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    letters | battling state’s housing challenges

    Is there political will to turn away from high-rise development?

    RE “MENINO offers formula for more housing” (Page A1, Sept. 9): It is commendable that the city recognizes the need for adequate affordable housing. However, the addition of expensive high-rise structures does nothing to alleviate this need; rather, it further adds to a form hostile to human habitation and urban structure.

    Post-World War II attempts at small-town development in Sweden and England failed, not because of the concept, but because of the lack of political will. The concept must be re-examined for our urban milieu.

    Self-contained neighborhoods providing housing, shopping, schools, and civic necessities, designed for walking distances, and augmented by high-speed transit to the urban core, would accomplish a vast reduction in auto traffic and parking space, essential to the health of our environment. Housing must be combined with emphasis on intimate, green community open space in addition to private garden space.

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    Boston planners should examine the Canadian planning effort of TwinHills, a greenfield development to create a new town within the city of Calgary, Alberta.

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    It is essential that planning insist upon homes rather than high-rise repositories.

    Milton Schwartz

    Sandwich

    The writer is an architect and planner.