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Cascades represents Tallahassee’s next step in a deliberate, decades-long plan to create an invaluable public amenity in Cascades Park that would attract private development to the surrounding areas, thereby encouraging urban infill, spurring economic progress, and accommodating our growing population.

Concept illustration of the proposed Cascades development
An early concept drawing created in 2008 to help drive the revitalization of Cascades Park and cast a long-term vision for the surrounding area. The opening of a new multi-use development in 2020 will mark the fulfillment of that vision. Image courtesy of Blueprint2000

Smart-growth efforts like this one offer a responsible way for cities to protect more of their natural resources by keeping development within the urban core rather than pushing it farther out into the suburbs or other outlying areas. According to the city’s planning department, if the 5-acre, high-density development currently under construction alongside Cascades Park were built in a more suburban area, it would impact an astonishing 195 acres of greenspace.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports urban infill projects like Cascades, writing in a 2014 report:

“Smart growth development projects are compact and walkable, offer a mix of uses, and create a sense of place. Such projects on infill sites have environmental benefits because they can reduce development pressure on outlying areas, helping to safeguard lands that serve important ecological functions; can reduce the amount that people drive, improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and can lead to the cleanup and reuse of formerly economically viable but now abandoned sites, including those contaminated with hazardous substances.”

Tallahassee is proud to present Cascades as a model for balancing community and economic growth with the conservation of our invaluable natural resources.