Better! Cities & Towns in print

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Providence, Rhode Island, seeks to transform its major plaza — now compromised by buses and other vehicular traffic — into a gateway to the city. Getting to this point required a series of small steps.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 9:47am

An overhaul has begun for one of the most distressed neighborhoods in the New York City inner-ring suburbs.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 10:06am

The biggest TND ever is the exception to the rule that small projects thrive in this economy.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 10:16am

Redwood City, California, brought a humdrum business district back to life by creating better public spaces, adding an anchor, and reforming codes to unleash the private sector.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 10:22am

Form-based codes work because each community and the places that comprise it have an identifiable structure: a physical structure.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 10:30am

The Queen City is part of a trend of big cities that are reforming their zoning. The next step is to apply the code to neighborhoods via regulating plans.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 10:38am

Welcome to Jacobsburg, which offers many lessons for other communities to follow.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 10:45am

A book edited by Emily Talen; McGraw-Hill, 302 pages, $60 softcover

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 11:34am

A new book examines the principled past and visions for the future of the town that inspired New Urbanism.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 11:46am

Buying, Renting, Moving — or Just Dreaming — Find Your Perfect Match!, a book by Marianne Cusato, Workman, 2013, 372 pp.,  $12.95 paperback

Thu, Aug 15th 2013 12:07pm

The nation has a huge quantity of “Leave it to Beaver” neighborhoods from the postwar housing boom that are ripe for changes that will make them more walkable and appealing to new generations of residents.

Tue, Jun 18th 2013 4:21pm

Many cities have recently welcomed mini-apartments. Among them are these:

Tue, Jun 18th 2013 4:30pm

What does that mean for urban places, transportation, and policy?

Thu, Jun 20th 2013 4:25pm

It’s time to recognize that we can’t maintain the roads we have now, and that continuing down the path of highway expansion is both unaffordable and unnecessary.

Wed, Jun 19th 2013 5:27pm

When cities invest in infrastructure, it’s often the gray stuff like roads and bridges. Or it’s hidden away like water and sewer pipes. Not to say that infrastructure isn’t interesting and vital to a city’s success, but it’s hard to get excited about.

Wed, Jun 19th 2013 4:29pm

A book by by June Williamson
Island Press, 2013, 138 pp., $35 paperback, $70 hardcover

Tue, Jun 18th 2013 4:34pm

Regions Field in Birmingham is a recent example of baseball adding to the appeal of an urban place.

Tue, Jun 18th 2013 4:32pm

The fiscal case for smart growth is gaining steam. New Urban News (now Better! Cities & Towns) reported on a groundbreaking study in Sarasota, Florida, in September of 2010 that showed enormous advantages in per-acre tax yields for mixed-use, downtown properties.

Tue, Jun 18th 2013 4:28pm

US Department of Transportation (DOT) officials would consider a change in the way they classify thoroughfares — to the benefit of pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users — but they need political support.

Wed, Jun 5th 2013 12:22pm

Form-based codes voluntarily adopted by developers show how this kind of land-use regulation can offer high market adaptability while assuring a better public realm.

Tue, May 7th 2013 3:59pm

It may seem counterintuitive to focus on roadway design  when talking about creating New Urbanist communities. In fact, it  can be a significant catalyst of New Urbanism.

Tue, Apr 23rd 2013 4:43pm

There’s not much single-family New Urbanism these days. Where it is happening, it is often small infill projects like this one.

Tue, Apr 16th 2013 4:46pm

According to Reshaping Metropolitan America, about half of all nonresidential structures in the US will be “ripe for redevelopment” in 2030.

Tue, Apr 16th 2013 4:41pm

In the March 2013 issue we reviewed Arthur C. Nelson’s book, Reshaping Metropolitan America, but some of the numbers in the book are worth further consideration and analysis.

Tue, Apr 16th 2013 4:10pm

The Alabama city is poised for a new round of growth with construction of an Airbus factory, guided by a plan and code.

Tue, Apr 16th 2013 4:06pm

Master plan gives the city clear vision; Helps spur redevelopment at a torrid pace.

Tue, Apr 16th 2013 4:05pm

The three projects — in Richardson and Fort Worth, Texas, and Clovis, New Mexico — profiled in the accompanying article are all new, greenfield developments on a neighborhood scale.

Tue, Apr 16th 2013 4:03pm

Much of the future built environment will be determined by how commercial sites are developed.

Tue, Apr 16th 2013 4:01pm

Yet many transit sheds in poorer parts of cities and in auto-oriented suburbs underperformed their regions from 2006 to 2011. Neighborhoods served by transit are divided between those that are prospering and those that are not.

Tue, Apr 16th 2013 3:58pm

Some parts of the industry are very strong, and those include housing in cities with a highly educated workforce — the “creative class,” so-named by Richard Florida.

Fri, Mar 22nd 2013 11:43am

LEED platinum apartment building brings seniors and children together in a downtown infill location.

