A new report calls on planners in the metropolitan Boston area to significantly alter housing development patterns to avoid a severe loss of land and natural resources by 2030.
"'MetroFuture,' a report by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, forecasts significant problems over the next two decades if community leaders fail to dramatically change residential development patterns."
"The study urges communities to concentrate growth around urban and town centers and transportation hubs, a policy known as smart growth. It also calls for smaller houses and clustered development to preserve open space."
"Without these changes, sprawl threatens the quality of life for most people in the region, according to the report, which predicts that by the year 2030:"
"Twelve communities in the area, all between Amesbury and Danvers, would suffer water shortages. However, only four would have a shortage if smart-growth polices were adopted."
"More than 19,000 acres of open space will be lost in the region."
"An estimated 5,100 new housing units would be scattered across what is now mostly open space."