Advocates of New Urbanist and neo-traditional planning concepts include street connectivity as a key component for good neighborhood design. Street networks that are more grid-like are preferred over networks that include many cul-de-sacs and long blocks, thus increasing distances between destinations. The increased distances are thought to discourage walking and bicycling and, thus, physical activity.
This paper seeks to provide a point of departure by arguing that in Europe, the idea of transit-oriented development is central to an emerging set of trans-national ideas and practices under the labels of “spatial planning” and (increasingly) “territorial cohesion”. However, the paper suggests that this emerging policy consensus is more fragile than it might appear. Similarly, the paper shows that TOD in a more familiar guise is endorsed in national planning policy in the UK, but that outcomes are mediated by other planning doctrines and by consumer preferences. Finally the paper suggests some questions for further research.
The demographics of the United States will change dramatically during the next 25 years as more baby boomers reach their 60s, 70s and beyond. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of Americans age 65 or older will swell from 35 million today to more than 62 million by 2025 - nearly an 80 percent increase. As people grow older, they often become less willing or able to drive, making it necessary to depend on alternative methods of transportation.
A growing number of researchers agree that social networks and community involvement have positive health consequences. Persons who are socially engaged with others and actively involved in their communities tend to live longer and be healthier physically and mentally.
Increased traffic congestion, loss of open space, infrastructure costs, and a desire for more housing options have all made smart growth an increasingly powerful strategy for building and revitalizing communities, catalyzing economic development and protecting the environment.
Evidence of this trend is every-where. Of the 189 ballot initiatives in 2002 related to state and local conservation, 141 were approved. Elected in 2002, Massachusetts Republican Governor Mitt Romney, Michigan Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm and Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Ed Rendellare poised to make smart growth actions a high priority.
Smart growth projects nationwide were built in record numbers, continuing a five-year upward trend, reported “The New Urban News,” an industry publication that tracks new development. Cities and towns across the country are re-examining and changing comprehensive plans, zoning and other building regulations to make smart growth possible.
A majority of scientists now agree that the Earth’s climate is warming, as indicated by a rise in the average surface temperature of the earth. Positive climate change (warming) is thought to be the result of human-generated emissions, principally of carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon dioxide, like the greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), allows solar radiation to pass through the atmosphere, but prevents surface radiation from escaping to outer space, effectively “trapping” it. This process leads to an overall increase in surface temperature. The observational evidence for positive climate change is circumstantial but extensive: direct measurement has established that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased since the industrial revolution and the related surge in fossil fuel consumption. The gas physics behind the “heat-trapping” greenhouse effect is not disputed, and the man-made exacerbation of the greenhouse effect is considered to be very likely.
This report examines relationships between residential location and travel patterns of the elderly. Using the 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, we describe travel patterns of the elderly and estimate models of trip making, daily travel and transit use. Travel tends to shift to the middle part of the day with age, and trip making declines after age 75. We find that land use and travel relationships are largely the same for the elderly as for the non-elderly, though there is some evidence that the oldest elderly are more sensitive to local accessibility.
The study that follows is part of a small but growing number of analyses designed to empirically evaluate the achievements of new urbanist developments. This study is based on a house-level survey of residents in Orenco Station, a new urbanist development in western Portland, Oregon. Similar surveys were also conducted in two more traditional neighborhoods, one in Northeast Portland and one in Southwest Portland, and so comparisons can be made across the communities. Through this comparative approach, it is possible to evaluate the current outcomes of this new urbanist project on a variety of dimensions. Key issues that are explored include the following: Has the Orenco Station project succeeded in fostering a sense of community for its residents? How have residents responded to living in a higher density situation? And, of particular importance from an environmental perspective, have Orenco Station residents reduced their reliance on automobiles since moving into the community?…
This Phase II report addresses the connection between transit and streets, recognizing that the design and management of streets and traffic can and does affect the livability of communities. This report presents strategies that are emerging across the United States, where the effective, balanced incorporation of transit into city streets is having a positive impact on livability and quality of life.