Redevelopment and Urban Infill are key components to green design. By definition, redevelopment means to restore (communities for example) to a better condition. Urban infill, or infill redevelopment, is the economic use of vacant or functionally-obsolete land, or facilities or infrastructure, in already urbanized areas where water, sewer, and other public services are in place that enhances the continuity of the original community fabric.
Redevelopment is a cornerstone for Grady Pridgen projects. This is redevelopment that is transit oriented, urban infill, mixed use, and within existing employment centers. Enhancing something old, dilapidated or barren and giving it new life has tremendous community and environmental appeal. Tapping into existing infrastructure and revitalizing existing infrastructure investment more efficiently uses and directs community resources.
Unfortunately, some government rules actually discourage urban infill redevelopment and instead, provide incentives to build far out of the employment centers in green field areas. These rules promote suburban sprawl, long commutes and pollution. The rules were written for rural communities. New rules need to be implemented to promote transit oriented, urban infill, mixed use redevelopment in or near the employment centers. We have to get employees living near their work in large quantities in order to make mass transit work so we can get people out of their cars.
There is a common misconception that because urban infill and redevelopment cause density, it makes them a bad thing. The word density carries with it a negative connotation, when in actuality, smart growth is dense and green.