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M. Urban Design. Planning the Evolution of Our Suburbs. Tuesdays at APA Chicago Mahender Vasandani President March 16, 2010 . M. Urban Design. What I Will Talk About: Where Are We Today in Terms of Regional Growth? The Implications of the “Big Challenges” for the Suburbs

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slide1

M

Urban

Design

Planning the Evolution of Our Suburbs

Tuesdays at APA

Chicago

Mahender Vasandani

President

March 16, 2010

slide2

M

Urban

Design

  • What I Will Talk About:
  • Where Are We Today in Terms of Regional Growth?
  • The Implications of the “Big Challenges” for the Suburbs
  • Why the Suburbs May Need to Evolve?
  • Any Preferred Growth Options?
  • What Can We Learn from the Cities?
  • New Urbanism Offers Some Key Answers
    • Specific NU Examples Suitable For Suburbs
    • Overview of Form-Based Codes
  • Can the Suburbs Stop Resisting Change?
  • Q & A

2

slide3

M

Urban

Design

Chicago’s Outlying Suburbs

3

slide4

M

Urban

Design

Where Are We Today?

  • Acknowledgement: Ours Is A Suburban Nation
  • From 1950 to 2000: 90% of metropolitan growth in the Suburbs
  • By 2000:
      • 60% of metro jobs in the Suburbs
      • Suburb-to-Suburb job commutes 2X Suburb-City commutes
  • From 1970 to 2000:
      • Total Housing Units Increased 9%
      • Suburban Housing Units Increased Almost 100%
  • Question:
  • Is This All Good or All Bad? Is this growth pattern sustainable?

4

slide5

vs.

The “Leinbergers”

The “Kotkins”

M

Urban

Design

Implications for the Future

Response Depends on One’s Perspective on the Age-Old Debate:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-op-kotkin6-2008jul06,0,1038461.story

5

slide6

M

Urban

Design

For Their Survival, Suburbs Will Need to Evolve

  • Economic Challenges:
    • Housing Over-Supply
    • Commercial Oversupply
  • Implications: Limited/Slow Short-term Growth Potential; Extended Growth Time-lines
  • 2. Energy Security/Climate-Change Challenges:
    • Over-dependence on high-carbon fossil fuels/GHG Emissions
    • Over-dependence on cars as sole form of mobility
  • Implications/Policy Questions: ”Re-Order” Growth Patterns? Reduce Total Car Travel? New Mobility Technologies?
  • 3. Urban FormChallenges:
    • Sprawling growth patterns energy-intensive
    • Community character issues

Implications: Better Urban From and Character Necessary

6

slide7

Chicago Metro: Over 100 Years of Growth

2020

2030

2040

2010

Source:

M

Urban

Design

“Re-Order” Regional Growth Patterns (Climate and Urban Form Challenges)

  • Past growth => Slow Future Evolution
  • Past Recommendations:
    • Create Growth Boundaries/
  • Stop Suburbanization
    • Limit Infrastructure Spending
  • No real BOLD planning considerations (notwithstanding the legacy)
    • “Re-ordering” Virtually Impossible for Historical / Political Reasons
  • New Regional Policies Necessary
  • Most New Strategies Possible at Local Level – If Suburbs Take the Challenge

7

Benefits Time-Scale

slide8

M

Urban

Design

Reduce Total Vehicle Miles Traveled (Climate and Urban Form Challenges)

  • Regional Policies
  • Reduce Total Miles of Travel
    • Trip-length shortening not as beneficial as cutting down on number of trips
  • - Joe Cortright, Impresa Consulting for “CEOs for Cities”
    • California SB 375 Example (did not include VMT reduction as a goal)
  • Extend Transit Service to Outlying Suburban Communities
  • Local Strategies
  • Encourage Higher Density Living
  • Encourage Live-Work Units
  • Encourage People to Live Close to Work
  • Build TODs
  • Avoid Car Trips

8

2020

2030

2040

2010

Benefits Time-Scale

slide9

M

Urban

Design

New Mobility Technology Considerations

New Alternative Fuels; Zero-Emission Vehicle Technologies

My Crystal Ball ?!

”Since VMT are not projected to decrease

significantly in the near or long-term in the

Chicago region, CMAP’s strategies to promote

alternative fuels are important to help save energy

and mitigate GHG and other pollutants” –

Volpe Center, U.S. DOT -- October 2008

Action Strategy Paper on Climate Change and Energy

  • In Another Generation:
  • NMT use wide-spread
  • Less serious concern with GHG
  • emissions/pollution??
  • 3. Little change in locational decisions
  • More cars on limited capacity roads
  • More Traffic Congestion
  • More Need For Walkable Mixed-use
  • Communities With Transit Options:
  • WHY Local Strategies Will Matter

NMT Evolution (in recent times)!

