Urban/Suburban, Both Smart Growth

In this analysis of the future growth patterns in our region in the Sacramento Bee, the tendency to dismiss the value of suburban development in favor of urban in-fill is misplaced.

Both are smart growth patterns, smart for different people at different times in their lives, and both growth paths are good for our region.

Sprawling suburbs with yards and open space are where most people want to live, especially families with children, and the longevity of the love for suburban living has been posted on several times, one is here.

Compact inner cities are very desirable for many young people and many retirees, and the charm and beauty of Sacramento is that we have ample room to grow in both areas, and in this previous post two urban growth models are examined.

I spent many of my younger years living in the midtown and downtown areas, often without a car, and enjoyed it very much.

As I became older, married and had children, the move to the suburbs was a natural, and we plan to remain here, close to the Parkway, for the rest of our lives.

The Parkway is central to both of these patterns as it winds its way through the suburbs and downtowns of its adjacent cities, offering a wonderful recreational and exploratory sanctuary close by for all.

An excerpt.

“Some day this housing crash will end. Judging from history, Sacramento’s ranks of developers will snap right back into growth mode – building a fresh wave of new homes.

“The big question: Will this new wave of growth create a more urban, compact Sacramento, as many community activists and politicians hope? Or will it follow the time-tested pattern of past booms in the late 1970s, the second half of the 1980s and the first half of this decade, pushing ever-larger homes farther into farmland?

“Perhaps it’s easiest to expect more of the same. Suburban development has for decades been Sacramento’s main growth industry, aside from state government.

“During this decade’s housing boom, builders constructed 156,000 homes, condos and apartments in the Sacramento region – largely on empty land in suburban cities. Much of this last wave of housing on former farmland has proved especially vulnerable to shredded values and foreclosures – a fate far less common in established neighborhoods closer to jobs.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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