Conventional suburban vs. sustainable urban
This diagram 1 explains a key difference between conventional suburban (top) and sustainable urban (bottom) development patterns. The conventional suburban area, governed by conventional zoning codes, separates uses into distinct areas that branch off of the automobile-oriented thoroughfare. The sustainable urban area, bottom, has a center and neighborhoods based on the five-minute walk. Most traditional communities, from city neighborhoods to towns to villages, are designed similarly to the bottom part of the graphic.
In the conventional suburban model, you drive from place to place. The neighborhood, on the other hand, creates a public realm that helps to knit the community together.
This diagram was created by the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, based in London, but it is an update of a drawing used by DPZ Partners in the 1990s to explain the difference between traditional neighborhoods and conventional suburban development. This current drawing is an improvement because the DPZ drawing showed an equal amount of parking, and the town center was buffered from the collector. That reflected political realities at the time, when minimum parking requirements and arterial design were more difficult to change. In fact, traditional communities don't require nearly so much parking and they don't require suburban-style "collector" streets.