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Density Without High-Rises?

Today, high energy prices, smart growth, new urbanism, infill development, transit-oriented development, and sustainability concerns are all coalescing to foster more compact, mixed-use, walkable, higher density development. End of excerpt Ed McMahon is one of…

Street trees downtown illustration by Paul Hoffman for PlannersWeb

Making a “Visible” Difference

as variance requests, subdivision approvals, re-zoning applications, and the like. As a result, they often have little time to think about what their communities will look like in the future. Unfortunately, most zoning codes are…

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Barriers to Better Development

planning community –- that there are alternatives to sprawl that are more attractive, more efficient, more profitable, and more environmentally sensitive than conventional suburban-style development. So why is the development paradigm so hard to change?…

green infrastructure illustration by Paul Hoffman for PlannersWeb

Green Infrastructure

of connections to maintaining the continent’s wildlife. By the 1960’s, U.S. ecologists had become believers in the need to create an “integrated conservation system” that protects wildlife while maintaining natural landscape processes. Both of these…

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Road Design: A Turn Ahead

designed to be wider and straighter, without much consideration being given to the character of the surrounding community. In recent years, however, there has been a gradual turn towards more thoughtful, “context sensitive” roadway design….

Walker and bicycle by tree in illustration by Paul Hoffman for PlannersWeb

Bicyclists and Pedestrians Belong!

increase in funding for non-motorized transportation facilities, some state and local officials continue to think that there is little public demand or support for bicycling and walking as part of a multi-modal transportation system. Nothing…

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Design Matters

Musante of Northampton, Massachusetts noted, “Design relates directly to an impression of livability and economic vitality. It has a major impact on our city.” Good design is especially important to those communities seeking to attract…

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Building Codes Get Smarter

rehabilitation totaled almost $600 million, a 60 percent increase from 1997. According to New Jersey newspaper editor Ben Forest, “Until the new rules went into effect, the costs, construction constraints, and unpredictable application of building…

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Green Enhances Growth

While the simple act of planting trees can have a profound long-range impact on a community and its inhabitants, until relatively recently the idea of protecting existing trees through local tree preservation ordinances was rare….