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A Nice Place to Live: Creating Communities, Fighting Sprawl (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, A Nice Place to Live: Creating Communities, Fighting Sprawl outlines this public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common.

Almost no matter where Americans live, their communities are under enormous stress. How can we strengthen communities facing severe problems?

Almost no matter where Americans live, their communities are under enormous stress. Cities are struggling to survive with fewer middle-class residents, older suburbs suffer from traffic congestion and creeping blight, and rural communities are often overwhelmed with explosive growth of new homes and malls. How can we strengthen communities facing such severe problems?

Approach 1:Fulfill the Suburban American Dream
Most Americans enjoy living in the suburbs but are frustrated by inadequate control over their community’s future. We need to guide growth efficiently and in keeping with the interests of existing communities

Approach 2: Strengthen Cities, Stop Sprawl at Its Source
With their rich democratic mix of peoples and opportunities, cities hold a strong appeal for Americans. But when public services and schools decline, families leave, contributing to suburban sprawl.

Approach 3: Free Americans to Choose Lifestyles
Americans, by tradition, are pioneers. As needs or interests change, people move to the city, suburb, or country. But intrusive public plans and rules limit freedom and promote unappealing aspects of sprawl.

More about NIF issue guides…

NIFI’s issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. By intention, issue guides do not identify individuals or organizations with partisan labels, such as Democratic, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages readers to judge them on their merit.

NIFI offers various materials for each of the issues it produces issue guides on. The moderator guide or “guide to the forums” for each issue is available as a free download. Discussion guides (or “issue guides”) for participants are generally available in print or PDF download for a small fee ($2 to $4). DVD’s can also be purchased for some issues for just $6, for use at the beginning of your forums to introduce the topic and approaches.

All NIF issue guides and associated tools can be accessed at www.nifi.org/issue_books/.

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/issue_books/detail.aspx?catID=11&itemID=53

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