address it can we really create better places in which to live, work, and play – and surely that, not just lowering pollution numbers, must be our real goal.

Kaid goes on to describe how parks, stormwater mitigation and other efforts can make smart growth a more complete movement. He uses Ballston, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. as an example of a neighborhood that infilled and increased density and population (by 10,000 people) but didn’t add any green space.

In a second post, examples of “green density” are provided. Anyone who is a smart growth advocate would find these two posts worthwhile. Also, anyone who supports a more pleasant and environmentally friendly public realm, especially those who are skeptical of density, would benefit in seeing these examples of how it can work.

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