By Dan Shapley
Communities In Red-Hot Markets Have Breathing Room To Plan
The housing boom that erupted over the past five years is deflating, according to the latest data. That means communities that felt shanghaied by rapid population growth and suburban sprawl have time to catch their breath, step back, and plan for the next wave. So-called "smartgrowth" strategies, which aim to encourage development in existing population centers like cities and villages are the goal here -- the more people living near their workplaces and public transportation, and the fewer living in suburbs, means more open space for wildlife, farms and drinking water protection. Given projections for population growth, the continued hunger for suburban living and the usual fluctuations of the housing market, this will most likely be a temporary lull in building. Given the movement toward a low-carbon economy, communities would be wise to plan now for the communities of the future.