Mon, Mar 11th 2013 12:07pm

There’s a flip side to the “creative class” trend — for every city at the top of the list there’s one at the bottom of the list for this demographic.

Mon, Mar 11th 2013 11:58am

Moderate and high-density urban environments are more appealing when residents can connect with nature through access to green space.

Mon, Mar 11th 2013 11:54am

The Grand Concourse in the Bronx is undergoing an $18 million renovation, one of the largest complete streets projects in the US — and perhaps the one that directly affects the most people.

Mon, Mar 11th 2013 11:51am

Upwards of 1.6 million young adults have college degrees in the New York City metro region, and many of them have grown fond of urban, walkable living.

Mon, Mar 11th 2013 11:48am

Despites monumental market shifts, a continued “sprawl by default” is possible because much depends on the political will to change.

Mon, Mar 11th 2013 11:36am

The plan to transform Somerville, Massachusetts, and connect it to an emerging economy also honors and enhances old neighborhoods.

Mon, Mar 11th 2013 11:18am

More important than the style of second houses for the rich in the Hamptons is the construction and reconstruction of urbanism where people want to be.

Wed, Feb 20th 2013 12:45pm

Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form captures the aspirations of urbanism today.

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 3:07pm

A walking audit engages the mind, encourages collaboration and enables people to come up with practical solutions that are easy to implement on the ground.

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 3:04pm

Well-designed streets are the lifeblood of cities and towns, and they are the foundation of walkable, appealing communities.

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 3:03pm

The new urban Arverne-by-the-Sea, one of the largest current residential developments in New York City, surprised many residents by its resilience to Hurricane Sandy.

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 3:02pm

A $6.4 million project in Poynton Town Centre, in Cheshire, UK, is pushing the limits of removing traffic controls — and the result has been good for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 3:00pm

The City of Lancaster, California, converted a drab, automobile-oriented arterial at the heart of downtown into a lively, pedestrian-friendly place.

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 2:59pm

The state Greenbook gives official guidance and seal of approval to the creation of narrow, interconnnected, walkable streets.

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 2:57pm

Cities are growing faster than their suburbs for the first time in recent history, and this trend applies to the country’s biggest as well as some of its smallest cities

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 2:52pm

Arterial streets, typically multilane thoroughfares designed to speed cars from one destination to another, are often hazardous to people on foot.

Thu, Jan 17th 2013 2:50pm

NextGen new urbanists have published a booklet to makes the case that “Mid-tier” towns and cities represent the most dynamic opportunity for revitalization in the US presently.

Fri, Dec 14th 2012 11:08am

The lake-belt city, having lost more than half its population since the middle of the last century, seeks to make development easier and better.

Fri, Dec 7th 2012 1:29pm

Many traditional neighborhood developments struggle with the depressed new housing market — but there are exceptions, including NorthWest Crossing.

Fri, Dec 7th 2012 12:39pm

The key to combat this trend is adopting policies and taking actions that provide affordable housing, and more housing, in location-efficient areas, the report says.

Fri, Dec 7th 2012 12:33pm

Voters in El Paso, Texas, overwhelmingly supported $473 million in “quality of life” bonds that will implement “among the best, most articulate comprehensive plans.”

Fri, Dec 7th 2012 12:25pm

The Charter-award-winning project is designed to transform a mall and realize the dream of late James Rouse.

Fri, Dec 7th 2012 12:20pm

City sees significant economic effect in the wake of zoning reform.

Fri, Dec 7th 2012 12:15pm

Low-density suburbs lost more value than walkable neighborhoods in the housing downturn — and low-income city neighborhoods also suffered, according to a study of the Philadelphia region funded by the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Fri, Dec 7th 2012 12:09pm

Civano is a test case for New Urbanism versus sprawl. The former generates more value according to economic, environmental, and social indicators.

Sat, Dec 1st 2012 12:37pm

Hurricane Sandy tore into the East Coast in late October, and North America’s most densely populated island proved resilient. Despite a direct hit from a 14-foot storm surge, Manhattan suffered minimal loss of life. Seven flooded subway tunnels were operating within a week and much of the island never lost power.

Sat, Dec 1st 2012 12:18pm

A recent blog on the online magazine Salon slammed new suburban town centers as phony, pale imitations — but cities should be thankful for them.

Mon, Oct 29th 2012 8:25am

A Struggle Between Two World-Systems. A long-awaited capstone to Alexander's “Pattern Language” series, by Christopher Alexander, HansJoachim Neis, Maggie Moore Alexander.

Tue, Oct 23rd 2012 2:07pm

We need to get better at community outreach and engagement because we still have a lot of traction to gain at the local level.

Tue, Oct 16th 2012 4:48pm

The plan calls for investments in the historic core that preserve the quality of its landmark districts and restore the humane scale of streets and parks.

Mon, Oct 15th 2012 4:41pm

How Woodstock Downtown became the dynamic center of a sprawling Atlanta suburb

Mon, Oct 15th 2012 4:38pm

The shift away from single-family detached houses and toward higher-density, transit-served neighborhoods is well under way.