Toyota FCHV in 2015

“Shockingly Low Price”

-Toyota Motors

www.autobloggreen.com

July 20, 2009 article

Honda FCX

Clarity: 2009

9

2020

2030

2040

2010

Benefits Time-Scale

slide10

M

Urban

Design

Local Strategies: Suburban Evolution with New Urbanism

  • New Urbanism: A 20+ year old Planning and Urban Design Discipline
  • NU learns from the virtues of existing and past cities.
  • NU helps create:
  • Compact, Connected, Walkable, Diverse Neighborhoods with Mixed-Uses
  • Quality Public Realm and High Quality of Life
  • Distinct Transportation Solutions
  • New Codes and Tools for Implementation

Examples from City of Chicago:

Neighborhoods and Boulevards

10

slide11

M

Urban

Design

NU Principles for Suburban Neighborhoods (Local Strategies)

  • Create Inter-connected Street Networks Between Neighborhoods
  • Create Neighborhoods with Mixed-Uses Centers within Walking Distance of Most Residents
  • Locate Neighborhood Centers with Exposure and Access to Major Arterials
  • Allow A Variety of Residential Types
  • Allow Moderately High Densities
  • Focus on Urban Design along with Land-use, Transportation, Finances and Services
  • Create Hierarchy of Streets/Reflected in Urban From
  • Create Quality Places
  • Evolve as a Suburban Community…Become More Urban – “New Urban”

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slide12

M

Urban

Design

NU Principles for Roadway and Context Design (Local Strategies)

Adopt not just a tax-revenue-based land-use and transportation policy…

But an “Urban Design Policy” to allow roadway hierarchy (Boulevards for example) with multiple transportation choices (GREEN TRAMWAYS!), mixed-uses and

multiple residential types

12

slide13

M

Urban

Design

NU Design Principles (Local Strategies)

For better traffic circulation

and less traffic congestion,

avoid/minimize cul-de-sacs

and dead-end streets as they promote greater car

dependence

Instead, allow well-connected network of streets that may or may not be rectilinear

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slide14

M

Urban

Design

Suburban Evolution with New Urbanism: Suburban Mixed-Use Community

Harbor Town, Memphis, TN:

Variety of Residential Types

Mixed-Uses; Walkable and

Connected Neighborhoods;

Boulevard System;

Strong Sense of Place

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slide15

M

Urban

Design

Suburban Evolution with New Urbanism: Suburban Community + Town Center

New Town at St. Charles, MO:

Innovative Variety of Residential

Types; Mixed-Use Center/Civic

Center; Integrated/Creative

Stormwater System; High-quality

Public Realm/Sense of Place

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slide16

M

Urban

Design

Suburban Evolution with New Urbanism: New Suburban Downtown

Legacy Center, Plano, Texas

Town Center on street grid; Commercial, Office, Hotel, Restaurants

Townhomes, Condominiums/Apartments; Central Civic Space

Sense of Place

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slide17

M

Urban

Design

Suburban Evolution with New Urbanism: Residential +Mixed-Use TOD

Addison Circle, Addison, Texas:

Close to suburban train station

Primarily Residential with Townhomes and Apartments; Major Open Space Central to Plan

Moderately High Density; High Quality of Space/Strong Sense of Place

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slide18

M

Urban

Design

Suburban Evolution with New Urbanism:Community Shopping + City Hall

Southlake Center, Southlake, Texas:

Central Civic Space: Foreground to Village Hall

Surrounded by Mixed-Use Shopping + Offices, Entertainment, Restaurants and Townhomes

Major Innovation from Single-Use Shopping Center (as initially proposed)

Highly Successful Community Destination/Community Pride

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slide19

M

Urban

Design

Suburban Evolution with New Urbanism: Residential+ Mixed-UseTOD

Plano TOD, Texas:

New downtown/TOD at a DART station

Moderately dense Neighborhoods with Mixed-Use Shopping

Economic Development/Transit Ridership Increase/Sustainable Model

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slide20

M

Urban

Design

Incidentally, Public Demand for Transit *

Build Walkable

Communities:

25%

1

2

Improve

Transit:

31%

Maintain/

Repair

Existing

Roads,

Highways,

Bridges:

50%

Improve Public

Transportation:

47%

Not Sure:

8%

Expand/

Improve Roads:

16%

Build New

Roads:

20%

Not Sure: 3%

Not Sure: 5%

3

  • Survey Questions*:
  • Transportation Priorities of Federal Government
  • Best Long-Term Solutions to Reduce Congestion
  • Transportation Approach to Accommodate Growth
  • *January 2009 Growth and Transportation Survey by Hart Assoc.
  • As reported in “Common Ground” Summer 2009, Published by
  • National Association of Realtors

Build

highways

and

freeways:

20%

Build commuter

rail, light rail and

subways:

75%

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slide21

M

Urban

Design

Also…Federal Livable Communities Act (Local Strategies Support)

August 6, 2009: Senator Christopher Dodd introduced a new

Livable Communities Act that should help communities:

> Mitigate traffic congestion

> Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

> Cut down on fuel consumption

> Protect open space

> Build affordable housing

> Revitalize existing main streets and urban centers

  • The new Livable Communities Act Provisions:
  • Create competitive planning GRANTS to establish long-term plans
  • Create challenge GRANTS to implement the long-term plans
  • Establish a Federal Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at the HUD
  • Establish a Federal Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities

to coordinate federal sustainable development policies and programs

21

slide22

M

Urban

Design

New Urbanism Implementation Tools: Form-Based Codes

  • Relatively New Regulation Tool in Illinois
  • Based on A Community Vision
  • Focus: Public Realm (Form and Quality of the Built Environment)
  • Place-specific to Retain/Create Character
  • Several Urban Standards
  • Graphic/More Comprehensible
  • Predictable Urban Form and Character
  • Different from Conventional Zoning Regulations
      • FBCs more concerned with Urban Form, Less with Use
      • FBCs facilitate mixing of uses
      • Not concerned with F.A.R.s, Densities and Lot Coverages
      • Allow administrative approval of projects

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slide23

M

Urban

Design

Form-Based Codes/Regulations

Focus on the Quality of Public Realm

Public Realm:

Influenced by

buildings architecture;

the proportions of the

size of public space

to building height, and

the amenities and

materials in the

public space

Project Credit: Dover Kohl & Partners

23

slide24

M

Urban

Design

Form-Based Codes/Regulations

Predictable Placement and Bulk of Buildings

  • Predictable massing
  • and bulk of future projects
  • Benefits:
  • Less public concern about
  • bulk and other impacts
  • Streamlined project review
  • process
  • Good for developers too

Project Credit: Dover Kohl & Partners

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slide25

An Integrated Code with Standards for:

Thoroughfares, Frontages, Building Types, Public Spaces,

Landscaping – All Linked to a Regulating Plan

  • Typically Easier to Comprehend and Administer

M

Urban

Design

Form-Based Codes/Regulations

25

slide26

M

Urban

Design

Form-Based Codes/Regulations

26

slide27

M

Urban

Design

Local Strategies for Suburban Communities (Summary)

  • Allow mixing of uses
  • Allow diversity of housing options/housing types
  • Allow moderately higher densities
  • Allow street connectivity
  • Allow multi-functional streets/boulevards
  • Create compact and walkable neighborhoods
  • Create great places
  • Altogether…Become More Urban: “New Urban”

27

slide28

M

Urban

Design

Can the Suburbs Stop Resisting Change?

  • Stop Regarding Density as an Issue >
  • Allow Creative Density for Making Better Communities
  • Stop Isolating Land Uses in Single Pods >
  • Allow Creative Mix of Land Uses
  • Stop Treating Roadways as Only Transportation Routes >
  • Allow Hierarchy of Roadways to Create Places
  • Stop Maximizing Revenues by Maximizing Commercial Uses >
  • Allow Residential or Mixed-Uses Along Arterials
  • Stop Resisting Change >
  • Become More Urban

28

slide29

M

Urban

Design

Closing Remarks

  • Future of Suburbs
  • Must Evolve Given Economic, Energy and Climate Challenges
  • Evolution Will be Essential for Survival/Revival
  • New Urbanism Offers Key Answers for Suburban Evolution
  • NU Principles Should be Part of Local Strategies and Policies
  • Quality Places and Quality of Life Will Make Better Communities
  • NU Provides Effective Tools for Implementation and Evolution

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slide30

M

Urban

Design

Thank You!

Mahender Vasandani

President

M Square | Urban Design

0N262 Armstrong

Geneva, Illinois 60134

T: 630.845.1202

F: 630.444.1852

C: 630.853.0733

mgv@msqre.com

www.msqre.com

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