Case Studies

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

New York: Planning for Multiple Modes

In 2009, NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) teamed up to design and implement the M15 Select Bus Service (SBS) line along First and Second Avenues in Manhattan. The SBS project, which was modeled after bus rapid transit to provide subway-like service with buses, aimed to meet goals previously … Continue reading New York: Planning for Multiple Modes

New York: Pedestrian Plazas

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) removed two of four vehicular lanes along Broadway between Columbus Circle and Union Square in Midtown Manhattan (a distance of 2 miles) and built a buffered bicycle lane and pedestrian plazas using temporary materials like textured paint and roadway markings in the newly freed roadway space. This … Continue reading New York: Pedestrian Plazas

Kansas City: Pedestrian Criteria

When creating its 2003 Walkability Plan, the Kansas City Planning and Development Department modeled its pedestrian-system evaluation criteria on the concept of automobile level of service or LOS. Level of service is a measurement of delay ranging from A to F. Kansas City created pedestrian level-of-service criteria that measured directness, continuity, street crossings, visual interest and … Continue reading Kansas City: Pedestrian Criteria

New York: Analyze Person Delay

New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) wanted to create a transit-friendly review process for proposed projects that better recognized the transportation efficiency of buses. So NYCDOT worked with the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination to require person-delay calculations for proposed transportation or land-use projects that affect bus lanes. The new requirements were written into … Continue reading New York: Analyze Person Delay

Phoenix: Walk Score

The Phoenix Planning Department used Walk Score data to analyze the performance of existing light rail stations and to look at how proposed stations might perform if they were within a walking network connecting passengers to desired amenities. Walk Score data helped planners clarify which corridors and station locations performed best from a land use … Continue reading Phoenix: Walk Score

Washington, DC: Walking Meetings

Dr. Ted Eytan, a Permanente Federation director at Kaiser Permanente, has been a big proponent of walking meetings for years. Dr. Eytan has not only integrated them into his office operations, but has also published instructions on his blog,, on how others can do the same. The inspiration came from an office walking challenge where employees were … Continue reading Washington, DC: Walking Meetings

Nationwide: Walking Apps

In January 2011, Kaiser Permanente and about 50 other organizations partnered to launch the national campaign Every Body Walk! The online campaign, produced by media team GerberRigler, encourages Americans to walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week. One of the centerpieces of the campaign is the free Every Body Walk app. The app, … Continue reading Nationwide: Walking Apps

New York: Pop-Up Galleries

Founded in 2009, the nonprofit group No Longer Empty produces curatorial-driven, site-specific temporary art installations and programming in vacant sites around New York City. The installations serve as a catalyst for community building and economic development. While No Longer Empty has canvassed neighborhoods looking for suitable vacant spaces, thanks to its growing reputation, property owners … Continue reading New York: Pop-Up Galleries


Retrofit Street, Walking, and Bicycle Connections into Existing Suburbs

The construction of new street, bicycle, and/or pedestrians connections between existing streets on municipal land or private property. Guidance Finish connecting on existing rights-of-way paired with infrastructure improvements for community cooperation Investigate potential utility easements, alleyways, and planned streets that were never constructed as potential rights-of-way for connections Purchase private land lots, construct the desired … Continue reading Retrofit Street, Walking, and Bicycle Connections into Existing Suburbs

Add Street-Connectivity Minimums into Subdivision Ordinances

Subdivision and zoning ordinances can establish a minimum level of street connectivity for future residential developments to create neighborhoods that are conducive to walking, bicycling, and transit use. Street connectivity consists of a road and/or path network that provides multiple routes and connections between destinations. It includes parallel routes, cross connections, many points of access, … Continue reading Add Street-Connectivity Minimums into Subdivision Ordinances

Manage Parking to Promote Walking

A combined set of policies (often under the jurisdiction of multiple municipal agencies) to manage the supply of parking in order to reduce car use and encourage development where people can walk to their destinations. Land-use zoning, tax policies, curbside regulations, and subdivision ordinances are all means of regulating the provision and use of parking. … Continue reading Manage Parking to Promote Walking

Support Street Life with Mixed-Use, Form-Based Zoning

Form-based zoning codes are legal regulations that direct the physical form and placement of buildings within communities. Form-based codes focus on the relationship between buildings and the streetscape, generally with the goal of creating appealing, pedestrian-oriented public spaces. In contrast, traditional zoning regulations focus on separating residential, commercial, and manufacturing uses and do not determine … Continue reading Support Street Life with Mixed-Use, Form-Based Zoning