Mon, Oct 15th 2012 4:29pm

A new analysis of walkable urban places in the DC region creates a grading system that could help guide US urban real estate investment in coming decades.

Mon, Oct 15th 2012 4:20pm

The plan for ‘Restoration’ is a more compact traditional neighborhood with its own transit system.

Mon, Oct 15th 2012 4:14pm

The Denny Triangle north of downtown Seattle was for years a nondescript collection of parking lots and cheap motels from the era of the Seattle Expo.

Fri, Sep 7th 2012 11:42am

The City wanted to let pedestrians and vehicles mix in a somewhat gritty setting. ADA requirements and corporate attitudes complicated the effort.

Fri, Sep 7th 2012 11:38am

Now StreetScape Development LLC is planning to build a larger, transit-oriented development in the same 20,000-person village.

Fri, Sep 7th 2012 11:33am

Less parking and more car-sharing would help make transit-oriented development more successful.

Fri, Sep 7th 2012 11:25am

Advocates are sponsoring art activities throughout the US and trying to determine their impact.

Fri, Sep 7th 2012 11:21am

US DOT announced its fourth round of competitive TIGER Discretionary Grants, giving $500 million to 47 projects that run the gamut of transportation modes — many of them multimodal.

Wed, Jul 25th 2012 11:05am

Darrin Nordahl’s Making Transit Fun! and Daniel Solomon’s Bedside Essays for Lovers (of Cities) are a series’ first two titles.

Tue, Jul 24th 2012 3:25pm

A decade into the plan, street life emerges on the suburban corridor in Arlington, VA — and an expanded code and streetcar are in the works.

Tue, Jul 24th 2012 3:22pm

In 2003, in Washington’s Logan Circle, Gina Schaefer opened what she believes was the first new neighborhood-scale hardware store in the nation’s capital in 20 years.

Tue, Jul 24th 2012 3:17pm

Forty years ago this July the first stage of demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing project in St. Louis was completed — a seminal moment in the history of modern architecture and planning.

Tue, Jul 24th 2012 3:14pm

Some lessons from the big Denver development where New Urbanism and conventional traffic engineering collide.

Tue, Jul 24th 2012 2:23pm

The homebuilding bust has upended national chains’ strategy of growing in the distant suburbs.

Tue, Jul 24th 2012 2:16pm

Niagara Falls, New York, is finally making progress on redoing the Robert Moses State Parkway, an 18-mile expressway that’s been controversial for almost 50 years.

Sun, Jun 10th 2012 10:37am

In South Carolina, residents started organizing when a developer diluted the design of a promised new urban community.

Sun, Jun 10th 2012 10:18am

From West Palm Beach to New York City, bike-share programs are proliferating. Their financing and their scope vary.

Sun, Jun 10th 2012 10:14am

Some new urbanist developers are shifting to infill projects rather than hope for revival of suburban traditional neighborhood developments.

Sun, Jun 10th 2012 10:09am

The “largest transit expansion in the US” is under way. Concerned about displacement of the poor, the city has identified four transit-oriented districts for housing preservation.

Sun, Jun 10th 2012 10:03am

One action the densely-built, approximately four-square-mile municipality took to alleviate the pressure was to adopt an inclusionary zoning ordinance.

Sun, Jun 10th 2012 9:58am

As rail and rapid bus service expands, rising prices along transit routes pose a threat to inexpensive housing.

Sun, Jun 10th 2012 9:46am

The administration of Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder launched a program in April that ties placemaking to economic development and has the potential for far-reaching impact.

Sun, Jun 10th 2012 9:39am

Crime declined throughout Chicago and Atlanta as those two cities demolished public housing projects and helped families relocate with vouchers. An Urban Institute-Emory University study found that tearing down much of Chicago’s public housing and relocating residents with vouchers was associated with a 1 percent decrease in violent crimes citywide between 2000 and 2008. In Atlanta, a similar overhaul in public housing was associated with a decrease of 0.7 percent in violent crimes between 2002 and 2009.

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 2:47pm

The US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the Frontier Group have released a report showing that by 2011, the average American was driving 6 percent fewer miles per year than in 2004.

Especially interesting are these findings:

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 2:41pm

Population growth at the far edge of American metropolitan areas has plummeted in the past few years.

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 2:38pm

How Detroit might fashion a decent future is a recurring topic in urban circles. A new book, Detroit: A Biography (Chicago Review Press, 288 pages, $24.95) by Scott Martelle, gives readers much of the background they need to understand how Detroit got into such difficulty that it lost one resident every 22 minutes from 2000 to 2010. The city’s 139 square miles now contain about 714,000 people, down from 1,850,000 in 1950.

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 2:34pm

The Urban Land Institute predicts that both housing prices and housing starts will increase significantly starting in 2013.

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 2:31pm

A new approach to the built environment requires comprehensive education on the part of regulators and land-use professionals, so that plans don’t just sit on the shelf. Like many aspects of Plan El Paso, the city has gone the extra mile in this area.

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 2:24pm

An artist cooperative in Minneapolis continues to breath new life into the city without displacing local residents.

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 1:54pm

The Good City is a series of short, vivid essays on what Allan Jacobs, former San Francisco planning director and Berkeley professor, has seen or done in locales across the world.

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 1:18pm

In his new book, Sustainable Transportation Planning, Jeffery Tumlin presents a range of useful tools that communities can use to strengthen their transportation infrastructure.

Thu, Apr 19th 2012 12:54pm

Regional planners envision a finance system in which the state helps municipalities, and vice versa.

Wed, Apr 18th 2012 3:48pm

On Tax Day, here's an analysis on property taxes, the kind of taxes that cities and towns rely on most. Density and mixed-use — not parking lots — yield the most revenue by far.

11 Tue, Apr 17th 2012 8:11am

Fitchburg revised its SmartCode and then did something extra for cyclists.

Thu, Apr 12th 2012 3:37pm

Dublin, Ohio adopts a progressive form-based code to regulate growth along the city's Bridge Street Corridor.

Thu, Apr 12th 2012 3:14pm

In 10 years, household transportation costs rose nearly three times as much in heavely car dependent locations as in compact, transit-served neighborhoods.

Thu, Apr 12th 2012 2:52pm

The recent slaying of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida raises important questions about the safety and benefits of gated communities.

Thu, Apr 12th 2012 1:46pm

On the far west of Texas, officials are showing how to bring back historical patterns of transit-oriented, walkable neighborhoods in a low-density, spread-out city.

2 Thu, Apr 12th 2012 12:34pm

A new report from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy shows freeway removal delivering benefits on three continents.

Wed, Apr 11th 2012 2:42pm

A recently formed coalition, Livability Solutions, has received a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency that will help it give technical assistance to communities that face common development problems such as outdated zoning codes and a lack of consensus on where and how to grow.

Thu, Mar 8th 2012 3:33pm

The Alliance for Biking & Walking and the Street Plans Collaborative have established a website, OpenStreetsProject.org, to showcase “open streets” initiatives throughout North America.

Thu, Mar 8th 2012 3:28pm
Thu, Mar 8th 2012 3:20pm
Thu, Mar 8th 2012 3:13pm

A new 429-page paperback, The Built Environment and Public Health, by Russell P. Lopez, tells how community design and other facets of the built environment affect people’s health. The book, organized primarily with students in mind, points out that “for several decades, public health and urban planning were distinct and separate.”

Thu, Mar 8th 2012 2:48pm

Although Maryland established Priority Funding Areas (PFAs) to channel investment into areas most in need of redevelopment, a recent survey suggests that PFAs are more of a hinderance than an incentive.

Thu, Mar 8th 2012 2:07pm

The overall trend is toward a more place-based, character-based legal environment, according to one of the authors of the Codes Study.

Thu, Mar 8th 2012 9:43am

A Connecticut official tells how economic innovation and transit-oriented development can work together.

Wed, Mar 7th 2012 4:59pm

The "tragic comedy of suburban sprawl" is dissected with humor and uncompromising candor in a new book.

Wed, Mar 7th 2012 3:57pm

In his new book, urban planner Robert Gibbs considers the challenges and opportunities associated with designing a more sustainable retail-scape.

Wed, Mar 7th 2012 2:54pm

While no city has figured out how to completely eliminate congestion, a few have developed some creative strategies for mitigating its impacts.

Wed, Feb 29th 2012 4:45pm

HUD ressurects its Sustainable Cities program to support development initiatives across the country.

Wed, Feb 29th 2012 4:39pm

In the midst of a sprawling Latin American metropolis, a small town currenlty under construction recalls the urbanism of a previous era.

Wed, Feb 29th 2012 3:56pm

Nasheville's new zoning code, which mixes traditional land use controls with innovative form-based regulations, may be just what the city needs to achieve a denser, stronger downtown.

Wed, Feb 29th 2012 3:48pm

"Joint development" produces good projects, but it can be a complicated, time-consuming process.

Wed, Feb 29th 2012 2:54pm

A new book by Emily Talen traces the unfortunate history of zoning codes, and argues for clearer vision.

Wed, Feb 29th 2012 2:21pm

"Transportation demand management" can greatly reduce the damage that cars and parking inflict on urban areas, experts say.

Wed, Feb 29th 2012 1:20pm

Henry Cisneros argues that new urbanist principles can be applied to infrastructure, resulting in new, smarter, more efficient and more environmentally responsible public facilities.

Tue, Jan 31st 2012 12:37pm

As communities seek to fix broken real estate economies, new building prototypes that can both repair damaged urban fabric and garner financing are needed.

Tue, Jan 31st 2012 11:40am

Vancouver, British Columbia, could eventually have up to 60,000 small dwellings along lanes — if people can afford $300 a square foot.

Tue, Jan 31st 2012 11:04am

As urban planners and architects, we are focused on “health, safety and welfare” — but our solutions have not always put human nature at the forefront.

