Case Studies

Case Studies

Cary: Subdivision Ordinances

Through the process of creating its 2001 Land Use Plan, the town of Cary, NC, formulated goals for itself: retain a sense of place, have a more human-scale and pedestrian-oriented environment, avoid strip development along arterials, focus commercial activity into discrete nodes, and increase connectivity. Street connectivity was seen as a way to foster a … Continue reading Cary: Subdivision Ordinances

Charlotte: Retrofit Street Connectivity

In 2006, the city of Charlotte, NC, created a Street Connectivity program within its Department of Transportation (CDOT) to run the “inventory and implementation of needed street connections within and between neighborhoods as well as the construction of new connectors and local streets to provide improved access and connectivity for future development.” The program is … Continue reading Charlotte: Retrofit Street Connectivity

Arlington: Transit-Oriented Development

Arlington County, VA, is one of the most successful examples of transit- oriented development (TOD) in the United States. In a case study prepared for the Transit Cooperative Research Board, the authors zeroed in on successful TOD tactics employed by Arlington County officials. One of the county’s first steps was to create a general land … Continue reading Arlington: Transit-Oriented Development

San Jose: LOS Exemptions for Walking

In the 1960’s, San José, CA, grew rapidly in automobile-oriented growth patterns until roadways became congested and undeveloped land more scarce. San José updated its transportation policy in 2005 to give priority to pedestrians, transit, and bicyclists in specific locations. Those areas included parts of the city zoned for higher densities, planned communities, and transit-oriented … Continue reading San Jose: LOS Exemptions for Walking

Vancouver: EcoDensity

The Vancouver City Council approved and adopted former Mayor Sam Sullivan’s EcoDensity initiative in 2008 in an effort to increase the city’s housing density while reducing its environmental impact. The council’s approval capped a two-year-long process of public and legislative outreach and discussion. The resulting EcoDensity charter outlined the goals of its initiative to overhaul … Continue reading Vancouver: EcoDensity

Tysons Corner: Malls into Walkable Destinations

Tysons Corner, VA, is a sprawling cluster of shopping malls and office parks at the intersection of four major highways in Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County. The regional economic hub contains more than 100,000 jobs but hosts fewer than 20,000 residents. Every day, thousands of commuters flood highways en route to jobs in Tysons Corner and … Continue reading Tysons Corner: Malls into Walkable Destinations

Washington, DC: Temporary Urbanism Program

The Washington, DC, Office of Planning (OP) launched its Temporary Urbanism initiative in 2010 to help transform vacant spaces into dynamic destinations. The initiative emerged out of a 2009 OP forum that brainstormed ways to “catalyze collaborative action across the creative, green, technology, nonprofit, education, and technology sectors.” The OP’s current Temporary Urbanism program is … Continue reading Washington, DC: Temporary Urbanism Program

San Francisco: Parklet Program

The cities of New York and San Francisco have taken the concept of Park(ing) Day and created official programs to repurpose curbside parking into public space on a longer-term basis. The San Francisco Parklet program seeks applications from business improvement districts, retail stores, and restaurants for the opportunity to design, construct, and maintain the spaces … Continue reading San Francisco: Parklet Program

PA & NJ: Context-Sensitive Design

In 2008, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey departments of transportation, in collaboration with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, published The Smart Transportation Guidebook. The publication provided the framework for updating all other DOT processes around six tenants: Adapt solutions to the context, tailor the approach, plan projects with community collaboration, accommodate alternative transportation modes, … Continue reading PA & NJ: Context-Sensitive Design

Seattle: Sidewalk Network Analysis

Seattle used a GIS-based approach to prioritize potential sidewalk projects. The city first analyzed sidewalk needs based on the presence and characteristics of existing sidewalks, such as physical buffers, traffic speeds and volumes, and block length. The city then analyzed sidewalks based on three demand analyses—potential pedestrian demand, socioeconomic / health equity, and corridor function—and … Continue reading Seattle: Sidewalk Network Analysis