- Regional low-carbon strategies impact land use planning    click here to open paper content320 kb
by    Garewal, Rameeta | garewal_r@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
While low-carbon cities gain environmental appeal, the debate between suburban and urban living and, new and old developments gets stronger. Is there a combination of the two lifestyles that can achieve environmental as well as economic advantage?
“Air quality, traffic congestion, and carbon know no artificial boundaries”.
Smart growth, new urbanism and traditional neighborhoods have dominated conversations in cutting-edge planning communities for sometime now. New generations are convinced with the idea that living in dense cities, where an internet café, an organic grocery store and even night clubs are within walking distance, is a lifestyle statement. At the same time the balance between such an urban lifestyle and the ‘American Dream’, defined by a large lot, single family house with large backyards, continues to be strained and they become two opposing ideas instead of becoming closely integrated halves of the same society.

California is now at the brink of a new paradigm, with the planning community awaiting the formation of a new society. AB32 and SB375 are rapidly transforming a scientific thought into physical form, one that will define how the urban and suburban fabric will change in the following decades. While AB32 focuses on reducing ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ SB375 provides the first link to land use and transportation. The policies also interconnect sustainable development to federal transportation funding and create a process where each region is involved in determining emission reduction targets.

Prior to the era of SB375 and low-carbon mandates, sustainable development had the face of ‘hip’ terms including new-urbanism, traditional neighborhoods, mixed-use centers and the like. Will new land policies for low-carbon cities successfully make such principles the norm instead of the exception? Can SB375 or other such policies create a balance between urban and the suburban living or will it have to be a choice? The paper discusses the parallels between ‘smart growth’ and planning as a result of SB375 and, the economic advantages to the public/private sectors as well as the applicability on old vs new development. It also examines 2009 reduction targets and how that will translate into land use & development in the US.
GHG reductions, landuse planning, SB375
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