Tue, Jan 31st 2012 10:59am

What would cities be like if Americans started occupying remnants of the global shipping system?

1 Tue, Jan 31st 2012 10:56am

Installation of streetcars, and the use of special assessment districts to support them, have been inspired by the phenomenal success of the Portland Streetcar.

Tue, Jan 31st 2012 10:51am

Rental options will drive the early phases of residential construction as value is built for for-sale opportunities in the future.

Tue, Jan 31st 2012 10:46am

Bristol Rising in Connecticut is one of the most comprehensive small city redevelopment plans in the US.

Tue, Jan 31st 2012 10:40am

As money to build rail lines and transit-oriented development falls short, advocates search for new revenue sources.

Tue, Jan 31st 2012 9:32am

The agreement preserves funding for transit and the innovative TIGER grants program, while zeroing out high-speed rail

Thu, Dec 1st 2011 2:48pm

There’s tremendous capital waiting to be invested in urban real estate, but capital funds managers face a gap in experience and expertise.

1 Thu, Dec 1st 2011 11:30am

New York City’s Department of Transportation has carved 54 plazas out of streets and other areas. More are on the way.

Thu, Dec 1st 2011 10:57am

Yes, but don’t worry. New Urban News will continue under a new name.

Thu, Dec 1st 2011 10:56am

All 17 houses in the new Artists Village in East Haddam, Connecticut, will be completed by the end of this year.

Mon, Nov 28th 2011 4:35pm

McCamant and Durrett, architects based in Nevada City, California, have designed and developed more than 50 cohousing communities across the US.

Mon, Nov 28th 2011 4:23pm

A Mercer University initiative, with aid from the Knight Foundation, and a class trip to confer with Richard Florida result in “The Lofts at Mercer Village.”

Mon, Nov 28th 2011 3:42pm

In the 24 chapters of Making Healthy Places, some four dozen contributors offer information and advice on a wide variety of health and planning issues.

Mon, Nov 28th 2011 3:25pm

To create healthy places, America needs to groom leaders who combine techniques from planning and public health, a new book says.

Mon, Nov 28th 2011 3:18pm

Defenders of traditional architecture are pressing for a new interpretation of troublesome Interior Department standards.

Mon, Nov 28th 2011 3:06pm

Americans prefer smart growth to conventional suburbia by a 56 percent to 43 percent margin.

Mon, Nov 28th 2011 2:54pm

The $95 million Sustainable Communities planning grant program was a minuscule speck in the $3.7 trillion 2012 federal budget.

Mon, Nov 28th 2011 2:39pm

A new report from the Urban Institute urges planners and community leaders to include artists and art spaces in their community development strategies.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 2:40pm

Sustainable Maryland Certified will assist communities in planning and implementing “green” practices, which may help them cope with tight budgets.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 2:31pm

Progress on transit and transit-oriented development in many regions across the US is included in a new report from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 2:25pm

During the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ annual meeting, Heather Smith, program director for CNU, hailed the response that a CNU-ITE manual has generated.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 2:19pm

The Al Aqaba charrette planned for new growth in a Palestinian village and designed a West Bank version of the “Katrina Cottage.”

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 2:12pm

The City Council of South Padre Island, Texas, adopted a redevelopment plan and form-based code for the 6-mile commercial corridor along Padre Boulevard.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 1:48pm

Smart Growth America and Charlier & Associates are helping five rural communities to submit TIGER III grants on October 31.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 1:21pm

Livability Solutions helps communities with problems such as outdated zoning codes and a lack of consensus on where and how to grow.

1 Wed, Oct 12th 2011 1:10pm

Three main principles; Beautiful Places, Defined Places and Anticipation of a Place, were used to build extra value out of typical suburban post-meltdown wreckage.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 12:42pm

A careful analysis of Schooner Bay in the Bahamas shows the financial and other benefits of taking a slower, culturally attuned, lower-debt approach to development.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 11:53am

Bothell, Washington, adapts to current employment and living trends by redoing highways and making a walkable, mixed-use downtown.

Wed, Oct 12th 2011 10:56am

How does a gritty West Virginia town revitalize itself into a thriving, mixed-use, walkable community in a down economy? A week-long charrette and federal livability grants help figure it out. 

Tue, Oct 11th 2011 3:37pm

Transportation planner Patrick Siegman lays out three approaches to parking regulations in an attempt to move municipalities away from parking minimums.

Tue, Oct 11th 2011 3:16pm

An updated edition of Donald Shoup’s The High Cost of Free Parking tells how to introduce “performance parking” systems and other innovations.

Tue, Oct 11th 2011 2:45pm

Breathtakingly broad in scope, the Obama administration’s redevelopment plan tackles nearly every problem known to afflict city-dwellers.

Tue, Oct 11th 2011 1:44pm
Thu, Sep 22nd 2011 11:15am

A suburban employment center aims to evolve into a pedestrian-oriented place.

