Curing Sprawl in Lansing

Like many American cities, Lansing, Michigan, has been afflicted with sprawl since the end of World War II. Locals have identified the culprit: separate-use zoning.
November 30, 2009, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"For now, we are stuck with this environment. Single zone development is misguided, though popular, and needs to be replaced immediately with a return to traditional neighborhoods where one can live, work and shop all within a five-minute walk.

Lansing is in an excellent position to cast off the separate-use mentality of the last half-century. The city has piqued the interest of developers - some of whom helped build sprawl - to start looking at the city as a place to build up rather than abandon. Lansing is embarking on its first meaningful master plan revision since 1958 (coincidentally, around the time that cities started to be destroyed). And the City Council, spurred by a large group of committed citizens, recently passed a "complete streets" ordinance, which could help calm some of our more dangerous thoroughfares for walkers and bikers (and save room for the precious cars)."

This article offers ideas for updating the city's zoning rules and development patterns to move away from sprawl.

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Published on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 in Lansing City Pulse
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