Jennifer and I have begun the search for a house, so as I was skimming over the latest University of Michigan Alumni Association newsletter, this blurb about housing developments caught my eye:
Homebuyers prefer a view of the woods to a manicured lawn, according to U-M researchers. Researchers found that misuse and misunderstanding of the term “open space” fuel the myth that people prefer big lots. Developers and homebuyers use open space to mean acres of open space like lawns instead of preserved natural features. Researchers suggest planners use the term “conservation ordinance” rather than “open space ordinance” for areas marked for preservation from development.
If true, it’s a shame that so much natural woodland habitat has been torn down based on a misunderstanding. I wonder just how much this study will affect future developments around Michigan as well as the rest of the nation. With Michigan’s current governor Jennifer Granholm promoting Smart Growth within the state, hopefully it will have an impact sooner rather than later.