The new "Smart Growth Manual" by Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, and Mike Lydon presents 150 tips for building cities that are livable, sustainable and enjoyable for those who live there. Here are 10 of our favorites.
The Smart Growth Manual
How can cities ensure that they remain functional, even as they experience growth? The Smart Growth Manual
by Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, and Mike Lydon presents 150 tips for building cities that are livable, sustainable and enjoyable for those who live there. Here are 10 of our favorites.
Provide contextually appropriate modes of transit
Portland, Oregon's city streetcar system has been in operation since 1999, connecting a city-wide network of rail, bus transit and bikeways. The design of the streets reflect the multi-modal system and helps to communicate the various transportation options to residents.
Design and locate civic buildings honorably
The dramatic shape of Santiago Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Museum was positioned specifically where a major thoroughfare meets Lake Michigan. This provides a landmark for residents and also show's the city's commitment to art and culture.
Protect neighborhoods from high-speed thoroughfares
When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged several of San Francisco's major highways, they were demolished and replaced with wide, neighborhood thoroughfares. Most notably, Octavia Boulevard replaced the Central Freeway (seen here), and the raised freeway along the waterfront was replaced with the Embarcadero.
Expose natural amenities to public view
Seaside, Florida was one of the first and most successful New Urbanist communities, designed and built 1979 to be friendly and livable for its residents. These dune walkovers, which allow people to easily locate and access the beach beyond, are one of its most famous and frequently-used features.
Satisfy daily shopping needs within each neighborhood
New Town in St. Charles, Missouri places corner markets and other services in central locations easily accessed on foot. These types of stores as well as other locations known as "third places," where people can socialize and congregate, should be within walking distance of major residential areas.
Link green areas into continuous systems
Areas denoted for nature function better for both human recreation and as a wildlife habitat when linked to larger networks. Greenways can lead runners or bikers through several natural areas on one path that's kept separate from other transportation systems, making the parks feel expansive and sheltered.
Encourage food production everywhere by everyone
Seattle, Washington's new High Point neighborhood has community gardens that serve as a food source but also a social anchor for the community. These gardens can also provide an employment and training opportunity for local residents.
Design for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as automobiles
New York City's famous commitment to restructure its streets for pedestrians and cyclists in recent years has resulted in a 35% increase in bicycle use from 2007 to 2008. Street closures seen here near Madison Square Park and in Times Square also provide new public space, greenery and shade.
Enclose street spaces with building fronts
The community of Gaithersburg, Maryland places its live-work buildings immediately onto a large swath of grass, shaping it into a public green or "outdoor living room." The shared and well-defined space creates a sense of enclosure and safety.
Design parking lots for humans and cars
Although parking lots for cars are a necessary tool for planning cities, they can be designed to resemble more of an actual park for people. A parking lot in WindMark Beach in Port St. Joe, Florida uses permeable gravel and tree plantings for stormwater management and aesthetic beauty.
Design buildings to minimize thermal and light impacts
The green roof of Chicago's City Hall is representative of a larger movement within the city to reduce heat island impacts from dark, bare rooftops. Plantings and light-colored surfaces reflect heat, reduce stormwater runoff, and lower air-conditioning costs in the summer. The garden also provides a welcome retreat for the building's employees.