9-line access access management access point accessibility ADA air quality alignment amenity antiplanner atlanta BART benchmark BID bike Blogs boston branded bus corridors brookings brt bus Bus Rapid Transit BYU capacity car pool car pool lane cars central link Centrality certification commuter rail condo congestion congestion pricing connections consistency coverage crossings CRT cycling DART dedicated dedicated right of way density denver depreciation developers development economics efficiency Envision Utah equity eugene exclusive extension FAQ favela Federal Funding Flex Bus florida free fare zone freeways frequent network frontrunner frontunner Gallivan garden cities gas prices geotagging goat Google grade-separation Granary District growth headway heavy rail hedonic High Speed Rail history housing housing affordability housing bubble housing prices HOV income infill innovative intersections intensity ITS junk science LA land use Land Value Economics LEED legacy city light rail linear park location LRT lyft M/ART malls mapping maps metrics metro MetroRail missoula mixed mixed traffic mixed-traffic mobile mode choice Mode Share multi-family MXD neighborhood networks news NIMBY office online op-ed open letter Operations parking parking meters peak travel pedestrian environment phasing Photomorphing planning Portland property property values Provo proximity quality_transit rail railvolution rant rapid rapid transit RDA real estate redevelopment reliability research retail Ridership ridesharing right of way roadway network ROW salt lake city san diego schedule schedule span seattle separated service branding shuttle silver line single family SLC SLC transit master plan slums smartphone snow sprawl standing stop spacing streetcar streetscape streetscaping subdivision Sugarhouse Sugarhouse Streetcar Tacoma taxi technology tenure termini time-separation TOD townhouse traffic signal tram transit transit agency transit networks transit oriented development Transit Planning transponder transportation travel time TRAX trip planning trolley tunnel uber university of utah urban design urban land UTA UTA 2 Go Trip Planner utah Utah County Utah Transit Authority value vmt walking distance web welfare transit Westside Connector WFRC wheelchairs zoning

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sustainable Development

In a class on sustainable development for real estate majors. "How do we do sustainable development?" First, we must get to the root of "What is sustainable?" (Awkwardly, growth is the opposite of sustainability, and America has a political ideology *built* on growth, and the promise of future growth).  I'm leery of the question "What is sustainable", because 'steady state sustainability' is a global issue, while development is a local issue.

'Using less' is not a theme that is going to resound with most Utahns--Envision Utah has gained ground beating the drum of 'efficiency', and promoting a sense of intergenerational sustainability ("Our children and grandchildren").

I think that their is a general understanding that to be MORE sustainable, we need to make better use of our resources. What that specifically MEANS is a very big question. It's a little confusing because it's not just a matter of traditional environmentalism--that the earth is worth saving on it's own merits--but that 'green' actions are a matter of enlightened self-interest (and inter-generational self interest).

So, what are we going to run out of?
Land? Water? Air? Roads?

No shortage of land in Utah. Not for development, not for open space. And even if we did pave it, we'd still have the National Parks/Forests/Monuments nearby. Water? Not yet. Water is funny. Looking at multi-century trends, Utah is very wet right now. Looking at the past five decades, we're not doing too badly. We have a couple of bad years where the reservoirs start to run dry, then we have a couple of good years and they fill up. Air? We're not running out of air, but we are running out of clean air. Living in a valley, most Utahns suffer when inversions trap cold, dirty air between the mountains under some warm air, so that is something that is present. Roads...we can always build more roads. And I think this is where Envision Utah does well. They start to stick a price tag on the COST of just 'build more'.