You might have seen the word “sprawl” linked to Valley’s Edge lately, but it’s incorrect. Let’s take the time to dispel this urban myth and talk about what intentional housing development design really means.
Urban Sprawl vs. Master Planning
First things first: What is Urban Sprawl? In short, it’s the uncontrolled spread of urban developments on undeveloped land near a city.
It looks like:
- Uninterrupted groups of concrete, asphalt, and rooftops
- Roads leading nowhere
- Random dead ends
- Half-built pockets of housing development areas
- Wildly varying styles and types of housing that lack a unifying design
- Tract housing without easy and nearby access to amenities
- Little to no dedicated green space, parks, and trails
- No sidewalks and walkability
- No firebreaks or wildfire safety
- Traffic flow issues
Urban sprawl is unchecked expansion often the result of unrestricted piecemeal development. We don’t want that for Chico.
What we do want is Master Planning.
But what is it, and how is it going to be different from urban sprawl? The plan for Valley’s Edge has been carefully created with a specific plan for development. This plan is confined to a limited area of development and leaves a substantial amount of open land protected against future development. It takes not only housing but also green spaces into account. Walkability is a key component, as is access to services and amenities. Most importantly, it won’t all happen at once. This type of development will be done over time and in stages.
It looks like:
- Walkable neighborhoods
- A mix of dedicated green spaces, such as parks, trails, and biking paths
- Preservation of existing woodlands and other natural features
- Safety features such as lighting for paths
- Land planning which is firewise
- Fire-resistant building standards
- Vegetation management to keep residents safe from wildfires
- A master circulation plan which accommodates transit, bicyclists, and pedestrians
Valley’s Edge is designed both thoughtfully, and with intention so our city continues to grow in a way that’s good for Chico and its future generations.
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