Small towns and smart growth

(image: a small town near Paris, via Microsoft Virtual Earth)

Till now, it seemed that small towns were doomed to be the victims of urban sprawl: the only future waiting for them was made of single-family houses, shopping malls, office parks and highways.

Even when bigger towns started to develop their downtown, smaller cities thought that this was not their business, because there were not enough amenities to justify a mixed use, walkable development.

But things are changing. Even a small town can have its part of smart growth. Let’s just stop thinking about it as a closed entity and let’s think about it as an element of a bigger system…  an office park, a shopping mall, a residential development and a transit station,  all concentrated in a single entity. Then, the small&smart town can advertise itself like any other office park or shopping mall (some parking and a big billboard sign)… and it’s done!

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