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Sense of Place
The article describes five of Portland, Oregon's neighborhoods and their respective histories, along with the native restaurants and shops that characterize each neighborhood.
An increasing number of architects, developers, and engineers are designing new parking garages that can be converted into other uses in the future if needed.
San Francisco’s emerging trend of transforming parking spots into “parklets” has sparked residents, businesses and nonprofits from around the city to come up with creative ways to turn parking into public space.
San Francisco’s “parklet” trend of transforming parking spots into small public spaces has mixed reviews among residents. Some people think that they are provide spaces for neighborhoods to come together, while some believe they exacerbate gentrification.
The Transit Street Design Guide provides design guidance for the development of transit facilities on city streets, and for the design and engineering of city streets to prioritize transit, improve transit service quality, and support other goals related to transit.
Williams Goldhagen draws from recent research in cognitive neuroscience and psychology to demonstrate how people’s experiences of the places they build are central to their well-being, their physical health, their communal and social lives, and even their very sense of themselves. From this foundation, Goldhagen presents a powerful case that societies must use this knowledge to rethink what and how they build: the world needs better-designed, healthier environments that address the complex range of human individual and social needs.
Urban innovations company Sidewalk Labs and the Canadian government announced a partnership Tuesday to develop 750 acres along Toronto’s waterfront into what they envision as a high-tech living laboratory for solving urban problems. It would be the largest urban redevelopment project in North America.
One of the public policy goals for livable and sustainable communities is to minimize the use of automobiles. This paper focuses on introducing and justifying an important new policy principle. Even when car travel is minimized with smart growth land development policies, transportation demand management, and increased public transit, a significant level of automobile use will remain. As a result, reducing the environmental, economic and safety impacts of those remaining automobiles should be an essential element of a livable, sustainable community. Fortunately, fundamental and disruptive technological advances in new vehicles—automation, connectivity, and electrification as described in this paper are fast emerging to make this new priority feasible.
"This paper provides a review of scenarios on these issues to date. Although some scenario studies provide useful insights about urban growth and change, very few consider detailed impacts of AVs on urban form, such as the density and mix of functions, the layout of urban development and the accessibility of locations, including the distance to transit."
This paper introduces Metrolinx’s recently released Mobility Hub Guidelines and highlights two key aspects of the document: the importance of classifying the current and planned urban context and transportation function at a mobility hub, and methods to overcome challenges in achieving both transport and placemaking roles.
On May 10, 2017, Mayor William Peduto charged 120 National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility delegates with the following challenge: “we must develop and carry-out a new social compact for mobility in cities. Now is the time to address mobility to ensure that we serve and support core community values of equity, inclusiveness, sustainability, and collective advancement. A social compact with shared and autonomous mobility providers ensures that these services do good for communities while these businesses do well in cities.
"Beyond Mobility is about prioritizing the needs and aspirations of people and the creation of great places. This is as important, if not more important, than expediting movement. A stronger focus on accessibility and place creates better communities, environments, and economies. Rethinking how projects are planned and designed in cities and suburbs needs to occur at multiple geographic scales, from micro-designs (such as parklets), corridors (such as road-diets), and city-regions (such as an urban growth boundary). It can involve both software (a shift in policy) and hardware (a physical transformation). Moving beyond mobility must also be socially inclusive, a significant challenge in light of the price increases that typically result from creating higher quality urban spaces."
In 2012 UN-Habitat presented to the world the notion of city prosperity, which implies success, wealth, thriving conditions, and wellbeing, as well as opportunity for all. Cities that foster infrastructure development, environmental sustainability, high productivity, quality of life, and equity and social inclusions are considered prosperous cities, Building on the notion of prosperity, UN-Habitat emphasizes that for a city to be prosperous, it must have a generous and well-designed street pattern. In this report, UN-Habitat advocates for a holistic approach to streets as public spaces that embraces the concept of livability and completeness. A good street pattern boosts infrastructure development, enhances environmental sustainability, supports higher productivity, enriches quality of life, and promotes equity and social inclusion.
The Global Street Design Guide sets a new global baseline for designing urban streets. Recognizing that cities are places for people, the guide shifts the parameters of designing urban streets from the typical point of view of automobile movement and safety, to include access, safety, and mobility for all users, environmental quality, economic benefit, enhancement of place, public health, and overall quality of life.
This report examines how urban living affects residents’ mental health and happiness, and ways to use this information to create saner and happier cities. Some often-cited studies suggest that urban living increases mental illness and unhappiness, but a critical review indicates that much of this research is incomplete and biased, and the issues are complex, often involving trade-offs between risk factors. City living may increase some forms of psychosis and mood disorders, drug addiction, and some people’s unhappiness, but tends reduce dementia, alcohol abuse and suicide rates, and many people are happier in cities than they would be in smaller communities. This report examines specific mechanisms by which urban living can affect mental health and happiness, and identities practical strategies that communities and individuals can use to increase urban mental health and happiness. This analysis suggests that it is possible to create sane and happy cities.
With Mayo Clinic defining its landscape, Rochester has always been a place where health is front-and-center. But a primary goal for the Destination Medical Center is to transform Rochester into America’s City for Health where residents and visitors will, literally, walk the walk when it comes to wellness. The Design Guidelines that the Design Center at the University of Minnesota has developed with the staff of the City of Rochester and the Destination Medical Center show, in very specific and concrete terms, how to achieve that goal.
This paper provides examples of how cities have successfully changed curb use to support transit. It is focused on the types of busy, store-lined streets where high-ridership transit lines often struggle with reliability. These key curbside management strategies support reliable transit and safer streets in one of two ways: either by directly making room for transit, or supporting transit projects by better managing the many demands on the urban curb.
The Young and Restless—25 to 34 year olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education, are increasingly moving to the close-in neighborhoods of the nation’s large metropolitan areas. This migration is fueling economic growth and urban revitalization.
"While recent policies directed toward multimodal or complete streets have encouraged increased funding for bicycle- and pedestrian oriented projects, many streets are still plagued by unsafe conditions. This is especially true for one-way streets, which studies show often create unsafe crossing conditions. This study evaluates changes to street dynamics after a two-way street conversion in Louisville, Kentucky. We find that traffic flow increased after implementation of two-way flow, but traffic accidents decreased. We also note other ancillary benefits, such as increase in property values and reduced crime. These results provide evidence that conversions can promote mobility, safety, and livability."
This report analyzes traffic impacts from the 2015 implementation of a pilot “road diet” on Lincoln Avenue, in the City of San Jose, California, comparing data on traffic volumes and speeds from before and after the road diet was implemented. The analysis looks at impacts on both the road diet location itself and on surrounding streets likely to have been impacted by traffic diverted off the road diet segment. The results within the road diet zone were as expected, with falling volumes and numbers of speeders. The all-day data aggregated by street type (e.g., neighborhood streets, major streets) showed limited overall negative impacts outside the road diet segment. These summary results do not tell the entire story, however. Individual locations, particularly among the neighborhood streets, saw more noticeable negative impacts. The report ends with recommendations for best practices in designing and conducting road diet evaluation studies.
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