Take a look at this presentation by the Ozarks Transportation Organization, and pay particular attention to slides 17 though 30 about housing and job growth in Springfield and surrounding communities. You’ll see that demographic projections predict more sprawl.
We must find a way to prevent further sprawl unless we wish to see the cost of living rise beyond sustainable levels — specifically the dual costs of housing and transportation.
The affordability index for our region (calculated by the Center for Neighborhood Technology) shows that the problem has already arrived. For many people living outside the city limits of Springfield, the costs of housing and transportation have risen above 45 percent of income.
If you work in Springfield and live in the county (Greene or Christian) or in one of the surrounding communities, you are driving a car to work. It’s difficult to know if gas prices will spike this summer, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration does show that the average price per gallon of gas will rise from $2.35 in 2009 to $2.86 in 2010. The price will only go up as we reach peak oil.
Now is the time to be talking density for our urban core.
Our Urban Challenge Series: