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Are You Getting the Change You Want from the Status Quo?

That question may seem like a contradiction, but it couldn't be more pertinent to communities and land use—existing codes and policies generate change by shaping investment.
March 6, 2015, 9am PST | newurban
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Scott Doyon posted a commentary this week on the subject of change and how it often meets with knee-jerk opposition. Doyon argues that we have to accept that we are all responsible for change before we can act to make communities better. 

Recently, I have begun presentations by asking, "Are you getting the change you want from the status quo?" That question may seem like a contradiction, but it couldn't be more pertinent to communities and land use. 

All communities have land use regulations and policies. When you pile them up, they are usually several inches thick for a single community. They are the status quo, and yet they constantly generate change. Zoning and street policies shape the development of buildings, roads, and public spaces. The physical form of our communities—now and in the future—come from those investments.

So here are more questions to consider: Is your community walkable or not? Do major parts of it lack unique character? Is your community failing, lately, to attract talented and educated workers or the employers that hire such people? All these problems could be traced to land use regulations.

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Published on Friday, March 6, 2015 in Better Cities & Towns
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