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.