A Nice Place to Live

Creating Communities, Fighting Sprawl

Published: 1999

Download the Moderator's Guide

Almost no matter where Americans live, their communities are under enormous stress. Cities are struggling to survive with fewer middle-class residents, older suburbs suffer from traffic congestion and creeping blight, and rural communities are often overwhelmed with explosive growth of new homes and malls. How can we strengthen communities facing such severe problems?

Approach 1:Fulfill the Suburban American Dream
Most Americans enjoy living in the suburbs but are frustrated by inadequate control over their community's future. We need to guide growth efficiently and in keeping with the interests of existing communities.

Approach 2: Strengthen Cities, Stop Sprawl at Its Source
With their rich democratic mix of peoples and opportunities, cities hold a strong appeal for Americans. But when public services and schools decline, families leave, contributing to suburban sprawl.

Approach 3: Free Americans to Choose Lifestyles
Americans, by tradition, are pioneers. As needs or interests change, people move to the city, suburb, or country. But intrusive public plans and rules limit freedom and promote unappealing aspects of sprawl.

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