• Sprawl and Smart Growth in Selected Northwest Cities

    Sightline Institute’s reports on sprawl and smart growth in several Northwest cities analyze how each city did at curbing sprawl and developing efficiently, starting with the period of the 1990s.
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  • Sprawl and Smart Growth in Greater Vancouver, BC

    Vancouver, BC’s smart-growth leadership has slipped in recent years. This time-lapse map shows the growing sprawl.
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  • Sprawl Killing Puget Sound

    Big three-day series in the Seattle Times on Puget Sound launches today. Day one is great. If you’re time-pressed, here it is, shorter: Sprawl is the real killer of the sound. Cities—complete, compact communities—are the solution. Fortuitously, that’s exactly what Cascadia needs for jobs, health, energy independence, and climate security too.  
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  • Gas Prices Up, Sprawl Down

    Years ago, I heard from an economist friend about research showing that urban rents rose with oil prices in the 1970s, while suburban ones fell. Ultimately, land values reflect the shifts in the values of many things. So rising fuel prices would be expected to have the effect of making fuel-guzzling neighborhoods less desirable and fuel-sipping ones more desirable. We’re starting to see that pattern now. Today’s top news story...
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  • Sprawl Is Hot

    UPDATE 6/13/07:John Norquist gets the issue exactly right in a recent-ish op-ed. Here’s the crux: In the next 30 years, our country will build 70 million new dwellings somewhere. With urban life emerging as a market favorite, it’s looking more as if building a good portion of them in livable, walkable traditional neighborhoods is one of the most convenient – and effective – remedies for the inconvenient truth. In some...
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  • Sprawl and Health Connections

    Emerging research is discovering that the design and layout of your neighborhood can affect your health. People who live in low-density, sprawling residential areas–where houses are far from stores and jobs–tend to drive more, and walk less, than people who live in more compact neighborhoods with a mixture of stores, services, and homes.
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  • The Research: Studies on Health and Sprawl

    Sources of information about how community design and traffic affect health.
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  • Sprawl of Boise

    In NEW’s seven-city study of Northwest cities and sprawl—part of our Cascadia Scorecard project—Boise ranked worst. What’s heartening is that many Boise community leaders, members of the media, and advocates in Idaho are bent on doing something about it. An Idaho Statesman editorial this weekend—which cited our energy and sprawl research extensively—laments the city’s smart-growth record and notes the strong connection between Idaho’s sprawl and energy habits. (Idaho also consumes...
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  • Sprawl, Health, Place: Notes from Buckley, WA

    I recently attended a conference in Seattle for promoting physical activity in urban environments. Alliances between the public health and planning communities are moving out of academia and are being forged on the ground. And it was encouraging to see that what we’re trying to do in my small town in Washington with respect to walkability is what you’re supposed to be doing.  But walkability by itself is a tough...
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  • Is Sprawl Spendy?

    This is less of a big deal than I had thought at first, but it’s still worth noting: new research (full pdf here) suggests that sprawl may be linked to higher home prices. The authors looked at housing prices in 452 urban areas across the US, along with measures of a couple dozen factors that can influence housing prices—including urban form, but also education levels, weather, demographics, recent population influx,...
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