The following Letter to the Editor was published in Newsday on October 4th, 2020. You can read the original version here.

While it is encouraging that Long Islanders are witnessing the economic resilience of our downtowns, we are still just learning what the long-term impacts of the coronavirus will be on suburban real estate markets and land-use policy.

While there is no denying the longstanding need for more housing options on Long Island, municipalities must not jump the gun by blindly allowing more development. Instead, we must take a more measured approach to growth that balances both the region’s economic and environmental needs. This includes thoughtfully targeting redevelopment efforts in key areas where the appropriate supportive infrastructure is in place, adapting preexisting commercial properties to meet the needs of the 21st century worker, and ensuring the continued preservation of our open spaces.

One of the most powerful lessons that the pandemic has taught us is the enduring value of our communities. With thoughtful planning and study, we can ensure that future generations benefit from the lessons we’ve learned from the coronavirus.

Richard Murdocco,

Editor’s note: The writer is an adjunct professor in Stony Brook University’s public policy master’s degree program.