Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rohnert Park, Sonoma Co, CA

Rohnert Park, Sonoma is the local government with very advanced sustainable strategies. It has already set GHG reduction target. It is promoting smart growth and sustainable development.

I happened to pass by the town the other day, and decided to cruise around to see if I could find anything sustainable.

I took a picture of a new development that apparently tries to promote mixed use. I think the first floor is meant to be offices/shops, and second floor and upward is for residential use. Each property is rather small, and built right next to each other.

If you are from old European or Asian (or probably other) communities, this is not extraordinary at all. Mixed use is a traditional way to use limited space efficiently.

But here in US, this is something rather new just because the land has never been scarce. Urban area has been sprawling horizontally, requiring more untouched land to be developed. It wasn't until recently that people started to question about the practices because it leads to waste of almost all the resources: land, energy, water, electricity, etc.... With current high gas price, more people/local governments should be interested in planning communities differently to reduce VMT (vehicle miles traveled).

City of Rohnert Park is one of the front-runners to explore the US version of smart growth. Stay tuned with them!

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