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Our changing neighborhoods

August 11, 2007

Re "Southern California is becoming a tight fit," Aug. 6

Regarding our increasing density of multifamily housing in relation to potentially overcrowded schools, burdened water supplies, sewer and power systems and traffic -- the solutions are simple, even trendy and fashionable: Green building means appropriate density to support high-quality public transportation, decentralized sewage systems that biologically clean waste water to potable quality, radically reduced water use, transformation of many residential streets into organic community farms, and serious congestion pricing, among other measures.

And about those schools -- our kid demographics have already rendered some classrooms on the drawing boards superfluous. As for the curriculum -- how about teaching kids how to take care of one another in the context of taking care of their neighborhoods?

Lois Arkin

Los Angeles

The writer is executive director of the Cooperative Resources & Services Project's Institute for Urban Ecovillages.

The real crisis here is that most people cannot afford to live anywhere near where they work, so they line the freeways day after day. Multifamily dwellings allow more people to live in the location they want, are much better for the environment and make public transportation more efficient by increasing density.

If you are worried about preserving "some semblance of human-scale life," as Barbara Burke of the Studio City Neighborhood Council is, then get out of your car and walk or ride a bus. It is much easier to have human-scale life when you actually have contact with other humans, and you may even meet some of your neighbors who live more than one house away.

John Hendra

Los Angeles

North Hollywood and Valley Village are witnessing the utter destruction of the suburbs as we knew them. Single-family homes are being torn down, and condo projects are being put in. The projects being built are dwarfing an area where there were once homes. This kind of pollution is easily solved: Stop building. And before this opinion is taken as NIMBYism, think about this: Where are the fire and police protection, water, gas, rubbish collection and all the other needs going to come from?

Marty Klein

North Hollywood

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