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Learning to Love NIMBYs

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Kaid Benfield, staffer at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC], takes a penetrating look at Smart Growth devotees' disdain for NIMBYs. Benfield's case, in a nutshell, is that if average density is really what matters to urbanists, there should be more accommodations to scale and sense of place in the development process. A city can accomplish desired densities in a given area through a mix of housing types: 'towers in a park' often deliver the same overall density as compact rowhouses and/or low rises. In sum, given a large enough development site and a democratic approval process, much can be done to appease the neighbors. [NRDC via Atlantic Cities, photo: Lakeshore East]