* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘transit oriented development’

School Troubles in a Booming Metropolis: Part 4 – Changing Expectations

This is the final installment in a four-part series about the demographic, housing and land use contexts of troubled public schools. Here are links to parts one, two and three.

North Americans are culturally attached to the single-family house, especially for families with children. Thanks to Barrie Sutcliffe for this great photos of houses on the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta.

In many core cities, insufficient affordable and suitable housing for families provides a push for young families to leave urban neighbourhoods for the suburbs.

The pull of suburban environments is the other side of the coin. 55% of Canadians live in a house, and many believe that young children have the best outcomes in a single-family house with a private yard. Cultural attachment to … Continue Reading

Federal partnerships with local governments, transit oriented development [Conference Round Up]

Planning Pool authors, Daniella F. and Dylan M. attended the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, NC. You can check out what we tweeted here @planningpool or with the hashtag #np4sg2011. Dylan’s attended some of the more interesting sessions and workshops at the conference, so you didn’t have to! Here’s a round up of some of the more interesting new work in planning.
Southern Rural and Urban Sustainability Projects: Progress with Partnership for Sustainable Communities
Asheville, NC-HUD, and civic leaders in Asheville partnered to focus on re-development around the Riverfront District. Stephanie Monson, Urban Planner in Asheville, explained that forming partnerships was extremely difficult. Chris Stears with HUD echoed this sentiment, describing his partnership with Stephanie as a “new date.” While partnerships with local governments and civic bodies are necessary for the local government, Stears recognizes … Continue Reading

Vancouver’s New Year’s Resolution to encourage transit use

On a day when millions of people around the world were making New Years resolutions about shrinking their waistlines, Vancouver quietly saw a policy enter into action that may end up seriously shrinking the city’s carbon footprint. Effective January 1st, gasoline taxes will rise in Greater Vancouver by three cents, and the parking sales tax will rise by 300%. While the taxes come amid fiscal turmoil at the region’s transportation agency Translink, they are good policies that will help build a better city. If only Vancouverites knew how lucky they truly are. . .

CIP Conference: From edge city to urban place: Tysons Corner revisited

This session took place on October 1.

Uri Avin of Parsons Brinckerhoff and Iain Dobson of the Real Estate Search Corporation discussed edge cities and how they can be transformed into urban places. Avin described Tysons Corner, Virginia, a prototypical “edge city” and the 12th largest business district in the United States. Although Tysons Corner, located just outside of Washington, D.C. in the Dulles Airport corridor, is generally considered to be an economic success, the city suffers from an increasingly dysfunctional environmen. Dobson contrasted Tysons Corner with Mississauga, Ontario, a similar city in terms of square footage, population, jobs, and other statistics, but stagnating nonetheless.

Edge cities are typically suburban commercial, retail, and residential developments built in areas that contained no development 30 years ago. They are usually outside a larger urban area and tend to be close to highways and airports. … Continue Reading

Arlington, Texas, This is Why You’re Fat.

Thanks to Christian Cable for this delightfully artery-hardening Creative Commons photo.

Thanks to Christian Cable for this delightfully artery-hardening Creative Commons photo.

If you are not yet familiar with the website ThisIsWhyYoureFat.com, it might just be time to check it out. They serve up a never-ending photostream of revoltingly fatty foods, including a donut bun hamburger and deep fried bologna. While for some the site might be secretly mouthwatering (ahem. . .) the urban planning equivalent -unmitigated auto dependence- has few upsides.

Last week, the Dallas Morning News published a great analysis of the transportation options serving the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington, Texas (pop. 371,000). Before this stadium, perhaps Arlington’s biggest claim to fame was it’s steadfast refusal to provide any kind of transit service. The city … Continue Reading

A Streetcar Named… Revival?

Sorry all, another lame title by me! Anyway, check out PP’s shiny new exclusive video.

A Streetcar Named… Revival? from Planning Pool on Vimeo.

Did you notice the vintage ads in the old streetcar, I reckon they’re a bit more modest than the stuff Vanessa saw in Portland. And be sure to pay special attention to the fantastic soundtrack, performed by our own very talented Vanessa Kay!

Having long been interested at the sight of those old streetcars that still made a circuit along Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek, trundling along with elegance and poise when seen against the car traffic that rushes past, I thought it would be neat if PP did a feature on it. After … Continue Reading

Public Transit Advertising and Portland Streetcar Envy

Having long envied its streetcar system from afar, I was delighted this summer to make my first visit to Portland and ride its famous streetcars. Vancouver BC, where I make my home, is often compared to Portland but its once-extensive streetcar system was scrapped in favour of trolley busses in the 1950s.

A handsome new streetcar in Portland, Oregon. Photo by author.

A handsome new streetcar in Portland, Oregon. Photo by author.

One thing I had not expected to see when riding Portland’s famed streetcars was the presence of advertisements in non-traditional places. Tourist information booklets displayed inside each streetcar present maps of the route and promote businesses located near the tracks.

As a transit planning nerd, I actually felt warmly towards the businesses that spent advertising money in support of … Continue Reading

Can Walmart Anchor Transit-Oriented Development?

Amity Gardens Shopping Center, 2007 via Groceteria

Amity Gardens Shopping Center, 2007 via Groceteria

Amity Gardens Shopping Center was a popular shopping center in Charlotte, NC, during the 1950s. Now, the blighted strip mall is slated to be bulldozed and replaced with a Walmart with the hopes of revitalizing the area.

According to Groceteria:
The Winn-Dixie at Charlotte’s Amity Gardens Shopping Center opened in November of 1958, right in the middle of the most thriving retail strip in the city. The center also included Woolworth’s and a Barclay Cafeteria. By 1961, it also included Charlotte’s first (and only) branch of Clark’s, an early “supercenter” with both general merchandise and groceries.

Winn-Dixie, 3830 East Independence Boulevard, Charlotte. Photo courtesy Pat Richardson via Groceteria

Continue Reading

100 year old Transit Oriented Development outside NYC

Slate Magazine published a slideshow essay today about Forest Hills Gardens, a 142 acre community designed in 1909 by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (1870-1957). Surprisingly, the community is just a 20 minute train ride to Manhattan! This classic Garden City style neighborhood is a great reminder of how “modern” planning ideas, like walkable, mixed-income communities and transit-oriented development, have been around for a while and have lasting character.

An American twist on the Italian piazza

Most of North America’s zoning and land-use regulation is fine tuned to expedite the creation of one thing: sprawl. That’s why it’s so miraculous when a developer actually takes the time (which is money, at least in the world of construction) to challenge all those laws and build something better. Well last week, the Piazza at Schmidt’s opened in Philadelphia to rave reviews. Here are some of the reasons why it could be the best new development in North America.