Monday, January 4, 2010

Bumper Bowling

Many of the most successful urban policies act as railings to prevent the ball from falling into the gutter. They are generally not overly intrusive but rather offer guidance for the inevitable adaptive processes that are part of all cities.

There are other ways to not subsidize cannibalistic and insustainable edge development than Oregon's statewide Urban Growth Boundaries for each of their incorporated cities, but in researching everything Portland has done over the last fifty years policy-wise to stimulate in-town development such as the Pearl District, I came across this factoid:
In 1960 the density of metropolitan Portland was 3,412 people per square mile and the density of metropolitan Atlanta was 3,122 people per square mile. In 1990 the density of the Oregon part of the Portland metro area rose to 3,734 people/square mile while Atlanta's had dropped to 1,898 per square. In 1994, the Oregon portion of the Portland metropolitan area reached a density of 3,885 people per square mile.

If the Atlanta metropolitan region had been able to grow during the 1980s, as efficiently as the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area has been able to grow in the early 1990s, Georgia would have saved 93,000 acres of rural land - farm land, pine forests and rural homesites.