Village of Lansing History

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“Lansing at the Crossroads”

Lansing at the Crossroads, the story of the creation of a new village in upstate New York to combat urban sprawl, is told by a key participant – Rita Smidt.
The construction of a new four-lane highway on the outskirts of Ithaca, NY created a rapidly growing commercial center in the previously rural town of Lansing. The clash between the newcomers and the old-timers over the direction and pace of this change led to the formation of a new local government and the incorporation of the Village of Lansing.

This is the story of that village, how and why it was formed, the problems it faced in its early years, and the victories its people won in gaining control of their own communal future. It is also a story that mirrors, on a small scale, significant national trends: urban sprawl, spreading suburbanization, the popular reaction against the disappearance of America’s open lands and the mounting costs of extending the urban infrastructure, and the turning away from centralization to local control as the preferred means of solving public problems.