Community

News and resources relating to urban form, social interaction, and community life

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Suburbs of survival, and the Democracy of placemaking

"Sustainable placemaking concepts must not be limited to downtown areas. There are clear health and economic benefits from building services into suburban neighborhoods."

Tue, Feb 3rd 2015 3:35pm
A new village wins Community of the Year
The Village of Providence, a remarkable project that was named the National Association of Homebuilders' Community of the Year for 2014, also launched my career in New Urbanism.
Sat, Jan 24th 2015 9:27am
Concluding UDO Draft Released: All set for commission consideration

In 2010, Decatur, Georgia completed a 10-year update to its Strategic Plan
which defined a community-based vision for its future and provided steps for the
City to take to achieve it. During the planning process, discussion often focused on
growth and development in context of a desire for the community to be environmentally, socially, and economically sustainability. As the City and its consultants looked at how to promote these ideas, it became clear that the regulations that guided growth in the City were often at odds with the Plan. To align their regulations with the Strategic Plan in a progressive, user-friendly format, the City retained a team led by TSW to prepare a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) combining zoning, subdivision, environmental, and other regulations into a legally sound and enforceable document.

Mon, Jan 12th 2015 4:33pm
A Season to Give Something Back

As a Certified B Corporation, Opticos is committed to a triple bottom line that includes sustainable business, accountability, transparency, and meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. As part of our B Corp goals, Opticos sets aside a portion of money on an annual basis to give to a charity or group of charities that are important to us.

Tue, Dec 30th 2014 3:17pm
What is a livable community, anyway?

In this modern era, the idea of livable communities may be less real to many people than Santa Claus. Yet as long as love, courage, and excellence are real, so are livable communities.

Tue, Dec 30th 2014 11:11am
Jane Jacobs was right

Older and smaller buildings and a wide range in building age offer real economic and social benefits for neighborhoods and urban centers, according to a study. 

Sat, Dec 20th 2014 10:11am
Berlin and its urban 'playborhoods'

Walking around Berlin, my 10-year old pointed out the exceptional numbers of downtown kids, and really enjoyed hanging out in some of the neighborhood parks.

Mon, Nov 17th 2014 10:54am
From Pop Up to Stand Up: Growing a Creative Economy

Urban Design Associates has led the re-shaping of the charrette model to not only project the reactivation of neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces, but to be part of the reactivation.

Thu, Oct 23rd 2014 8:57pm
What’s in it for me? Why placemaking matters

Why does city planning matter to people who aren’t urban designer types? Here’s an elevator pitch and a more detailed answer.

Tue, Sep 16th 2014 2:15pm
You’ve got lemons: What now?

Before it was a tiny lending library; now it’s a timeless marker of community that’s emerged as the source of conflict—12-year-old T.J. Guerrero and his Dunedin, Florida lemonade stand.

Tue, Sep 9th 2014 8:30am
Ferguson's potential

Despite inner-ring suburban problems, communities like Ferguson, Missouri, have significant potential for revival.

Wed, Aug 27th 2014 11:37am
Stroad nation

We can’t over-simplify the dynamics of all that has happened in Ferguson, but it’s obvious that our platform for building places is creating dynamics primed for social upheaval.

Wed, Aug 27th 2014 8:25am
Bookshelf reveals community dysfunction

In Leawood, Kansas, the front-yard book kiosk of 9-year-old resident Spencer Collins was cited as an illegal accessory structure.

Wed, Jul 16th 2014 12:42pm
Moving beyond 'smart growth' to a more holistic city agenda

Smart growth and smart transportation – as important as they are to the future of our communities and our planet – are not nearly enough to produce sustainable communities.

Tue, Jul 8th 2014 7:40am
Univ. of Miami School of Architecture holds Capstone Workshop in the Little Santo Domingo

The School of Architecture’s tradition of community outreach continues through the Capstone Workshop held in the Little Santo Domingo area of Allapattah from May 19-May 23.  The workshop assists communities with visioning, architecture, urban design strategies, feasibility studies and development scenarios.

Mon, Jul 7th 2014 10:23am
Connections, community, and the science of loneliness

What if our family had lived in a walkable neighborhood? These sorts of places are the ones rich in social networks, which – interestingly – build neural networks.

Wed, Jun 25th 2014 11:02am
What makes a good Main Street work?

While some Main Streets seem well past their prime, others – like Corning’s – remain thriving to this day. Why? Location is important, but design and context also matter.

Wed, May 28th 2014 1:07pm
What is the new American Dream?

The new American Dream is about place, and that brings people and communities together. The 20th Century American Dream tended to pull cities and towns apart. 

Tue, May 27th 2014 2:21pm
Top 10 reasons for a new American Dream

For three generations, the American Dream was largely defined by continual suburban expansion. A new urban dream has emerged, and it is here to stay.

Fri, Apr 18th 2014 9:12am
People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities

A book by By F. Kaid Benfield, Island Press, 2014, 304 pp., $25 paperback or e-book

Wed, Apr 9th 2014 4:27pm
Smart growth and strong mayors

Inspiring stories of visionary leaders are splendid, but it is more reliable to build "champions" from the bottom up.

Thu, Mar 20th 2014 11:54am
The thorny matter of gentrification

Surely we haven’t reached the point where making inner-city neighborhoods more attractive to more residents is a bad thing. And does anyone really have a right in the US to keep newcomers out?

Mon, Mar 17th 2014 11:35am
Enough about the Millennials already!

Be careful about lazy research.

Wed, Mar 12th 2014 5:16pm
Small town hip

Berlin, Maryland, was named the "coolest small town" in America by Budget Traveler Magazine. It's charm has been due to planning decisions in addition to historic main street.

Wed, Mar 12th 2014 11:32am
A wiser way of counting

Coming together under a big tent for synergistic growth that contributes to strong communities. This is the concluding essay in a 3-part series.

Fri, Mar 7th 2014 4:37pm

Research

Jane Jacobs was right

Older and smaller buildings and a wide range in building age offer real economic and social benefits for neighborhoods and urban centers, according to a study. 

Sat, Dec 20th 2014 10:11am
What’s in it for me? Why placemaking matters

Why does city planning matter to people who aren’t urban designer types? Here’s an elevator pitch and a more detailed answer.

Tue, Sep 16th 2014 2:15pm
Enough about the Millennials already!

Be careful about lazy research.

Wed, Mar 12th 2014 5:16pm