Monday, July 26, 2010

SPAWLANTA: Where to Start to Understand Smart Growth

Earlier this month we discussed the interesting case of Atlanta when it comes to sprawl and smart growth. The city’s metro area seems to show a paradox in housing demand: it has experienced a surge of interest in its compact urban areas recently, while also expanding to showcase perhaps the most sprawling suburban landscape in the nation; the average Atlantan travels 66 miles a day to get to and from work.

Last month, NHC and NAR hosted a forum in Atlanta that discussed these problems, as unchecked sprawl continues to increase the “cost of place” (the combined cost of housing, utilities, and transportation) for working families in Atlanta and other major cities.

American Makeover has picked up on these issues, creating a series of six short documentaries in various US cities where sprawl has threatened the livability, sustainability and quality of life for American families. In Atlanta, the filmmakers chose a compelling example to kick off the “new urbanism” series.

The video provides a nice overview of the effects of sprawl – including ramifications for public health, the environment, community engagement, and overall wellbeing – and why Americans should start telling their local and national representatives to get behind smart growth ideas.

Image: What breakfast time looks like in Atlanta, via

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