Transportation and Regional Growth - Part V, Urban Design: Transportation & Urban Growth - Urban Design and the Environment

Principal Investigator:

Lance Neckar, Professor, Landscape Architechture

Project Summary:

This portion of the Regional Growth study searches to compare baseline current patterns of transportation and urbanization with other designed patterns. It hypothesizes fundamental relationships across the form and scale of the transportation networks and the types of urbanization they serve. It also exposes relationships between connectivity, access and environmental qualities, here signified by impacts on surface and ground water quality. These relationships are understood as a measure of sustainable development. A balance between patterns of connectivity and access with environmental values, therefore, hypothetically underpins the physical foundations of sustainable regional growth. Balance between connectivity and access and environmental values can be investigated as a process of design investigation, i.e. through the design and discussion of baseline dispersed (suburban) and alternative compact (urban) physical configurations of urbanization, including transportation networks, development patterns, and water. Dispersed models of urbanization prevail in the subdivision and zoning practices in many communities today. Many of the hypothetical precedents for alternative physical models of sustainable community-building are based in the integrative designed or planned communities of the past and their updated compact-urban-form counterparts today, generally categorized under the heading of New Urbanism or conservation design: Neo-Traditional Urban Communities/Traditional Neighborhood Design, (TND) Transit-Oriented Design (TOD), Cluster Development Surface Stormwater Community Design. All of these alternative forms concentrate on a combination of compact transportation networks that connect to existing cities, and multi-modal approaches to transportation service. The methods of the study will be to use these alternative compact-urban-form design models in designed comparisons with existing baseline dispersed conditions (i.e., as platformed by existing subdivision

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