CNU Sustainable Communities

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Information about CNU Sustainable Communities

Published on November 23, 2009

Author: CongressfortheNewUrbanism

Source: slideshare.net

Delivering Sustainable, Livable Communities Supporting the USDOT-HUD-EPA Partnership

In the United States, a lot of thought goes into designing how and where cars should go. Photo: M.VJantzen via Flickr (CC)

But not so much into how the rest of the community functions. Photo: Stephen Davis for T4America

Can you get to work, school, church or store without fighting traffic? Photo: Alfonso Surroca via Flickr (CC)

Or even cross the street from an office building to a restaurant without driving? Photo: Oak Brook, Illinois, Congress for the New Urbanism Archives

What’s life like when you’re not using a car? Photo: Congress for the New Urbanism Archives

Does what’s built create lasting value?

To equip communities with better solutions, planning leaders created the Charter of the New Urbanism. It identifies 27 core principles for making cities and towns walkable, livable, sustainable and convenient.

I. THE REGION: METROPOLIS, CITY AND TOWN The Charter’s vision starts at the scale of the region, encouraging development (right) of compact cities, towns and villages to avoid sprawl (left) and to preserve natural lands and rural character. Image: The Neighborhood Model, Albemarle County, Virginia

Across the region from farm lands and rural towns to big cities, the Charter promotes models of development that build community character and value. Image: Transect diagram for Fayetteville, Arkansas

II. THE NEIGHBORHOOD, THE DISTRICT AND THE CORRIDOR The Charter makes compact, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhoods the essential building blocks of livable regions. Image: Sankt Erik infill development, Stockholm

Boulevards, rail lines and rivers are the corridors that connect neighborhoods and districts and give coherent shape to regions. Image: Del Mar Transit Village, Pasadena, CA, photo by Tom Bonner

II. THE BLOCK, THE STREET AND THE BUILDING The Charter recognizes that the life of the community takes place on its streets and sidewalks. Buildings frame the public place of the street. Image: Brady Street, Milwaukee, CNU

Sidewalks, squares and parks contribute to a welcoming, human-scaled public realm.

Using the principles of New Urbanism, it’s now possible to transform automobile-dependent strips into walkable corridors. Photo: Urban Advantage for LEED-ND

Using the principles of New Urbanism, it’s now possible to transform automobile-dependent strips into walkable corridors. Photo: Urban Advantage for LEED-ND

New urbanists are building and rebuilding livable neighborhoods again. Photo: I’On, Charleston, SC

You can recognize New Urbanism by its embrace of a half-dozen essential characteristics. Image: Kentlands in Gaithersburg, Maryland

Mixed-use urban form Puts housing within walking distance of schools, parks, stores and other amenities. Residents of the new infill development in Milwaukee (background) live above stores and cafes. Image: The Passeggio, Brady Street, Milwaukee

Puts housing within walking distance of schools, parks, stores and other amenities.

Residents of the new infill development in Milwaukee (background) live above stores and cafes.

2. Connected street networks Lots of intersections, small blocks invite walking, bicycling and transit use. Image: Wicker Park, Chicago

Lots of intersections, small blocks invite walking, bicycling and transit use.

2. Connected street networks Cul-de-sac pattern (left) extends walking distances to impractical lengths, funnels car traffic to unsafe high-volume arterials. Connected network creates short direct routes, efficient multi-directional travel for people and cars.Images: Keep Houston Houston (l), LEED for Neighborhood Development (r)

Cul-de-sac pattern (left) extends walking distances to impractical lengths, funnels car traffic to unsafe high-volume arterials.

Connected network creates short direct routes, efficient multi-directional travel for people and cars.

3. Safe streets supporting diverse uses Street design welcomes pedestrians and cyclists. Streets accommodate drivers too but auto lanes are only as wide as they need to be, no wider. Image: Prospect New Town,Longmont, Colorado

Street design welcomes pedestrians and cyclists.

Streets accommodate drivers too but auto lanes are only as wide as they need to be, no wider.

3. Safe streets that multi-task Streets play three-important roles as they did from Roman times till the creation of highways and car-dominated strips. Places of business • Places of travel • Places to meet Image: Pearl District, Portland, Oregon

Places of business • Places of travel • Places to meet

4. Livable residential density Enough nearby households to support vibrant retail & good transit service Ample squares and parks enhance livability Image: Chatham Square, Alexandria, Virginia; photo by Boris Feldbluym

Enough nearby households to support vibrant retail & good transit service

Ample squares and parks enhance livability

5. Human-Scale Design Doors and windows greet pedestrians and enhance vitality of streets. Blank walls and surface parking lots are avoided. Buildings gracefully frame public spaces. Image: Rockville Town Square, Rockville, Maryland

Doors and windows greet pedestrians and enhance vitality of streets.