Thu, Sep 22nd 2011 10:43am
Thu, Sep 22nd 2011 10:32am
Thu, Sep 22nd 2011 10:25am

As Walk Score’s calculations gain sophistication, planners are using the system to determine where to put light-rail stations.

Wed, Sep 21st 2011 11:44am

Small families, rental apartments, and a right-sized central square are keys to development at Pleasant Hill in Contra Costa County, California.

Wed, Sep 21st 2011 11:30am

The “Incremental Sprawl Repair” project identifies methods for remaking road corridors when financing and transit are limited.

Wed, Sep 21st 2011 11:24am

Katrina Cottages, which were designed as alternatives to emergency trailers after Hurricane Katrina, are getting a second life in projects across the US.

Wed, Sep 21st 2011 11:22am

Financing for smart growth and TOD faces possible cutbacks as redevelopment agencies are caught in California budget battle.

Wed, Sep 21st 2011 11:17am

The funds are intended “to strengthen the arts while shaping the social, physical, and economic characters of their neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions.”

Wed, Sep 21st 2011 11:10am

“Walmart Express” units of just 15,000 square feet are on the way — responding to Americans’ growing reluctance to drive long distances.

Wed, Sep 21st 2011 11:05am

Supermarkets are increasingly coming equipped with parking garages. Could “automated parking” be in the future?

1 Wed, Sep 21st 2011 10:48am

In 2008, when Walk Score’s first ranking of cities came out, San Francisco was number one. This year New York pushed the Golden Gate City into second place.

Wed, Sep 21st 2011 10:30am
Wed, Sep 21st 2011 10:11am

Norton Commons has been growing steadily throughout the economic downturn and is outperforming its surrounding neighborhoods.

Tue, Aug 9th 2011 1:43pm

What do you do when you have a strip of land 125 feet wide and a mere 15.25 feet deep?

1 Mon, Aug 8th 2011 11:00am

For the first time, Sarah Susanka, architect and best-selling author of the popular Not So Big House book series, has designed a house for a development.

Fri, Aug 5th 2011 11:36am

Oklahoma’s down-home Carlton Landing will feature an organic farm with “the nicest chicken coop this side of the Mississippi.”

Wed, Aug 3rd 2011 10:30am

Participants in CNU 19 question whether communities are doing enough, and whether bike lanes may worsen conditions for people on foot.

2 Tue, Aug 2nd 2011 1:30pm

An unusual financial arrangement will provide most of the $1.6 billion needed to redevelop Quincy Center with a design by the architect of Mizner Park.

1 Mon, Aug 1st 2011 10:03am

This year’s winners of the Driehaus Form-Based Codes Awards are the Development Code Rewrite of Livermore, California and the Compact Communities Code of Lee County, Florida.

Fri, Jul 29th 2011 12:31pm

Elevated walkways are coming down and public spaces are being rethought as the business district tries to nurture downtown living.

1 Thu, Jun 16th 2011 9:01am

Vancouver, Canada, intends to fill much of a transit corridor from downtown to the airport with buildings mostly four to 12 stories high.

4 Tue, Jun 14th 2011 8:56am

Public health researcher Anne Lusk argues that installing bike routes separate from motor vehicles will boost cycling and make compact communities work better.

4 Tue, May 3rd 2011 8:14am

Every city has the capacity to make its own stuff, declares a Providence artist-developer.

Tue, Apr 26th 2011 8:53am

Smart growth proponents are fighting a state transit agency plan that would lease out dozens of parking facilities to private operators for 30 to 50 years.

Mon, Apr 25th 2011 8:45am

Fruitvale Village installs professional and community services in some ground-floor spaces, filling empty retail spots.

2 Wed, Mar 23rd 2011 7:54am

A study of Denver, Charlotte, and the Twin Cities finds housing booming near some stations while languishing in more difficult locations.

2 Tue, Mar 22nd 2011 7:32am

The $4 million in grants to 17 cities build on the HOPE VI program. Finalists for larger implementation grants were also announced.

Fri, Mar 18th 2011 11:12am

One development would place hundreds of apartments above a store, but other projects emphasize parking, not pedestrian-friendly streets. Chicago and New York also face Walmart campaigns.

1 Thu, Mar 17th 2011 9:09am

The strategic approach in Huntington Beach divides the corridors into three broad categories based on potential for change.

1 Wed, Mar 16th 2011 7:49am

In the real estate downturn since 2007, houses outside state's Priority Funding Areas declined in value faster than those inside the boundaries.

Sat, Mar 5th 2011 12:49am

Transit-oriented development is the key to cutting energy consumption — even more so than Energy Star construction or green cars, according to a peer-reviewed study supported by EPA.

1 Tue, Mar 1st 2011 4:48pm

Demand for housing in accessible close-in suburbs will outstrip supply in the next few years, predicts Patrick L. Phillips.

Mon, Feb 14th 2011 1:57pm

An EPA study reveals that smart growth communities achieve higher sales prices and value per square foot.

Wed, Feb 9th 2011 8:01am

Each dollar used on transit was 75 percent more effective at putting people to work than a dollar used for highway work.

