Case Studies

Case Studies

Standish: Form-Based Codes

A town of about 10,000 citizens 18 miles west of Portland, ME, adopted a new comprehensive plan in 2006 with the main goal of conserving the town’s rural character while directing most of its future growth into village centers. While the plan set the policy direction for future growth, many details of how that future … Continue reading Standish: Form-Based Codes

Seattle: Parking Management

Seattle’s parking-management strategy dates back to its first Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 1994 in response to Washington State’s 1990 Growth Management Act. The state mandated city and county comprehensive plans and defined their goals, which included reducing urban sprawl and encouraging in-fill development. Within that political framework, Seattle created a Comprehensive Plan based on an … Continue reading Seattle: Parking Management

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