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Livable Landscapes

LIVABLE LANDSCAPES explores the connection between landscape and community in northern New England, focusing on how growth and sprawl affect quality of life.

By examining the history of land use and the changes that have hit working forests, farms, village centers and urban downtowns, the video looks at how communities have tried to preserve the qualities that make them unique.

LIVABLE LANDSCAPES explores five communities struggling with choices about transformations that are underway:

* Stratham, NH, in the fastest growing part of New Hampshire, where John Hutton is determined to farm despite waves of suburban development on land he once worked. Local citizens are responding by approving land-conserving subdivision designs and raising money to buy important open spaces.

* Burlington, VT, where citizens in Chittenden County have hotly debated the proposed Circumferential Highway for decades. Some argue that the new highway will solve traffic problems, but others claim it will contribute to sprawl in outlying rural areas.

* Littleton, NH, where merchants, local officials and activists have transformed a dying Main Street into a vibrant, attractive place to live, work and shop.

* Shoreham, VT, a rural area that for now is beyond the reach of sprawl. Local farmers are working to assure that their town will remain a farming community far into the future.

* Scarborough, ME, where developers and neighbors are working together to create a 'new' New England village, and in the process are rethinking the zoning rules that have made it nearly impossible to 'grow smart.'

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