Why Is Sustainable Urbanism Illegal?

Writing for Alternet, Sara Robinson reports on the Sightline Institute's efforts to compile a list of what she calls "zombie laws" that prevent people from living sustainably.

According to Robinson, the Seattle based Sightline Institute has compiled a list of nine outdated city ordinances and homeowners' association policies that prevent people from living more sustainably. The current list, which Sightline is looking to expand, includes bans on such innocuous sounding offenses such as hanging clotheslines, strollers on buses, couchsurfing, and person-to-person car sharing.

Here are some more that Robinson discovered:

"Granny flats in suburban houses: City and county governments are still clinging to the same 1950s ordinances that created suburban sprawl in the first place. If we want to update our suburban infrastructure, simply letting people build infill housing that raises density is the first and most obvious step to take."

"Food cart regulations: Food carts and trucks are a cardinal sign of healthy urbanism. [Yet nearby restaurant owners often] take their concerns to City Hall, where they get ordinances passed that stop the food trucks and carts in their tracks."

Full Story: Making Sustainability Legal: 9 Zombie Laws That Keep Cities From Going Green


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