But soon realized that good urban design is about much more than construction materials. ... The problems with modern urban design... Infrastructure and sprawl ...
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As an early step, we invited national consultant Robert Gibbs to rate Austin’s commercial development.
On a scale of 0-10, Austin’s score was between0 and 1.
But soon realized that good urban design is about much more than construction materials.
Post-war development patterns produce greater traffic than traditional urban development patterns.
Lack of interconnectivity
Large single use developments
Every trip funneled on to highways
Employees in highway-based business districts produce a 1,500% greater impact on roads than employees in downtown business districts.
Urban Land Institute
Big box sites are 6 to 10 blocks in size.
A form-based code describes what the community wants instead of what it doesn’t want.
(Or at least isn’t worth the headache.)
Design Standards: Over 200 stakeholders from diverse groups including--
. . . about a zillion marked-up drafts. . .
And many important lessons learned.
The Vertical Mixed-Use Overlay
Plus, the Overlay made parking reductions voluntary, and allowed parallel or head-in “teaser” parking.
. . . But had all the normal fears about density and traffic.
Plus, height was non-negotiable.
The McMansion Ordinance
• Promote high quality density on corridors.
• Protect single family neighborhoods.
• Create a second downtown in North Austin.
• Create dense urban town centers at rail stops.