Smart Growth in Action: The Long View
The decisions that determine how a community grows are the result of long evening meetings by volunteer planning commission members and new standards put together by the legislature. Piece by piece, the landscape changes – and if we do our job right, the change is for the better.
The economic stimulus package currently being honed in Washington can provide the opportunity to expand the possibilities for our communities. We can use these funds to both stimulate our economy and make infrastructure decisions that have the potential to be as sweeping, for our nation and our state, as was the construction of the interstate highway system.
Ideally, our future infrastructure will help people with limited transportation options reach the services they need, encourage development within our town and city centers, and give travelers alternatives for both long and short trips. We suggest a Vermont that has:
- Public water and sewer in villages and small cities, as well as regional stormwater systems, to encourage compact development
- Roads that accommodate all travelers – whether in cars, on bikes, or on foot
- Expanded commuter options for outlying areas as well as our cities, and
- Public transportation that is consolidated statewide.
Our vision for Vermont will complete the picture started with the automobile. The challenge will be to go beyond investing in the easy and obvious and to find the solutions that will make this a picture that reflects our values.