A Brief History of Your Neighborhood

While some contend that our communities are sculpted by an unfettered free market, there are a variety of programs and policies that underwrite the costs of poorly planned development. "A Brief History of Your Neighborhood" examines a few.
April 23, 2014, 6am PDT | JohnLavey
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It’s easy to forget that our neighborhoods have evolved into the places they are over time. Their design reflects years of decisions, policies, and layers of investment and reinvestment. We may think that the way our communities developed – from the old strip mall to the new subdivision down the road – resulted from an unfettered free market based upon pure consumer demand.

But the real story is quite different. The market has played a role, but it has done so under the influence of many forces. These forces – some small, some large – collectively and dramatically influence the shape of our communities.

“A Brief History of Your Neighborhood,” is an eight part series examining some of these issues, and identifying the key public policies that shape the location and type of development we see in our communities. These policies impact the decisions we make about where to live, shop, and work. Ultimately, they determine the range of choices we have about where we put down roots and how we live our lives.

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Published on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Community Builders
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