Increased traffic congestion, loss of open space, infrastructure costs, and a desire for more housing options have all made smart growth an increasingly powerful strategy for building and revitalizing communities, catalyzing economic development and protecting the environment. Many states and localities are creating neighborhoods that offer a variety of transportation options, access to parks and recreation, a wide range of housing types, economic opportunity, lively streets, and quiet residential neighborhoods. Designers have realized that nodes of more intense development can help achieve local economic development goals, provide housing options, create walkable neighborhoods, and protect their air, water and open space. This balance helps create a sense of place – a place to walk, a place to talk to neighbors, a place to know the children are safe to walk to school. To create these great places, communities are zoning some areas for higher density and a mix of houses, with parks, schools and shops. The combination of proper design principles, along with resident involvement, helps ensure that density contributes to the community’s economic, social and environmental health.
Learning Units: 3.0 LU/HSW (3.0 hours)
Learning Objective 1:
Upon completion of this course, the student will know that poorly designed density feeds public frustration. Office parks with no access to transit or side-walks to homes have forced more driving, high-rise projects with no retail activity on the street have created unsafe neighborhoods, dense development without parks has limited recreation opportunities, and poorly designed housing has infringed on privacy.
Learning Objective 2:
The student will understand how higher density development contributes to the viability of a wider range of businesses, ultimately resulting in more destinations for residents to walk to.
Learning Objective 3:
The student will be aware that more compact, dense development can save hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation system investments over time in comparison to lower-density development.
Learning Objective 4:
The student will know of the five major principles for successful dense development that avoids the mistakes of the past.