Livable Communities

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

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Inside busy farmers market in Montreal

To Market, To Market

Local farmers’ markets provide one of the best ways of increasing downtown activity, while offering a valuable outlet for area farmers. Author and lecturer Roberta Brandes Gratz takes a closer look at the role farmers’ markets can play — and why they’ve become so popular.

school boy looking at fleet of school buses.

School Sprawl

One of the most important, but often overlooked, contributors to sprawl is the construction of large educational facilities in outlying, undeveloped areas. Edward McMahon takes a look at some of the causes of “school sprawl” — and at some efforts to combat it.

New Development, Traditional Patterns

New Development, Traditional Patterns

A dramatic shift in the design and layout of new developments has begun to take hold in cities across North America. Called new urbanism, this movement draws on older patterns of development. Planning reporter Philip Langdon provides an introduction to new urbanism.

simple illustration of downtown housing

Smart Growth Trends

What do suburban town centers, green space as a residential amenity, open space systems, downtown housing, and cooperation between developers and environmentalists have in common?

getting together at a local coffee house

Our Vanishing “Third Places”

Informal neighborhood gathering places were, for many years, an integral part of our cities and towns. Since World War II, they’ve been vanishing. An exploration of why “third places” are so important to the health of our communities.

Center-ing Our Suburbs

Center-ing Our Suburbs

Encouraging mixed-use centers is one way of reducing suburban dependence on the automobile. How existing underutilized shopping areas can be converted into such centers, providing a mix of commercial, office, and residential uses, as well as improved pedestrian and transit access.