Friday, 30 September 2011

Smart Growth Practices

There are many way to practices the smart growth:

·         Strategic planning. Establish a comprehensive community vision which guides individual land use and transportation decisions.

·         Create more self-contained communities. Reduce average trip distances, and encourage walking, cycling and transit travel, by locating a variety of compatible land uses within proximity of each other. For example, develop schools, shops and recreation facilities in or adjacent to residential areas. Mix land uses at the finest grain feasible.

·         Maximize Accessibility and Transportation Options. Try to locate associated land uses close together (such as locating schools and commonly-used retail businesses within or next to residential neighborhoods), and support transportation diversity, including walking, cycling, ridesharing, public transit, Delivery ServicesTelework. and

·         Create Walkable neighborhoods. Walkability is important for Smart Growth, because it increases community Livability and travel options (most transit trips include walking links).

·         Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place. Encourage physical environments that create a sense of civic pride and community cohesion, including attractive public spaces, high-quality architectural and natural elements that reflect unique features of the community, preservation of special cultural and environmental resources, and high standards of maintenance and repair.

·         Encourage quality, compact development. Allow and encourage higher density development, particularly around transit and Commercial Centers. Reduce minimum lot sizes, building setbacks, minimum parking requirements, and minimum street size. Allow transfer of develop capacity of outlying areas to more centralized areas. Demand high quality designs that addresses problems associated with higher density.

·         Use Context Sensitive Design. Foster distinctive communities with a strong sense of place.

·         Encourage cluster development. Keep clusters small and well defined, such as “urban villages” with distinct names and characters. Coordinate development to facilitate accessibility. For example, encourage employment centers near commercial centers, so employees can walk to perform errands during their breaks.

·         Encourage infill development. Reduce average trip distances, and encourage walking, cycling and transit travel, by locating new development in already developed areas, so that activities are close together. Review public costs to insure that public expenditures do not favor new, greenfield development over existing residents or infill development. Encourage redevelopment of older facilities and brownfields.

·         Reform tax and utility rates. Structure property taxes, development fees and utility rates to reflect the lower public service costs of clustered, infill development, and focus economic development incentives to encourage businesses to locate in more accessible locations (Smart Growth Policy Reforms).

·         Concentrate activities. Encourage pedestrian and transit travel by creating “nodes” of high-density, mixed development that are linked by convenient transit service. Concentrate commercial activities in these areas. Retain strong downtowns and central business districts. Use access management to discourage arterial strip commercial development.

·         Encourage Transit Oriented Development. Increase development density within walking distance (0.25 to 0.50 miles) of high capacity transit stations and corridors, and provide high quality pedestrian and cycling facilities in those areas.

·         Manage parking for efficiency. Encourage Shared Parking, and other Parking Management strategies. Reserve the most convenient parking for rideshare vehicles.

·         Avoid overly-restrictive zoning. Reduce excessive and inflexible parking and road capacity requirements. Limit undesirable impacts (noise, smells and traffic) rather than broad categories of activities. For example, allow shops and services to locate in neighborhoods provided that they are sized and managed to avoid annoying residents.

·         Good roadway Connectivity. Create a network of well-connected streets and paths, with short blocks and minimal cul-de-sacs. Keep streets as narrow as possible, particularly in residential areas and commercial centers. Use traffic management and traffic calming to control vehicle impacts rather than dead ends and cul de sacs.

·         Site design and building orientation. Encourage buildings to be oriented toward city streets, rather than set back behind large parking lots. Avoid large areas of parking or other unattractive land uses in commercial areas.

·         Improve nonmotorized travel conditions. Encourage walking and cycling by improving sidewalks, paths, crosswalks, protection from fast vehicular traffic, and providing street amenities (trees, awnings, benches, pedestrian-oriented lighting, etc.). Improve connections for nonmotorized travel, such as trails that link dead-end streets.

·         Implement TDM. Use transportation demand management to reduce total vehicle traffic and encourage the use of efficient modes. This includes parking and road pricing, commute trip reduction programs, policies that favor high-occupancy vehicles, and other strategies.

·         Improve street design to create complete streets. Use road space reallocation, access management, road diets, and traffic calming to insure that walking, cycling and public transit are convenient and comfortable, and to accommodate other street activities such as strolling, playing, shopping, sightseeing, eating and special events.

·         Preserve greenspace. Preserve open space, particularly areas with high ecological and recreational value. Channel development into areas that are already disturbed.

·         Encourage a mix of housing types and prices. Develop affordable housing near employment, commercial and transport centers. Develop second suites, apartments over shops, lofts, location-efficient mortgages and other innovations that help create more affordable housing.

·         Utility Management. Use on-site stormwater drainage systems. Encourage water conservation.

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