urban design

Study finds rich and poor most likely to walk

By Chet Edelman As a percentage of all commutes, walking accounts for less than three percent of all trips in the United States. But not all groups in the country walk at the same rate. A new study from the University of Virginia reveals that a distinct socioeconomic divide exists. More

Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City (ITDP, 2018)

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy recently released Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City. The toolkit, aimed at governments, city planners, NGOs, and developers, notes that “Walkability is the foundation of any type of transportation; all trips require walking at

NACTO releases Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism

By Robbie Webber The National Association of City Transportation Officials has released a guide for cities to prepare for a future with autonomous vehicles. Unlike their previous design guides for bikeways, transit, storm water, and overall streets, this blueprint does not present specific design

Researchers highlight city-centered practices in “roadmap for the 21st century”

By Chris McCahill Our National Highway System was built on two major pillars—popular support for new highway construction and federal funding from gas taxes—according to a new paper published in Research in Transportation Business and Management. Both have recently shown signs of weakening,

Where people walk: Two new studies improve “walkability” measurement

By Chris McCahill In planning and designing for pedestrians, sidewalks are often a good start but rarely make a place walkable on their own. Measuring pedestrian accessibility (the topic of a recent SSTI webinar) depends on two important pieces of information: 1) where destinations are located,

Fire codes threaten to undo urban street design

By Chris McCahill A local debate over on-street parking in Florida typifies how codes and standards can obstruct walkable urban street design and, apparently, put those designs in jeopardy even after they have been implemented. Celebration is a traditional-style development, created by Disney in

Does urban sprawl inhibit upward mobility?

By Robbie Webber A study by Reid Ewing, Shima Hamidi, et al. published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning lends more support to the idea that sprawl can be a deterrent to upward mobility, making it difficult for low-income residents to improve their economic circumstances. Compact metro

Tools for Estimating VMT Reductions from Built Environment Changes (Anne Vernez Moudon and Orion Stewart , University of Washington, 2013)

Developing built environments supportive of walking, bicycling, and transit use can help meet VMT reduction goals. But tools are necessary to understand how changes to the built environment may translate into changes in travel. Such tools can help optimize land use and transportation investments

Lower VMT of TOD the result of density more than rail

By Robbie Webber A study published in the Journal of the American Planning Association argues that the rail transit frequently used to define transit-oriented development is not the most important factor in reducing vehicle miles traveled and car ownership. Overall density and the availability of

Two new studies shed light on the link between transportation and health

By Bill Holloway Two new studies affirm the links between transportation, urban design, and health. One study, conducted in England, determined that providing free transit passes to senior citizens significantly increased their level of physical activity, and a second study in Canada affirmed the