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Does Transit-Oriented Development Need the Transit?

Posted by Daniel G. Chatman, Guest Columnist

May 3, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Most planners think transit-oriented development leads to less driving, but what if it’s not because of rail? 

Urban planners have invested a lot of energy in the idea of transit-oriented developments (TODs). Developing dense housing near rail stations with mixed land uses and better walkability is intended to encourage people to walk, bike, and take transit instead of driving. But TODs can also be expensive, largely because rail itself is expensive. In one study, the average cost for light rail construction was $61 million per mile in 2009 dollars.

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What Density Doesn’t Tell Us About Sprawl

Posted by Eric Eidlin, Guest Columnist

Feb 16, 2017 9:18:00 AM

The term sprawl can be confusing, because different regions of the country measure density (and less dense "sprawl") by different standards.

Sprawl has no single definition. Many people, however, tend to think of “sprawling” cities as places where people make most of their trips by car, and non-sprawling cities as places where people are more likely to walk, cycle, or take transit. This is why Los Angeles, which has more vehicles per square mile than any other urbanized area, and where transit accounts for only two percent of the region’s overall trips, is considered sprawling, while the New York urbanized area is not. We also know (or think we know) that places where people frequently walk, cycle, or take transit tend to have high population densities, and for this reason we tend to view low density as a proxy for sprawl. But as it turns out, the Los Angeles urbanized area—which in both myth and fact is very car-oriented—is also very dense. In fact, Los Angeles has been the densest urbanized area in the United States since the 1980s, denser even than New York and San Francisco.

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The World’s Most Amazing Office Buildings

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 6, 2016 10:34:05 AM

by Alina Fisher

We’ve scoured the globe to highlight some fantastic office buildings that we would all love to be working in. Although each of these structures look very different, they share a common thread of innovation and precision. And each adds a sense of art to the cityscape they are situated in.

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Urban Design that Discourages Wasteful Travel

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 10, 2016 4:22:13 PM

Tips for developers to convince potential residents to leave the car behind.

Communities located close to a variety of transportation options are on the rise, and some developers are even creating completely car-free communities. While many people would gladly say goodbye to car payments and high maintenance costs associated with car ownership, others would be less likely to leave the car behind. However, there are effective ways developers can reach potential residents and convey the benefits of living without a car.

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Skyscraper Ramps Connect Floors to Street in Futuristic London

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Aug 13, 2014 10:41:00 AM

One problem with the modern skyscraper or highrise apartment has been the isolating effect of stacked floors. This design from London-based SURE Architecture Company addresses that common criticism in an innovative way.

According to the Architecture Lab:

"The City in height is an alternative to the usual design of skyscrapers. Rather than superimposing one floor on top of another without real continuity; our project is thought as two endless ramps circumrotation continually and rising gradually with a low gradient from the ground floor to the sky. London’s streets can now be developed both horizontally and vertically in a continuous way."

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