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  Concepts related to Innovative Communities

Livable Communities

An American originated concept for reshaping neighborhoods and business areas to meet changing market demands, allowing cities to maintain their own health and desirability. In the process, they reduce some of their regions' pressure for outward expansion, potentially retaining open space or agriculture, reducing commutes and regional costs for infrastructure and public services. The 21st century cities that result may be sustainable in two senses: as desirable places to live and as communities that use proportionately fewer non-renewable resources.

As these cities continue to accommodate more residents, they are balancing the competing demands of creating new development and maintaining or reinvesting in existing neighborhoods and business areas that may be 20 to 40 years old. For many of these cities, this balance is expressed in neighborhood-oriented programs, an emphasis on parks and green spaces that link communities together and reinvestment in downtowns and brownfields. Several, including Houston and Columbus in the United States, have innovative neighborhood planning and investment programs. These major cities of the postwar era suggest the strategies that will create a livable and sustainable city for the 21st century as well as the challenges a livable city must address.

  • Provide a "product" that responds to the demands of individual residents and potential future residents.
  • Expect to use partnerships and collaborations to solve problems.
  • Continually reinvest to transform the "existing" parts of the community to meet changing business and residential needs.
  • Provide alternatives so residents have more choice in the ways they travel, communicate and access services and amenities.
  • Recognize and accommodate the interests of a diverse population, so this diversity is a strength and not a source of conflict.

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