36 Morningside Lane
Lincoln, MA 01773
The earth is not getting any larger. World population is increasing. Land mass is shrinking. Polar icecaps are melting and oceans are expanding. Climate change is a fact, not an opinion. What we do about population growth, land use and sustainable development are issues that all citizens need to be educated about and take responsibility for.
Our federal, state and local governments, regional planning commissions and private entities are working to protect our natural resources, quality of life and health through implementing strategies such as smart growth, new urbanism and green building.
Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation strategy that concentrates growth in the center of a city to avoid urban sprawl. Smart growth advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools and mixed-use develelopment with a range of housing choices. The goals of smart growth are to create a unique sense of community; expand transportation options, employment, and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; and promote public health. Smart growth is an alternative to urban sprawl, traffic congestion, disconnected neighborhoods, and urban decay.
Zoning ordinances can restrict development to certain specific areas. Additional density incentives can be offered for the developmente of brownfield and greyfield land. Zoning by-laws can reduce the minimum amount of parking required to be built with new development, and can be used to require set-asides for parks and other community amenities.
New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes walkable neighborhoods that contain a range of housing and job types. New urbanists support regional planning for open space, context-appropriate architecture and planning, and the balanced development of jobs and housing. Less reliance on automobiles through principles of traditional neighborhood design (TND) and transit-oriented development (TOD).
Green building focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource use and materials while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building's lifecycle, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and waste removal.
Sustainable development strategies encompass three core principles:
• Developing in a targeted, compact, and balanced manner
• Promoting energy and resource efficient development and operations
• Preserving and protecting natural resources
Melanie Hagopian has the unique experience to assist her private developer/owner clients and her public entity clients in supporting and promoting sustainable development. She has worked with state and local governments in implementing environmental policies, preserving open space, and in creating, operating, managing and maintaining public parks and recreational facilities throughout the Commonwealth. She has teamed up with many environmental non-profits and community development organizations in land preservation and sustainable development projects.