THOUGHTFUL URBAN DESIGN PRACTICES: PART 4

November 7, 2022

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By Amy Chesterton, Partner | Urban Planning

CONNECT TO THE GRID

It can be extremely enlightening to lookback through history and see what the street network in a neighborhood once looked like, especially in today’s age of undoing “superblocks.” Traditional neighborhoods were historically developed with walkability at the forefront, with short blocks in a highly connected urban street grid.

When contemplating a development area, zooming out and looking at the broader neighborhood context – the past, present, and future of the surrounding area – can provide valuable perspective on a site’s potential and its limitations based on connections. As every new development attempts to fit into an existing ecosystem, planners and developers have to ask if it will be good for the surrounding community and how it will physically and socially affect what’s around it.

By maximizing connections, the ultimate goal is to generate housing options where residents are able to meet all or most of their daily needs for amenities, services, transit, employment, and recreation within a reasonable walking distance.

Of course, there are multiple factors that lead to site selection, but sites are often selected based on where a developer can find the most desirable location for the best price. It is our role as planners and designers to dig into what makes that site unique, and to uncover the site’s physical and social connections. By understanding the site’s connection to transportation options, jobs, and community amenities, we can reconnect the grid in a meaningful way.

NEXT WEEK: Carefully Evaluate the Value of Social Amenities

THOUGHTFUL URBAN DESIGN PRACTICES: PART 5
THOUGHTFUL URBAN DESIGN PRACTICES: PART 5

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THOUGHTFUL URBAN DESIGN PRACTICES: PART 4
THOUGHTFUL URBAN DESIGN PRACTICES: PART 4

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THOUGHTFUL URBAN DESIGN PRACTICES: PART 3
THOUGHTFUL URBAN DESIGN PRACTICES: PART 3

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