Fri, Feb 4th 2011 12:42pm

Recognition programs help good projects gain approval, but occasionally some extra tweaking is in order.

Tue, Feb 1st 2011 11:37am

Planners brought in by the Haitian government propose a better urban environment than existed prior to the devastating earthquake.

5 Wed, Jan 26th 2011 2:44pm

Portland has created more than 300 miles of bicycle facilities. Among the most effective are “neighborhood greenways.”

Tue, Jan 25th 2011 11:04am

With many scratching to make a living in a badly damaged economy, coworking is springing up to meet the needs of independent workers.

Mon, Jan 24th 2011 10:42am

Using Baltimore as a case study, a UMass researcher finds that bicycle and pedestrian upgrades generate substantially more jobs than road repairs and improvements.

Sat, Jan 22nd 2011 10:24am

Now that the full-fledged LEED for Neighborhood Development program has been operating for several months, its rating system is being studied with an eye to making improvements.

Tue, Jan 18th 2011 10:10am

Youngstown, Ohio, needed to think smaller, but the strategy has helped only to a limited extent.

2 Wed, Jan 12th 2011 1:22pm

Urban Land Institute leaders respond to a recent American Public Transportation Association survey in which nearly two-thirds of adults said they would definitely or probably use high-speed rail for leisure or business travel if it were an option.

Thu, Jan 6th 2011 1:29pm

With few exceptions, America’s largest homebuilders are slower than companies in other fields to act on environmental concerns.

10 Tue, Jan 4th 2011 11:35am

Now comes data from Portland, Oregon, that suggests encouraging bicycle use leads to greater traffic safety in general.

2 Tue, Dec 21st 2010 8:10am

Ideas are being sought for improving LEED for Neighborhood Development and other LEED programs.

Thu, Dec 16th 2010 2:56pm

Maryland’s proposed system for curbing water pollution raises alarm among smart growth advocates.

Wed, Dec 8th 2010 9:26am

From a 100-foot-long section of Linden Street in San Francisco to the diminutive Palmer Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Americans are dipping their toes in the shared-space street movement timidly.

Tue, Dec 7th 2010 11:49am

Britain is energetically designing streets that intermingle foot and vehicular traffic; the US follows ever so cautiously.

Mon, Dec 6th 2010 8:56am

A ciclovia is either a permanently designated bicycle route or a temporary event, the closing of the street to automobiles for use by others.

Fri, Dec 3rd 2010 3:19pm

In late August the Commission celebrated completion of a new 75-foot clock tower adjoining the historic station on the eastern edge of downtown.

Mon, Nov 29th 2010 11:17am

New Yorkers are America’s greatest walkers, and increasing numbers pedal bikes, too, but not everyone is happy with the situation.

2 Thu, Nov 11th 2010 5:42pm

Connectivity, economic development, and zoning reform are also targeted, according to an in-depth analysis of TIGER and Sustainable Communities grants by Reconnecting America.

2 Thu, Nov 11th 2010 8:47am

Kenneth Groves, whose nine years as director of planning and development in Montgomery, Alabama, resulted in an overhaul of the city’s zoning and more urbane development downtown, died Sept. 28 after a brief struggle with cancer.

Tue, Nov 9th 2010 11:35am

Small, well-constructed dwellings — efficient to run but not necessarily cheap to build — point to more-compact living.

1 Sat, Nov 6th 2010 1:02am

The county board in Arlington, Virginia, unanimously approved a new "sector plan" that will enable Crystal City to continue to grow.

Fri, Nov 5th 2010 9:40am

Despite a sour economy, transit ballot measures scored 22 wins and eight losses in Tuesday’s voting across the US.

Wed, Nov 3rd 2010 2:28pm

Plan El Paso, led by Dover, Kohl & Partners, examines how transportation dollars and development can promote smart growth and great streets.

Wed, Nov 3rd 2010 9:37am

Lockers and other facilities for bicyclists are making it more convenient for bicyclists to pedal to and from transit stations.

Mon, Nov 1st 2010 8:45am

A parking lot is being converted to a civic space in the center of Camden. Next up is a “road diet” for a downtown thoroughfare.

Thu, Oct 28th 2010 1:43pm

A strategic framework breaks the city down into 11 kinds of neighborhoods, zones, or sectors, and recommends a different mix of techniques in each of them.

Tue, Oct 26th 2010 11:07am

Resources may be focused along a light-rail line and on downtown, Midtown, and the better-positioned neighborhoods.

Tue, Oct 26th 2010 10:47am

Target Field, the $545 million new home of the Minnesota Twins, may just possibly be the death knell for retro-style ballparks.

1 Fri, Oct 22nd 2010 10:54am

North Little Rock, Arkansas, has begun implementing a plan for construction of 1,400 apartments, condominium units, and detached houses, establishment of a farmers’ market, and other improvements in its downtown.

Mon, Oct 18th 2010 11:25am

A complex with a 29,000 sq. ft. supermarket on its second level defies the depression in commercial real estate.

