How Infill Developments Create More Sustainable Communities

Image features the A.J., a mixed-use housing development at the Railyards. Learn more about affordable housing in Sacramento.

How Infill Developments Create More Sustainable Communities

September 21, 2020 | By The Railyards

From its earliest stages, The Railyards was designed to preserve the beauty and rich diversity of our community. As one of the nation's largest infill developments, The Railyards is dedicated to creating a sustainable Sacramento. Discover how infill projects like The Railyards play an important role in creating more sustainable cities.

How Infill Developments Provide an Environmentally Friendly Construction Solution

What is an Infill Development?

An infill development is a type of environmentally friendly construction project. Infill developments build on previously-developed land that has since become unused or underutilized. These projects are usually located in urban areas. By repurposing existing development, infill projects create more environmentally and socially sustainable cities.

As an infill development project, The Railyards is converting unused land within Downtown Sacramento into a thriving hub within the city. The Railyards was once the western endpoint of the Transcontinental Railroad. Soon, it will be home to urban residential neighborhoods, a historic museum, a market district, and other exciting features.

What Makes Infill Developments Environmentally Sustainable?

Preserving Wild Spaces
By giving new life to previously developed land, infill projects help preserve our wild spaces. Too often, new developments are located in open space, far from the city center. Developments like The Railyards help preserve existing agricultural land and wildlife habitat.

Reducing Pollution
Infill has the potential to reduce regional vehicle emissions, and in turn, improve regional air quality. Air pollution from transportation has been the subject of extensive study, and has been called "one of the most recognized and quantified environmental impacts of transportation."

The Sacramento Railyards Specific Plan shares how we will address runoff, air pollution, and wastewater. These policies will help address the harmful impact of pollution in our area. At the heart of our approach to pollution is a plan to update outdated infrastructure at The Railyards.

Greener Commuting
Infill developments empower people to find greener commuting options thanks. Thanks to its convenient location right in Downtown Sacramento, The Railyards will help to reduce commute times. Residents will be able to live where they work and enjoy easy access to community bike and walking paths. Getting vehicles off the road helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

Infill Developments are Already Transforming Sacramento

For an idea of the transformative impact an infill development can have, look no further than our Sacramento area. McClellan Business Park, another local infill development, has made an enormous difference for our environment and community. For 60 years, McClellan Air Force Base was one of the area's largest employers. Its closure in 1995 resulted in an annual loss of over $1.5 billion.

Redeveloping the property created a healthier environment by reducing contamination left behind on the site by the air force base. Today, McClellan is home to 200+ private and public employers. In fact, this project was so impactful that the U.S. EPA gave an award for "National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse" to the U.S. Air Force for its completion.

The Railyards plans to carry on this tradition and create a cleaner, more sustainable Sacramento. We have a responsibility to create a community that will serve both present and future generations, and we take that very seriously. Learn more about our sustainable vision for Sacramento.

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