“Why can’t we just make it legal?”

No, not that. The developer in the video below asks the question about building communities that feature walkable spaces, a mix of uses, and more compact development near transit. Most local government land use laws now make them illegal, but they are critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from driving, preserving open space, and giving consumers more housing options. The video from American Makeover represents an interesting PR effort to show the problems associated with sprawl and the benefits of building one of these communities in Atlanta. While this particular master community isn’t the organic, parcel-by-parcel kind of neighborhood that has real character, it’s certainly a gigantic leap from the sprawl that has become the cheapest and easiest for developers to build. So break out the popcorn and imagine it happening in your city: