Livable Communities

Articles and postings focusing on different ways in which we can plan for more livable communities for all our citizens.

Continue to older articles & posts — or return to newer ones — where you see the green buttons at the bottom of the page.

apartments in Shaker Heights, Ohio

A Planner Should Be Flexible

“Flexibility … that’s the most important part of my job,” Shaker Heights Planning Director Joyce Braverman told me. She even carries a small reminder of this in her purse, the world famous — and very flexible — Gumby.

Planning ABC's illustration

Q is for Quiet

Noise remains a pervasive “quality of life” issue facing urban, suburban, and rural areas. While it no longer manifests itself in the clang of wagon wheels on cobblestone streets, it now comes in the form of highway and air traffic, and proliferating number of other sources.

Planning ABC's illustration

Y is for Youth

In the planned neighborhood developments of the 1920s, elementary schools were centrally located within easy walking distance of their student population. But that changed with the explosive unplanned suburban sprawl of the 1950s and the decades that followed.

illustration of black imprint of walking shoes

Let’s Plan on Walking

Cities and towns are increasingly recognizing that walkability plays a key role in achieving broader economic and social goals, such revitalizing urban centers, creating a sense of place in suburbs, and reclaiming the attractiveness of small towns.

cartoon image of a grocery cart full of food

Wanted: Downtown Grocery Stores

As Americans’ taste for downtown living grows, so does their appetite for downtown grocery stores. So, why is it still rare to see a grocery store downtown? Economic development consultant Kennedy Smith provides some answers.

School crossing sign

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School programs are being implemented in communities across the country. Transportation planner Hannah Twaddell provides a primer on “SR2S.”

illustration by Paul Hoffman for article on community child care facilities

Child Care in Our Communities

Sixty percent of working families with children under age five now pay for licensed child care. A look at how communities are responding to the challenge of providing for child care facilities.