Blank walls and surface parking lots are avoided.

Buildings gracefully frame public spaces.

5. Human-Scale Design Architecture engages those experiencing place on foot (left). Sprawl is designed to be experienced at 40 miles per hour (right).Images: Soleil Court, San Diego; Orlando Sprawl via EPA Smart Growth

Architecture engages those experiencing place on foot (left).

Sprawl is designed to be experienced at 40 miles per hour (right).

6. A Range of Housing Types Urban neighborhoods accommodate an array of housing — lofts, townhouses, homes, cottages, garage apartments — to serve diverse populations across a range of ages.This project in Montgomery, Alabama features apartments over stores (left) and cottage homes (right).Image: A&P Development, Montgomery, AL

Urban neighborhoods accommodate an array of housing — lofts, townhouses, homes, cottages, garage apartments — to serve diverse populations across a range of ages.

This project in Montgomery, Alabama features apartments over stores (left) and cottage homes (right).

These neighborhoods have many benefits. People walk more, bike more and lead more active and healthy lives with lower carbon footprints. They have more places to come together as friends and neighbors. Photo: The Cap, Columbus, Ohio; Larry Hammill Photography

Connected networks of walkable streets have been shown to dramatically lower traffic injury and fatality rates. And they speed emergency response times and help cities safely provide emergency services at reduced cost. In Charlotte, the city serves almost five times as many households per station in its most connected neighborhoods than in its most sprawling areas, at an annual cost of $159 per person versus $740. Photo: Lake Oswego, Oregon; courtesy of Dan Burden

Unfortunately, zoning regulations and transportation practices in many parts of the country make it impossible or illegal to develop sustainable communities. The Congress for the New Urbanism has tools and reforms to help overcome these barriers. Photo: Brookline, Massachusetts; via Flickr by Abby Ladybug

Form-based codes replace the conventional separate-use zoning codes that spread housing from jobs, shops, schools and other uses, inducing sprawl. In 2009, Miami became the largest city to replace its sprawl zoning code with a new urbanist form-based code.

CNU partnered to create the nation’s first rating system for green neighborhood development. Under LEED-ND, sustainable communities incorporate efficient green buildings, smart locations and the urban design principles of New Urbanism.

LEED-ND is now certifying green neighborhoods and providing standards to shape sustainable communities everywhere. To qualify as green, developments must have a residential density of at least 9 units per acre, the lowest at which transit service can be maintained. And projects get additional credits for higher densities. Similarly, cul-de-sac developments cannot meet the green standard. Developments must have connected street networks with at least 140 intersections per square mile to meet the green standard. Pictured above, after being transformed from a shopping mall to a mixed-use neighborhood, Belmar meets the connectivity standard. Read more about LEED-ND prerequisites and credits at cnu.org/leed-nd.

Another major partnership, this one with the Institute of Transportation Engineers, has created a much-needed manual with design guidelines for context-sensitive urban thoroughfares — avenues and boulevards — as alternatives to standard high-volume, automobile-dominated arterial streets.

In the CNU-ITE guide, thoroughfare design changes as context changes. The thoroughfare both responds to and shapes the context and helps to define the place.

All of the roadway elements are designed in relation to the pedestrian realm, areas where bicycle and transit use are priorities and the nearby buildings that frame the public space of the street. These thoroughfares create a strong sense of place.

Is your community at a crossroads about how to grow?

If you accept the status quo, you’ll have cul-de-sac subdivisions feeding widely spaced arterial streets.

c o As this pattern of development spreads, pressure grows to widen the arterials so they accommodate more car traffic and become less safe for pedestrians and cyclists.

Your community will likely wind up like this, a better place for cars than for people. Photo: Northbrook, Illinois; courtesy of EPA Smart Growth

Or you may use CNU’s tools for context-sensitive streets and networks…

…and create the framework for a sustainable community.

Like this. Photo: Glenwood Park, Atlanta, Georgia

Using this range of tools and resources, it’s now possible to transform a completely automobile-oriented area such as Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia… Photo: Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia (current condition)

…into a valuable livable community as Crystal City’s principal owner and the municipal government in Arlington now plan to do.

Join us in the revival of sustainable communities. Visit cnu.org.

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