Sunday, December 26, 2010

Do cities matter?

Kaid Benfield insists that cities may not matter as much as we think they do given regional and neighborhood scales, but that neighborhoods provide a quality regional dynamics tend to obfuscate:
If the region represents the economic scale of real cities, the neighborhood represents the human scale.

Neighborhoods are also the scale at which land development takes place, where new buildings and facilities are proposed, debated, and constructed.  They are where development decisions actually occur, and where we must pay attention if we want to have influence.  In fact, one of the best ways to reduce regional emissions is to revitalize older neighborhoods, because their relatively central locations reduce transportation emissions and they require little if any increase in runoff-causing impervious surface.

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