The Challenges of Sustaining Smart Growth Over Time

In the late '90s a trio of North Carolina suburbs tried to ditch their suburban past with a new, much lauded Smart Growth planning effort that revised the way they used their land. The success of the celebrated developments didn't last long.

"It warmed the hearts of planners. It drew national attention and awards and, after a couple of New Urbanist neighborhoods were built, busloads of visiting Smart Growth disciples. Writers, including yours truly, ladled on praise. In 1996 I wrote an editorial calling the new ordinances in Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson, N.C., 'a remarkable exercise in local and regional planning' and 'a remarkable vision.'

But as Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys sang decades before, 'Time changes everything.'"

Mary Newsom discusses the challenges of sustaining these sorts of planning-based efforts to rethink cities.

Full Story: Sustaining Sustainability: It Ain’t Always Easy

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