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American PrideCelebrating What Makes This Country Great

The Past
Our Great History

Ponder the development of our urban and rural landscape over the years. Cities are born across the nation. Then the railroad comes in allowing for more affordable housing further out from the city. This is the beginning of the commuter rail. Our forefathers planned beautiful cities and their systems. During the 19th century, Frederick Law Olmsted, the first landscape architect, was one of the first members of a “planning committee.” Olmsted designed beautiful parks and recreation facilities in Boston, Chicago, Maine, Michigan, New York, and many other cities. In Boston, he is probably best known for “the Emerald Necklace,” a 7 miles linear string of parks dotted with streams and ponds. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Law_Olmsted

Hydrangias on the fenceThomas Edison discovers electricity. The first trolleys replace horse drawn cars. Boston is the first city in the country to build an undergrand subway starting at Park Station under the Boston Common. Read “A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston 1850-1900″ by Stephen Puleo for a compelling history of the the development of Boston.

The Present
Immigration still impacting our national economy
Immigration trends have been an important part of this country’s development. According to the recent report from Harvard, “The State of the Nation’s Housing,” immigration levels impact our economy. Household growth will continue regardless of any possible retreat in immigration. The report says, “moreover, immigrants and their native-born children have swelled the ranks of the baby-bust and echo-boom generations so that each now rivals the baby-boom generation in size.”

The Future
Even with the bust, Americans are still planning for a better future!

While on the lower end, housing values have taken the biggest hit during our economic crises. Another piece of the puzzle is the overall loss of wealth. As a result, many homeowners have decided to stay put rather than accept a lower asking price for their home. Rather than move, homeowners are choosing to make improvements which will reduce energy consumption. Federal programs offer incentives for more energy efficient products.

With so much attention now focused on reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption, a growing chorus is calling for more compact forms of residential development to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Proponents argue that appropriately planned higher-density development would allow for growth as well as for preservation of more open space, better transit options, less auto dependency, and more efficient use of public infrastructure.” ~The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard UniversityThe State of the Nation’s Housing“. Read more at www.jchs.harvard.edu

If you build it, they will come

As we move into a new century, city planners use statistics to project trends and needs for the future. Some of the considerations that are factored in include:

  • Home improvements desiged for energy efficiency
  • Green building designIncreased use of public transportation
  • More elderly housing

Just for one day, let’s celebrate our nation’s greatness!

Happy Fourth of July!

4th of July in Boston