City planning tools like zoning and comprehensive planning are powerful forces that can help unleash the potential of neighborhoods, but the process of updating them can be a lengthy and a deeply political endeavor. Hear two case studies of planning policies being modernized to better reflect the current and future needs of neighborhoods.
|The Tactical Public Realm Guidelines came from the Public Realm Plan for Go Boston 2030. The guidelines cover policy and opportunities for enhancing the streets. A Better City and Utile worked with the City of Boston to develop guidelines for tactical activation. Utile created a document which also includes a guide for implementing outdoor elements. The new standards are aimed at making the process simpler and more transparent, in order to actively invite participation from neighborhood groups, businesses, and others.|
The San Pedro Squared project converted 12 parking spaces in a nearly block-long city-owned garage and five on-street parking spots into four micro-retail shops and the city’s longest parklet. The four shops, collectively called MOMENT, changed the streetscape and feel of the block. The shops and parklet provide unique and aesthetically interesting improvements to the garage facade, with wooden awnings, bright furniture, sidewalk painting, murals and lush plantings that soften the building.
The project was initiated to accelerate mobility improvements to a developing corridor in an Asheville neighborhood. Coxe Avenue formerly contained a high density of automotive uses but is now the site of mixed-use developments and dining options. The project involved a public engagement process, held on a compressed timeline. The design features a shared-use path and an intersection mural. The final installation includes eight new crosswalks, a multi-use path, and the 6,000 sq. ft. mural.
Ellen Dunham-Jones is a professor of architecture and urban design at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she coordinates the MS/Urban Design degree. An authority on sustainable suburban redevelopment, she is co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia; Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley: 2009, 2011, 2013). The award-winning book’s documentation of successful retrofits of aging suburban property types into healthier, more sustainable places has received significant attention.
Attracting commercial development to an urban core relies on a multitude of factors to be successful. Some of the issues that need to work in tandem to create a platform for attracting commercial development include: a vibrant downtown, a user-friendly permitting process, available capital and land, infrastructure and ongoing management and maintenance. This report provides an overarching view of the evolution of urban retail throughout the past fifty years to the present.
Successful retailers must exhibit creativity to thrive in a rapidly changing retail environment yet, concepts like breweries, retailers that offer educational classes, and small scale artisanal food manufacturers frequently get tripped up with code violations, parking requirements, and special permits that make it hard to compete. This session brings together national experts and practitioners to provide guidance and ensure your codes and regulations align with the new retail reality.
Second tier cities are heating up and market-based action plans can provide a catalyst to reshape downtowns. Hear how Reno NV, Evansville IN and London ON all used recent downtown plans as a springboard to create energy and attract investment, thereby strengthening the role of downtown organizations that are rapidly becoming agents of change in each city.