Template for a Toolkit: Community Growth Options for Peripheral Communities.
The default form for most new development in the United States is suburban, with single-family homes predominating. After more than seven decades of suburban development, this model is embedded in the daily lives and imaginations of the population. Therefore, fostering support for alternative models remains challenging. Proposals for higher density, mixed-use, and compact neighborhoods are often met with oppositionﾗespecially in peripheral communities on the outskirts of developing metropolitan areasﾗdespite their potential to reduce many of the costs of development and meet the growing interests of many stakeholders. Recent market downturns, however, have provided the opportunity for re-envisioning urban growth. The study reported in this article sought to understand housing dynamics on the periphery of metropolitan areas and develop tools to help communities manage change and envision sustainable futures. The analysis focused on two cities in Dakota County, Rosemount and Farmington, to understand how well recent growth outcomes in these cities met the needs of existing populations. The authors suggest a template for a community growth toolkit to help policy makers and community members in these and other communities envision possible alternative development trajectories. The toolkit template includes two approaches for envisioning sustainable development: creating alternative long-term comprehensive land-use maps using geographic information systems (GIS), and a staged approach for educating and interacting with community members to build support for plans that include more walkable, livable, and affordable communities.
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