Business-as-usual real estate development in California has resulted in crushing traffic, fewer housing options, loss of open space and agricultural land, and significant air pollution, including the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Traffic alone costs Californians hours each year of lost time, frustration, and wasted fuel.
Sustainable development represents the solution. This development is typified by compact, walkable communities located near transit, jobs and services.
Despite the demand for these neighborhoods, however, local land use policies often prevent developers from building them.
This paper presents for the first time a comprehensive blueprint for how policy makers and industry leaders can make sustainable development more widespread and easier to build. It recommends a series of immediate and longer-term actions these leaders must take to remove the sustainable development roadblocks. The most critical of these recommendations is that local governments develop comprehensive neigh- borhood plans for sustainable development. State and federal leaders must support local governments in this effort with financial assistance and regulatory reform.