Urban Redevelopment Booming
Gabriel Nelson of Greenwire reported last week on an EPA study suggesting that redevelopment in the urban core continues steadily, while development in the suburbs has stalled. Of course, the booming redevelopment movement has been strongest in areas with strict regional land-use policies – but the pattern is also evident in areas known for sprawl, like Chicago and Los Angeles.
The report states:
This acceleration of residential construction in urban neighborhoods reflects a fundamental shift in the real estate market. The market fundamentals are shifting toward redevelopment even in the absence of formal policies and programs at the regional level.
Having the full support of the White House administration for transit-oriented, dense urban development has helped, but Nelson suggests that the market was already heading in this direction (with the government support one step ahead). It seems that more and more people are inclined to live in urban areas (partly for improved quality of life that comes from not being stuck in a car all the time, and partly for environmental concerns).
Is smart growth taking hold in U.S. cities, as the report suggests?