• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Environment Net zero neighborhood


I recently saw an episode of This Old House, with a segment called, Net Zero Neighborhood where the developer was putting in geothermal connections and fiberoptic cable as part of the infrastructure. These things are very expensive to add on a property-by-property basis after the development has been built--much more cost-efficient to do at scale.

Municipalities already require developers to put in some infrastructure as part of the permitting process: sewer, water, electrical, natural gas, roads... .

Should they start requiring some eco-friendly infrastructure to be installed?



I always feel conflicted on the argument of should we or shouldn't we. Yes, we should start leading on saving the environment and better practices, and whatever else. Then again, the only reason we have to require things is that cheap developers won't take the lead themselves. Maybe the development community can take the lead once in a while and maybe stop using the excuse that this is what the market wants. Maybe the market doesn't know this stuff is available. So we end up having to force the issue which becomes a political nightmare because everyone knows development will absolutely end if you require one more thing. Sorry, I'm ranting. In the end, maybe we don't require it, but if we could put in some kind of incentive that would be great. I really think we need to cut development to a minimum allowed by right that way incentives are effective. Give the developer a list of things we want and give them more density for doing it. It works if you don't have the density to do thing by right.