- Supporting community identity
- Promoting recreation and healthy lifestyle
What is it?
Land use information and plans indicate the recommended or existing uses of land within a community, such as residential, commercial, agricultural, etc. Land use information is typically represented in a village’s zoning code.
Why it is important
The uses of land and their adjacencies determine the compatibility of a given area. For example, does a residential area fit well with a proposed office park? Transportation and infrastructure requirements and their impacts follow along with the land uses and their compatibility. Uses that are complementary are typically grouped together to reduce negative environmental impacts, promote infrastructure optimization, and coordinate access to transportation. Land use touches on just about all the other sustainable components, such as air quality, water quality, noise prevention, and energy consumption. Compatible and complementary land uses increase the quality of life and environment.
In a built-out, mostly residential, village like Glencoe, the adjacencies of land use are generally already defined and further supported by policies in the current zoning code that reinforce and promote existing development patterns. Transportation routes such as Green Bay Road, I-94, and the Union Pacific railroad line all trigger the need to maintain existing buffers and offset distances. Recreational facilities such as golf courses, beaches, Skokie Lagoons, bike paths, and a walk-able community promote a healthy lifestyle. Hence, there is a level of sustainability and positive impact on the quality of life when the land uses are “good neighbors.”
Supporting community identity. Communities using sustainable land use concepts can have a major influence on their neighboring communities. As villages grow and prosper, so can their neighbors. However, uncoordinated growth can also have negative impacts on communities, such as the loss of locally owned businesses or the changing scale of the built environment. The border of Sustainability does not end with the natural environment; a healthy local economy is more likely to set and achieve environmental and social goals than one that is failing.