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Making Sure Smart Also Means Equitable

The Dirt

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With the rise of “smart growth” approaches to urban development, which promote dense, walkable urban centers as an alternative to sprawl, there are questions about whether smart growth is actually equitable. Those compact, walkable neighborhoods are in hot demand across the country so it costs more to live there. So this also means not everyone gets to reap all the health benefits from living in a walkable community. In gentrifying neighborhoods, the issue is further compounded. People who lived in these communities and got to walk everywhere are being pushed out because they can’t afford the rising rents and property taxes. They are instead being shunted to the suburbs, the growing place for the poor in the U.S. There, many of the poor can’t afford cars so they are even more affected: they’ve lost their community, ability to walk around and get exercise, and can’t get to work easily. At the American…

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