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PJanuary 21, 2011

Land Use…The Next Green!

When was the last time you saw a family holding hands while out for a stroll down Kirkwood Highway in Wilmington or Lincoln Highway in Exton? Absurd you say? Those roads are made for shopping and employment you say? Well I say hogwash. There…I said it…hogwash. Prior to the 1940’s, walking to the store or to your place of employment was not outlandish. Unfortunately, because of well-intentioned planners and governments, our homes, stores, schools, churches and offices have all been separated, connected only by the car (see me and I’ll tell you about the GI Bill, the Interstate Highways and the Euclidean codes).

urlToday, the green movement is bringing back the concept of the mixed-use community and it is about time. Have you been to Old New Castle, downtown West Chester or Trolley Square? These places saved land, allowed for better water infiltration and lowered carbon emissions. In the plans we are developing for Delaware’s first mixed-use community in decades – Whitehall. Whitehall will save hundreds of acres from development and reduce car travel by 20 Million miles annually. Now that’s green!

Best of all, we are protecting the most valuable species on Earth, the human. With all due respect to the bog turtle and the osprey, I still favor humans the best. When mixed use communities utilize New Castle County’s SmartCode, development must allow for amenities within a five minute walk of your home, must contain retail shopping, employment and civic structures (churches, schools and fire houses), and must be laid out in a way that invites socialization. The result? Humans will have a better habitat, cleaner air, more drinking water and significantly more acorns (money) to save for a rainy day.

Call me and I’ll tell you more about why I’m excited that land use is the next green!

 

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