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Planned communities may lead fight against sprawl

Land-use study suggests design features that aim to accommodate population growth

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Planned communities can play a key role in fostering more efficient growth in outlying areas through development that uses less land to accommodate population growth, according to a new policy paper from the Urban Land Institute. "Green Development Without Sprawl: The Role of Planned Communities" focuses on the benefits well-designed planned communities can provide over typical subdivision developments, including: 1) more conservation of open space; 2) more preservation of environmental attributes; 3) more preservation of the community's character and heritage; 4) more opportunities for a variety of housing types and price ranges; 5) a wider mix of uses, including office, shopping and recreational space, which can help reduce driving time on major roads; and 6) a greater overall sense of community among the residents. The analysis, authored by Jim Heid, president and founder of UrbanGreen LLC in San Francisco, was based on a greenfield development policy forum sponsored by ULI last...