Planning for the evolution of places
Some friends of mine who live in an inner city area that is noticeably changing, claim that they love the new cinema, restaurants, and more frequent public transport being planned for the area, while at the same time lamenting the higher density housing being built because of the impact more households are going to have on "increased traffic and more pressure on parking".
I asked them, "Aren't the benefits of more choice and better services linked to more demand brought about by more people living in the area?" But this is a complex and emotionally charged thing when the neighbourhood you live in and love is evolving and changing.
Nevertheless, if you look at the history of places it is apparent that suburbs and towns evolve in response to inevitable demographic and economic change. Places also adapt to the interventions we make with regard to zoning and the building of infrastructure and facilities by both the public and private sector.
Our cities are increasingly under pressure to change not only due to economic, technological and demographic shifts but also by the different ways we are occupying our dwellings and accessing employment, education, and services. Acknowledging these changes, both historical and current provides an understanding into the likely futures of a place.
Communities that do not understand, ignore or resist these changes are at risk of losing control of their desired future because the evolution of our cities and towns is inevitable. The most successful places respond to change by diversifying their dwelling stock thereby increasing choice for households as their preferences change and as they age in place. They also plan for the agglomeration of activities in appropriate locations and think about how to attract excellent infrastructure investment. Understanding these things and planning for the evolution of places will head off the inevitable closure of schools, services and facilities that are part of the fabric of a place that no one really wants to lose.
That's a more comprehensive answer for my friends, not that they asked me for my opinion.