Chapel Hill: Opinion

Sally McIntee: To live sustainably, urbanize

Garrett Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons,” was replayed here. Yes, it is a tragedy Chapel Hillians do not realize: to live sustainably is to be urbanized.

How to stop our carbon-burning suicide? We can change to non-impact power sources and conserve energy with thriftier living. This means putting housing, recreation, and work, closer together.

This means rezoning, sub-dividing lots, and higher story limits (uniform in neighborhoods). Many of us will ditch the car, the roads will narrow, and many will public transit. This becomes feasible with higher density living, only.

Protecting farms and forests only happens when we choose to live in tighter, well-connected, communities, with tall buildings.

If we want to have any future, suburban sprawl in Chapel Hill has to go. Bedroom communities are toxic. To survive, we need to become a tighter, multi-use city. When people chronically oppose mixed-use, tall buildings, and high density development, they are saying no to sustainable, adaptive, energy-efficient living. For every forest / farm we want to save, there has to be a tall building.

Chapel Hill infrastructure is old, toxic, sprawl surrounding a vital urban workspace, UNC, that draws in 70 percent of its workforce from outside of town. What community wants uncross-able eight-lane gateway roads?

The choice is between road asphalt and more people living here. I prefer more people, fewer cars. We won’t have walking and cycling to work, without rezoning and redevelopment. Effective transit needs higher density.

Unless you are a jelly fish enjoying an acidic ocean, I suggest that you stop fighting the changes that have to take place.

Sarah K. McIntee

Chapel Hill

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