There's nothing that brightens our day more than finding another data rich map tool on the Internet. It's like Christmas all over again - or Hanukkah for our Jewish readers. The WorldChanging blog reports that some folks at Berkeley's Institute of Urban and Regional Development have devised a nifty Web tool that lets people like us search for vacant or under-utilized parcels in California. Why would you want to do this? For developers looking for sites to do infill development, this tool can help i.d. potential locations. For those opposed to suburban sprawl, finding new places to build homes in dense urban areas is a dream come true. The WorldChanging blog explains:
If we're going to build truly sustainable cities, we need to start turning urban growth inward -- using the demand for more housing to rebuild and restore urban places. Such "infill" housing is almost inherently bright green (meaning enviro friendly -ed.), promoting as it does density, which is one of the best energy efficiency strategies we have and preserving rural lands. There's one big catch -- infill housing is harder to develop profitably. One of the hang-ups is that finding land suitable for infilling can be a really burdensome process, involving a lot of leg work and records-checking.
The California Infill Parcel Locator lets you choose what type of infill site you're looking for - based on property type, distance to certain amenities, size, or value of land compared to the value of improvements. All of this data porn is making us light headed - sending us into a swirl of rainbows and sparkly pink horses... oh dear, the site even lets you download the data into spreadsheets. Please don't wake us. We don't want this dream to end.
· Mapping as an Infill Tool [WorldChanging]