The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.

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Most folks don't live in 5 story wood-frame stacked condos because they like it, they buy it because it is all they can afford. So before one jumps on the condos/mixed use density bandwagon, remember that in most cases this is what is being built, except for in the priciest areas.

Party-walls and a small yard are acceptable to most people, if not desirable (many do not desire the upkeep of a large yard) Planners can contain "sprawl" (whatever that means) quite well enough within the bounds of mixed use townhouse level density. Look at Old Town, or Adams Morgan, mostly townhouses. But the key word is contain and mold the sprawl into strings of pearls, not eliminate. Distribute the villages, connect them with reasonable choices of transit (car, bus, bike etc) but make them villages.

However, in order to achieve a higher percentage of townhouse level density, there needs to be some give on the containment of development. Not a lot, just some. If the region is to expect 2 or 3 million more people over the next 20 years, and only 200K of them will be housed inside the beltway...well, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to realize that most of the new growth (perhaps 90%) will be in Loudoun, PWC, PG, Howard, Anne Arundel, etc counties.

by stevek_fairfax on Dec 20, 2012 11:03 pm • linkreport

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