After the storm, a revised focus shifted a bit from enhancing cities through Smart Growth principles to rebuilding and reestablishing fundamental infrastructure and getting the needs of affected communities met. However the elements that make up Smart Growth were clearly integrated into this discussion and may have increased in importance as part of the message. Most communities around the country are striving to incorporate, to varying degrees, Smart Growth principals given the need to enhance efficiencies and quality of life. These concepts are increasingly desirable due to the requirements for fiscal efficiencies in towns and cities as well as demands and trends of the current demographic drivers.
• a focus on walkable, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods, downtowns and districts
• encouraging mixed-use land development
• creating efficient use of existing infrastructure
• establishing compact building design principles
• creating communities with a strong sense of place
• identifying and protecting environmentally sensitive areas
• planning for the incorporation of multiple transportation choices
• focusing on strengthening existing communities
Mark Nickita, AIA, CNU, APA, BSArch, BArch, MArch is an architect, urbanist, retail entrepreneur, developer, educator, elected municipal leader and President of Archive DS in Detroit and Toronto. Mark is the Mayor of Birmingham, Michigan and is co-owner of retail establishments in Downtown Detroit, including the Pure Detroit Stores, The Rowland Cafe and Stella International Cafes.