Local opposition to proposed high-density housing developments is one of the greatest challenges facing efforts to promote smart growth in the U.S. There is strong public support for limiting the excesses of suburban sprawl that cause such problems as environmental degradation, traffic congestion, and loss of open space. Yet, proposals for alternative housing development that could address many of these problems-such as infill development, cluster and mixed-use development, and especially high-density housing (apartments)- often meet intense community opposition.
The Urban Land Institute, in cooperation with NMHC and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), convened the Joint Forum on Housing Density on February 7, 2002, at the AIA headquarters in Washington, D.C. This interdisciplinary meeting sought to address the widespread problem of community and local government resistance to high-density development proposals.
This national forum brought together a diverse group of 40 real estate professionals, designers, developers, architects, planners, and elected officials, as well as leaders of citizens, community, and environmental organizations. The goal was to examine the causes of community opposition to increased residential density and the ways to overcome that resistance-debunking myths, implementing good design, and showing how high-density development benefits the community, the region, and the environment.
Full DocumentNMHC/ULI/AIA Density Forum Final Report
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