Sustainability– the ability to continue indefinitely
To understand some of the most important issues of sustainability means understanding: The Walkability Effect
Baton Rouge and many other American cities share a dismal similarity – grossly unsustainable development. Baton Rouge’s mostly unplanned and uncoordinated growth has resulted in a sprawling, vehicle jammed, identity lacking city. On its current track, Baton Rouge is doomed for urban and economic mediocrity.
Unfortunately, Baton Rouge abandoned light rail mass transit very early in its life. This has created an urban condition today that is exclusively supportive of personal automobile usage – light rail is currently not feasible. However, with great will and tremendous investment, a light rail system could become feasible and real – creating the framework for a bright and sustainable future.
“If you build it [well/correctly], they will come.” A light rail system will drive new development around its stops, and over time, the new layer of transit over the congested streets will stitch the city together and form an urban identity. With urban identity comes greater pride in residency and conducting business in the city. Baton Rouge has an opportunity to become a unique city. Already, the city consists of pockets of development, which could be further developed with the creation of a light rail network into city districts. These districts would be dense, walkable centers of residential and commercial development oriented toward light rail stops.
This level of design and development in a city must be executed correctly, or else the development could become a colossal cost rather than a tremendous investment. Thus it is important that many people collaborate. If you are a resident of Baton Rouge, or if you are familiar with the city, or just interested/educated in urban design issues, please view the “Urban Transformation” page and leave a comment on that page dealing with anything that you believe is important such as aesthetic issues, route issues, urban identity, etc.