Since ancient times, the most
attractive living environments have been cities and towns which had parks, residences and
commerce mixed together.
In 1986, Laura moved to the city. She meets neighbors
at the corner market, on the sidewalk, and at the park down the street. She sees great
films at the nearby theater and attends the symphony and museums. She meets her friends at
one of the 700 restaurants within walking distance. Her neighborhood is diverse and
With a food market -- even a farmer's market, the
hardware store, and a video rental all around the corner, she walks almost everywhere.
Walking is her everyday exercise.
Using buses, trains, and bike routes, she gets everywhere else she needs
to go. She got rid of her car, her car payments and repairs, and stress.
Urban living conserves the earth's resources -- energy, materials, land,
habitat -- and reduces pollution and global warming. Urban development saves taxpayers
money by using already existing water, sewage, energy and road infrastructure. The Sierra
Club and Urban Ecology advocate for compact, mixed-use, transit- and pedestrian-oriented
Five families live in this two-acre area. Markets and restaurants are
isolated in distant shopping centers -- jobs are even farther away.
Two acres can also house 50 families in roomy, private apartments around a
common play space. There are markets and offices in the buildings facing the street.
People can walk to parks, restaurants and jobs.
Next page: The Cost of Sprawl
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