Should Communities Encourage, Not Stifle, Mansionization?

As cities across the country consider ways to limit teardowns and large home construction in established neighborhoods, Anthony Flint argues that communities should be flattered by "mansionization" and accommodating to this form of smart growth.
February 1, 2013, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Flint has some contrarian advice for a town just north of Boston considering zoning controls or other measures to prevent "mansionization": "Don’t stand in the way. Be flattered that the market is recognizing your neighborhoods and prime locations. And most important of all, be proud that what’s happening is a form of smart growth."

He cites the potential for energy savings and multigenerational housing as two advantages of the mansionization and teardown phenomenon, but is particularly enthusiastic about the element of location. "Another way to describe the phenomenon is 'infill redevelopment.' Builders are essentially re-using an established parcel in an already developed neighborhood. That’s a far greener step than building a true McMansion out in the cornfields. It’s the essence of smart growth – build in the places already built up, and leave the greenfields of the periphery alone."

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Published on Friday, February 1, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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