CNU Salons

Ask CNU: Low-traffic New Urbanism

Today in Ask CNU, Sue from Durango asks, "has anyone quantified the impact that New Urbanism can have on reducing traffic around me?"

It's rare -- but possible -- for new development to actually reduce the amount of traffic on the streets surrounding it; after all, it is still new development. However, New Urbanism (and in particular mixed uses, higher densities, and higher street connectivity) has potential as another tool in a full transportation demand management toolkit that can reduce the number and distance of car trips made. TDM is hard for many transportation planners to understand because its principles often seem counterintuitive -- and, indeed, it is an entirely different way of thinking about transportation.

New Urban Land Development Standards

I have found great research and literature on New Urbanism as it relates to Architectural design and Planning. However we constantly run into problems actually making the sites work due to the fact that municipalities are trying to apply suburban construction standards to these dense mixed-use projects.

Philadelphia forum shows urban planning not priority in mayor's race

April 10, 2007 Philadelphia forum shows urban planning not priority in mayor's race
By Inga Saffron , Inquirer Architecture Critic
This was supposed to be the year in which urban planning took center stage as an issue in Philadelphia politics, along with crime and schools. But if last night's mayoral forum on urban design was any indication, the subject is still stuck with a bit role in the campaign.

Redwood City's Free-Market Parking Meters

Redwood City's Free-Market Parking Meters
By Laurence Aurbach, 3 Apr 2007
http://pedshed.net/?p=105

At first glance the notion of free-market parking meters seems impossibly arcane. But as Donald Shoup pointed out in a recent NY Times editorial, "cruising for curb parking generates about 30 percent of the traffic in central business districts." Shoup studied Westwood Village, next to the UCLA campus, and found that drivers searching for curb parking created 950,000 excess vehicle miles of travel per year. That's equivalent to 38 trips around the earth, taking place in just one retail district in L.A.

more evidence that smart growth isn't just for liberals

"Sanford seeks sprawl control."

That's the headline in a recent issue of the Columbia (SC) State (http://www.thestate.com/154/story/19190.html). Mark Sanford, the state's impeccably conservative governor, was "omnipresent" at a conference on sprawl, moderated by Andres Duany. It isn't quite clear what Sanford accurately plans to do about sprawl- but clearly, the issue is on his priority list.

How Urbanism Slows Global Warming

Sure, hybrid cars and other energy-efficient vehicles are part of the solution to global warming and oil dependency, but how much people drive is as important as what people drive.

Affordable Housing Initiative

On March 1, 2007, CNU hosted an Affordable Housing Organizing Meeting to begin the conversation on our specific role in the provision of quality diverse housing, and to establish clear, measurable objectives and ways in which this Initiative can begin to advance them.

Charleston, SC

Recent news has Charleston "building" another county park near bees ferry West Ashley. Mayor Joe is fulfilling his promise of a green belt around Charleston County. If all goes well Daniel Island will be adding a additional state park at the proposed SPA shipping terminal site.

The Beloved Cul-de-Sac Gets Critical Press – L.A. Times

The cul-de-sac is losing favor with most planners and many homeowners, minus sprawl-lovin’ Southern California, according to a recent L.A. Times article. After decades hearing of trapped teenagers and families forced to drive everywhere to access basic services, communities nationwide are seeking alternatives. A neighborhood in Irvine California is transforming cul-de-sac woes by simply adding bridges and paths that link otherwise isolated housing tracts to neighboring schools, shopping centers, and churches. Retrofitting the suburbs can start with simple steps.

Don Shoup "Gone Parkin" in the New York Times

Don Shoup's speech at CNUXIII in Pasadena kicked off a wave of interest here in Chicago, and today he's in the NY Times opinion column. If this interests you, don't miss the parking session at CNU XV in Philadelphia with Neal Payton of Torti Gallas, Roamy Valera of Timothy Haahs Associates and Patrick Siegman of Nelson/Nygaard. Click here here for the latest information.