"Transportation energy so dwarfs building energy that even those suburban households with energy-efficient homes and cars use more energy and emit more carbon than ordinary households in urban, transit-served locations."

Six ways that thoughtful community planning can help fight climate change | Kaid Benfield, 6/4/2014

Nice post from urbangeographies (via thisbigcity) on land-use types and how they can blend from one to another in “Transect planning.” Bold emphasis below is by me.

RURAL-URBAN TRANSECT:  
New Urbanist Andrés Duany created the rural-to-urban transect as a model of urban planning. The transect defines a series of zones that evolve from sparse rural farmhouses to the dense urban core. Each zone contains a similar transition from the edge to the center of a neighborhood. The transect is an important part of the New Urbanism and Smart Growth movements.
Transect planning can be seen as a contrast to the single land-use pattern favored by modern city zoning and suburban development. In these patterns, large areas are dedicated to a single purpose, such as housing, offices, shopping, and they can only be accessed via major roads. The transect, by contrast, involves mixed-use development and therefore decreases the necessity for long-distance travel by any means

Though there are some recent examples of complex land use in Atlanta that adhere to smart growth ideas — visible in ground-up projects like Glenwood Park and Atlantic Station but also in adaptive re-use and infill here and there — we have a LOT of that single land-use pattern.
Downtown is filled with that “special district” type. Which is appropriate for event days, but a pain in the butt in every other hour, when those parking spaces just sit there and disconnect areas of residential activity from each other. We could use some of this transecting stuff to even out the parking gack. I’d like to order 15 parcels of “general urban zone,” please, and 10 of “urban center zone” to be put in South Downtown. When can I expect delivery on that?

Nice post from urbangeographies (via thisbigcity) on land-use types and how they can blend from one to another in “Transect planning.” Bold emphasis below is by me.

RURAL-URBAN TRANSECT:  

New Urbanist Andrés Duany created the rural-to-urban transect as a model of urban planning. The transect defines a series of zones that evolve from sparse rural farmhouses to the dense urban core. Each zone contains a similar transition from the edge to the center of a neighborhood. The transect is an important part of the New Urbanism and Smart Growth movements.

Transect planning can be seen as a contrast to the single land-use pattern favored by modern city zoning and suburban development. In these patterns, large areas are dedicated to a single purpose, such as housing, offices, shopping, and they can only be accessed via major roads. The transect, by contrast, involves mixed-use development and therefore decreases the necessity for long-distance travel by any means

Though there are some recent examples of complex land use in Atlanta that adhere to smart growth ideas — visible in ground-up projects like Glenwood Park and Atlantic Station but also in adaptive re-use and infill here and there — we have a LOT of that single land-use pattern.

Downtown is filled with that “special district” type. Which is appropriate for event days, but a pain in the butt in every other hour, when those parking spaces just sit there and disconnect areas of residential activity from each other. We could use some of this transecting stuff to even out the parking gack. I’d like to order 15 parcels of “general urban zone,” please, and 10 of “urban center zone” to be put in South Downtown. When can I expect delivery on that?

(via urbanresolve)

"Per-capita vehicle miles of travel dropped again in 2013, making it the ninth consecutive year of decline…This recent downward shift has had no clear, lasting connection to economic trends or gas prices. Evidence suggests that the decline is likely due to changing demographics, saturated highways, and a rising preference for compact, mixed-use neighborhoods."

Per capita VMT drops for ninth straight year; DOTs taking notice | SSTI.us, 2/24/2014

Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail wins Smart Growth award from EPA

As part of its 2013 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, the Environmental Protection Agency has award recognition for Overall Excellence in Smart Growth to the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail and Historic Fourth Ward Park.

Here’s a quote from the EPA awards page, which has a nice write-up on the Beltline:

The Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail and Historic Fourth Ward Park’s most outstanding achievement has been to connect people. Neighborhoods that were separated for decades are now accessible through the multi-use trail that provides both recreation and transportation routes. What were once a deserted industrial landscape and an unused, overgrown, and debris-filled rail corridor are now thriving, active neighborhood assets

Congrats! Well deserved.

Metro Atlanta: still the #1 moving destination; let’s welcome them w/ good urbanism

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From Business Insider comes a report that Metro Atlanta is the #1 moving destination in US for the last four years.The numbers come from the Penske moving company.

Which sounds to me like a good reason to focus on compact, walkable growth and shun sprawl. A growing population will be best served by compact infill, since that makes for efficient movement via alternative transportation. Additional sprawl, meanwhile, would just put more cars on the roads.

Luckily, there is data that shows Metro Atlanta to be moving in the right direction and leaving sprawl behind.

"In today’s world smart growth shouldn’t be considered smart if it doesn’t include green buildings and green infrastructure, if it doesn’t show respect to our historic buildings and local culture, if it doesn’t foster public health, if it isn’t equitable, if it doesn’t pay more attention to stewardship of the earth."

People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities | by F. Kaid Benfield

Must read! This CNBC piece takes a look at Woodstock, GA as an example of a suburban place that’s thriving by becoming walkable and growing in a compact (non-sprawly) way. Go, Woodstock!