A (Short) Cautionary Tale

RIo VistaSomewhere there is a home builder who is salivating at this prospect, a banker looking to provide financing, a legislator eager to build new schools and roads in the name of progress, and a realtor who can’t wait to market this as the next “great address” for up-and-comers.

We can do better. In fact, we must.

  • Dan G.


    All good points and all part of the solution. Thanks.

  • Dan G.


    You are correct. Andres Duany stated last week at the CNU conference that, “the only true test of urbanism is will it allow you to build Charleston.” True.

  • We’ve built our communities for vehicle traffic, not human traffic. We’ve seen this type of housing development all over the State of Michigan for the past 60+ years as we have encroached from urban to suburban to rural areas of our State. We need new policies that would create a disincentive from allowing this time of building to continue. Urban green belts is one answer. Joint city/township master planning for a region instead of a specific community that addresses urban sprawl in a comprehensive and efficient manner. Allowing for high density developments with mixed use that creates a walkable, bike able, mass transit community over those centered on just moving around in vehicles.

  • But Dan, Michigan laws, taxation and mindset are all geared towards promoting and paying for exactly what is in your picture. There is little economic incentive to do anything else and at least a perceived incentive of low initial costs and greater tax base to keep building in corn fields. Yes we can do better and in fact we must, but it has to start at both the top and bottom, Lansing and small community.