Humstone: Looking to Italy for inspiration as we update Act 250 in Vermont

Feb 04, 2020 75

In the 1980s, after a decade of working in Vermont on planning and development issues, I became concerned that not enough was being done to revitalize our villages and town centers or to prevent the proliferation of unplanned development out into the countryside. I had witnessed a new era of shopping-mall development sapping the life out of downtowns and large-lot residential subdivisions contributing to the steady loss of valuable farm and forest land.

When an opportunity arose to study how Italy’s iconic town centers and landscapes had adapted to change from ancient Roman times to today, I jumped at the chance. Act 250, Vermont’s signature land use and development law, was enacted in 1970.

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