Thu, Oct 14th 2010 11:32am

A new report, "Driven Apart," argues that the Texas Transportation Institute has overlooked the benefits of more compact development.

Thu, Sep 30th 2010 7:59am

The findings could give encouragement to policy-makers who seek to promote compact, walkable neighborhoods for sustainability reasons, the authors write.

Tue, Sep 28th 2010 10:40am

LeylandAlliance has signed an agreement with Educational Realty Trust that should lead to development of a town center next to the University of Connecticut.

Tue, Sep 21st 2010 1:15pm

Bay Area communities look at how to shift from the industrial era to an atmosphere that appeals to “millennials.”

Fri, Sep 17th 2010 9:19am

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu should demand significant changes in the design of a successor to Charity Hospital, consultant David Dixon told city officials in August.

Thu, Sep 16th 2010 9:11am

The City Council in Rohnert Park, California, voted approval August 24 for the transformation of a 175-acre light industrial business park into a new urban community that promises to be one of the “greenest” in the US.

Wed, Sep 15th 2010 12:19pm

Studies in Florida and North Carolina show that dense urban development pays off for local governments. Big-box retail doesn’t.

4 Mon, Sep 13th 2010 5:41pm

Dublin, prosperous but worried, looks toward denser, more walkable development to thrive in the knowledge economy.

Fri, Sep 10th 2010 10:06am

Having failed last February to win $298 million in federal stimulus funds for a 9.7-mile streetcar system, the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Transit Connector initiative asked this August for $52 million for a line considerably shorter: 2.6 miles.

Fri, Sep 10th 2010 9:54am

A new report prepared by Calthorpe Associates is described as "the state's first major planning document in almost 30 years."

Tue, Sep 7th 2010 9:47am

The Smart Growth Public Policy Infrastructure Policy Act, which aims to spend more of the New York State’s tax money on infrastructure in compact communities and less of it in sprawling locations, was signed into law at 8 PM Aug. 30 by Gov. David Paterson.

Tue, Aug 31st 2010 6:25pm

A new book, Inclusive Housing, explains how to build in ways that reflect New Urbanism while meeting the needs of disabled people.

Thu, Aug 26th 2010 2:10pm

Thirteen new urban and smart growth developments were named as Catalyst Projects on August 24 by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Wed, Aug 25th 2010 1:10pm

The federal HOPE VI program will disburse $124 million for five or six public housing redevelopment projects in the coming fiscal year, officials of the US Department of Housing & Urban Development announced today.

Wed, Aug 25th 2010 1:08pm

How can communities get more people onto bicycles, and yet make sure that the space for biking doesn’t undercut good urban design?

Thu, Aug 19th 2010 2:55pm

The City of Bristol, Connecticut, home to sports broadcaster ESPN, is teaming up with Renaissance Downtowns of Plainview, New York, to redevelop Bristol’s central business district.

Fri, Aug 13th 2010 12:00pm

Downtown Ventura, California, has its first new Class A office building since the 1920s, and it’s a beauty.

Thu, Aug 12th 2010 2:20pm

Dr. Andrew Dannenberg and his co-authors describe the health impact assessment (HIA) as “a tool to help planners and other decision-makers better recognize the health consequences of the decisions they make.”

Tue, Aug 10th 2010 4:04pm

Louisiana demolition plan contrasts sharply with new urbanist charrettes sponsored by a hospital system in Richmond, Virginia.

Mon, Aug 9th 2010 12:41pm

Washington, DC-based planning consultant Jeff Speck moved himself, his wife, and their 21-month-old son to Lowell, Massachusetts this April for what he calls a “slow charrette” — a full month of working on a plan for Lowell’s future development while living in a converted mill downtown.

Fri, Aug 6th 2010 2:22pm

Dr. John M. MacDonald, a criminology professor and behavioral scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, wanted to know whether switching from driving to riding mass transit would help people lose weight. To find out, he surveyed Charlotte, North Carolina, residents who had become regular users of that city’s nearly three-year-old Lynx light-rail line.

Thu, Aug 5th 2010 1:42pm

Arterial roads — especially those with heavy traffic volumes, high speeds, and strip commercial development such as big-box stores — are undermining Americans’ safety. The extent of the danger was investigated recently by Eric Dumbaugh and Wenhao Li of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M.

Thu, Aug 5th 2010 1:22pm

Seven years after they were first proposed, 47 sometimes controversial affordable dwelling units are nearing completion in Barrington, Rhode Island, a well-heeled town about 10 miles south of Providence.

Wed, Aug 4th 2010 6:12pm

As national real estate sales slow, demographic and preference trends make smart growth and New Urbanism a good bet.

Sun, Apr 1st 2007 12:00am
Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Market

A rendering for the Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Market, top, shows how art vendors, food trucks, and performance space replaces greenery and pavement near a light rail station, below. Images courtesy of ArtPlace

Terry Avenue

Seating bike parking, and sidewalks all fit in the 31-foot pedestrian zone. Photo by Leslie Bain.