Posting in Design
The Defense Department hopes to make car-centric bases 'walkable.'
American military bases could get a lot smaller -- particularly from the pedestrian point of view.
New planning guidelines, released by the Defense Department May 17, call for "compact development" strategy for U.S. military bases at home an abroad. This approach, the first design change in a quarter century, runs contrary to the car-centric layout that has dominated American military bases in the past.
According to Dr. Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of Defense for installations and environment, the goal of the policy change is to use land more efficiently. "We think it will improve quality of life, but for us it's also about doing our jobs better," she said at a forum on "Sustainable Installation Planning" at George Mason University May 17.
According to the Federal Times, the Defense Department currently manages 300,000 buildings across the world. As the nation's largest oil consumer -- Bloomberg reported that the U.S. military spent $17.3 billion in the 2011 fiscal year -- preventing urban sprawl on military bases provides the opportunity to mitigate transportation expenses during a period of fiscal constraint.
Building walkable urban spaces, as SmartPlanet readers know, also cuts traffic congestion, limits automobile accidents, and promotes healthy communities.
May 27, 2012
For safety reasons the very nature of military training requires bases of size and space. The biggest impact I see in this is in the area of on base family housing and supporting the large civilian population. If the military really wanted to go green on training they could go old school and march everywhere. No more trucks, no more cattle cars. During the fuel rationing of WW II even large bases like Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton saw a lot of marching going on to get troops between barracks, remote firing ranges and live fire training areas. In todays hurry up world such a slow pace of training would drive some officers crazy. I know many others who would welcome the return to the basics that kept troops hard and ready for hundreds of years.