Smart Growth Certification

I originally posted this to the Hartford Courant’s website as a comment on this article: courant.com | Calling It `Smart Growth’ Doesn’t Make It So

“Smart Growth“  certification standards should include…

• preservation of open space

• connections to existing community spaces

• multi-use development (residential & commercial space)

• multi-story density

• Pedestrian spaces separated from vehicular traffic

• public squares or plazas anchored with restaurants or cafés on the corners.

• monuments or fountains at the centers of public squares

• spaces left in the plan for community-based structures (church, town hall, social center)

• significant public-center greenery (trees not shrubs, gardens not much)

• limited parking – many small parking areas, not large fields

• remedial wetlands where needed to compensate for floodwaters and runoff.

• high density around public centers, medium density on main thoroughfares, quiet backs

• a 15-minute walk or 5-minute bike ride to a planned elementary school site from each house.

• direct sunlight in each apartment, house or work environment every day winter or summer.

• mix of commerical activities: restaurants, book stores, hair salons, antiques, furniture, clothes, food, cafés, fix-it shops, professional services.

• community gardening areas preserved as an essential part of the space.

Christopher Alexander laid out a good deal of this in his book, A PATTERN LANGUAGE, in the 1970s.  Connecticut should take a second look at tihs.

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