Having you Cake and Eating It Too: How Building a Great City can Best Preserve out Natural Areas
Urban planning can aid habitat preservation directly in a number of ways: zoning, impact fees, transfer of development rights, etc. But building a better city itself might be the most effective conservation planning tool available. I present recently developed data that demonstrates how compact development results in much lower pollutant loads than traditional diffuse development on a watershed scale, even though loads on a per acre basis may be much worse. I then explore models of compact development that might work here, as well as prospects for channeling development into more compact forms in the greater Houston area. Lastly, I examine how natural resource organizations might impact policy in this arena.