The Role of Well-Designed Transportation Projects Enhancing Communities: Community Identity, Vision, Aesthetic, Architectural Design, Cultural and Scenic Benefits

Principal Investigator(s):

Ann Forsyth, Former University Researcher, Metropolitan Design Center

Project summary:

Design issues in transportation projects range from community identity and appearance to scenic quality, and cultural value. All these are characteristics that are problematic to measure, quantify, and cast in terms of monetary costs and benefits. In spite of these difficulties, it is critical that qualities of design are able to be measured in aesthetic and humanistic terms so they can be discussed in a systematic and reliable way. This research project was a component of the interdisciplinary research study titled "The Role of Well-Designed Transportation Projects Enhancing Communities." In order to measure the benefits of good design, researchers examined case studies from three regions (northern Virginia, the St. Louis metropolitan area and Missouri, and northern California) that focused on the areas of transit-oriented development and context-sensitive design. For each case study, the project tested six approaches to measuring design quality: using a short score sheet rating tool and a longer inventory, eliciting the opinions of design experts and some of the users and creators of the spaces, using standardized drawing and mapping techniques to compare designs, and by assessing photographs. Bests practices were then developed based on knowledge gained from the case study process.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2007008
  • Start date: 07/2006
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Planning

Reports or Products: