Urban sprawl happens. People need to live somewhere no matter what. Even tree huggers won’t live on trees. One wants to preserve the environment but must live in a home built with some wood occupying some land, right? One wants urban sprawl to be contained but who can stop 1,000 people from moving into Florida a day? So, this is all common sense. The new resident inflow and current resident population growth is impossible to stop and is going to grow. The environmentalists agree that it is an unnatural human phenomenon that is a major threat to the environment. The development community supposedly is in agreement with the notion. One has to take that with a grain of salt of course. In a place like South Florida environment preservation is especially important, because the Greater Miami area straddles the eastern edge of the Everglades. It’s not like Los Angeles with a surrounding desolate desert. We rely heavily upon the lush Everglades for water purification and supply, precipitation, wildlife preservation, and a general balance of the ecosystem. I’m no environmentalist but we need to preserve the Everglades as much as possible. So how do we do it and still support the rate of population growth? Draw boundaries that are not to be crossed by those environment-hating developers? Those have been drawn and redrawn over the decades. I’m not suggesting that drawing a development boundary is a bad idea. It’s necessary. Knowing South Florida developers, the idea of there being no development boundary is chilling to anyone who cares at least a little bit about the Everglades. Nothing would stop them from draining the water out of the whole swamp one acre at a time; from bringing in their engineers, contractors, trucks, workers, and cranes to systematically eliminate the wilderness and turn it into a vast inventory of private land. The alligators, flamingos, and other exotic animals would get evicted and forced into the Everglades National Park. So what can one do? The answer is simple. Build vertical.
This is not a complicated idea. What is worse for the environment, a 165 unit townhouse development that occupies 15 acres or a 400 unit community that occupies 2 1/2 acres? If you answered the former you better be an incredible arguer and spin doctor. More units on less land will favor the local ecosystem. Clearly, the two and a half acre community would be a high rise or combination of high rises. The living space is simply expanded vertically into thin air; like slices of neighborhood blocks going straight into the sky. The interior environment of the high rise community is controlled and self contained. There is little waste exiting into the environment at large. Little pollution being emitted. More importantly, less land, green space, and nature is being consumed by the human population growth machine. Developers remain distracted with their vast projects and profits. The only real difference is the sky takes the place of the tired and worn land in accommodating humanity; a perfect solution to mitigating the environmental crisis caused by human sprawl.