|Scope and Philosophy|
Scope and Philosophy
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As indicated in the home page, a primary selection criteria for urban spaces in this websiate is social value, focusing on improvements to neighborhood vitality and quality of life. In order to limit the scope of this website, we will concetrate on modest-sized spaces, in contrast with major regional renewals, and walkability and transit connectivity will be emphasized, along with the use of historic structures. Separate websites deal with plazas or city squares and with Light Rail transit.
The influential book Mixed-Use Developments: New Ways of Land Use, published by the Urban Land Institute in 1976, defined a Mixed-Use Development as having: "Three or more significant revenue-producing uses (such as retail, office, residential, hotel/motel, and recreation- which in well-planned projects are mutually supporting)."
Mixed-use was the traditional urban style through much of history, but in the twentieth century several factors led to lower density and more dispersed land use. These factors included the rise of automobile transportation and a growing affluence in North America and Europe which allowed the increase of large homes in large lots, or what we know as "suburbia". Also, the implementation of land use and zoning regulations, which "intended to create order through the control and separation of land uses, essentially made it illegal to mix uses in newly developing areas."
The term "walkability" will be used often in this website. Here is a a description from the influential Walkable Communities organization:
Walkability focuses on neighborhood or village scale development, with many nearby places to go and things to do. Truly walkable communities are characterized by much more than good sidewalks and street crossings; they include many attributes: a mix of uses, frequent street connections and pedestrian links, timeless ways of designing and placing buildings. They create desirable places to spend time in, to meet others.
This website is not a professional guide, but an editing of existing referenced material for educational purposes. The website author assumes no responsibility for any problems resulting from using the material presented in this website.
 Robert Witherspoon et al, Mixed-Use Developments: New Ways of Land Use (Washington DC: The Urban Land Institute, 1976), 6.
 Dean Schwanke et al, Mixed-Use Development Handbook, second edition (Washington DC: The Urban Land Institute, 2003), 1.
 Robert Witherspoon et al, Mixed-Use Developments, 78.