Our landscape has been shaped by historical forces, such as the 1967 Urban Rural Demarcation Line (aka, “the URDL”) and traditional (aka “Euclidean” zoning), that have resulted in our inner suburbs being poorly planned and densely populated.
Far-Reaching Consequences Today
Together, these forces have had far-reaching consequences for today’s communities:
70% of residences inside the URDL have insufficient access to open space within a 5-minute walk;
Most are unwalkable, negatively impacting both public health and the environment;
Over half-of the housing stock is pre-1970, with many neighborhoods struggling to remain competitive with areas where housing is newer; and
Stormwater runoff is the primary cause of pollution of the County’s urban water resources.
A Need to Retrofit “SubURDLia”
Architect Ellen Dunham Jones and others have argued that the solution to these problems lies in retrofitting the suburbs with amenities, like open space, that will improve walkability and sustainability. NeighborSpace was formed for this purpose in 2002.