Re-lief

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Suburbia is not as built out as it seems. Consider the mapping of 8,300 acres of opportunity – vacant parcels and parking lots – in the many small downtowns of the country's "first suburbs" on Long Island. Roughly equivalent to the area of Manhattan south of 50th St., 8,300 acres is a lot of land. It is still, however, only 1.1% of the land mass of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. By building in a new way, there is tremendous opportunity to address the contemporary challenges of suburbia, by shifting focus to the prewar landscape of small towns and mass transit that languished during decades spent constructing highways, shopping malls, dream-home subdivisions and far-flung office parks.

Building 'burbs in the old way no longer works. Statistics show that Long Island is facing several pressing challenges: to build affordable housing and greater housing choice, especially for rentals; to reduce car dependency and congestion; to bring Long Island's diverse communities together in a shared public realm; to improve equity and access to opportunity for all; to meet the needs of retiring baby boomers who wish to age in place; and to fight the "brain drain" of younger residents who don't see a future here and leave.

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Build A Better Burb Competition
finalist with Kipp Edick