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Conclusion

The Brookings Institution projects that in 2030, "about half of the buildings in which Americans live, work, and shop will have been built after 2000 (Nelson, 2004)." In other words, nearly half of what will be the built environment in 2030 doesn't exist yet. An overwhelming 427 billion square feet of built space is needed to meet these projections (Ibid). These are sobering thoughts in terms of previous and current development trends. There is a lot of potential for improvement and innovation. It is extremely important that communities thoughtfully and intentionally grow considering the needs of the present but also the impacts on the future. Many communities develop in a way that negates the initial qualities that attracted residents and businesses in the first place. The principles of conservation design teach us to work more closely with the natural processes that existed before conventional development was introduced. As our communities and populations continue to grow, conservation design will be a valuable and practical tool to help communities responsibly progress in a resource-finite world.

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