Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Downtown Redwood City Development Boom Continues

JK Dineen has a nice piece over at the San Francisco Business Times about the ongoing development boom in Downtown Redwood City. The pace of development is really picking up, and the quality is great. Check out JK's article about it here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Sprawl Transect

The Rural to Urban Transect is a great tool. It provides a method for understanding the various types of built environments that one may encounter, from the densest downtown to the sparsely settled countryside. More importantly, it helps planners and designers to address each type of place according to its needs. A country road doesn't need curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, but a downtown street without them is hopelessly inadequate. Each type of place can be great, and the trick is to understand what zone you are in and design it appropriately. It can even be used, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, to select a wardrobe.

It can also help to lay out neighborhoods and cities. For example, the T5 zone shown above may be perfect for a neighborhood main street, whereas the residential side streets may be T4. Deeper within the city, where transit is available and jobs are clustered, the denser Transect zones should be more prevalent. Near the outside of the city, away from such amenities, the less intense Transect zones should dominate.

It has even been used as the basis for zoning and other codes. There has been quite a bit of thought put into it. If you'd like to learn more, go to

Several years ago, I developed a counter-concept that I called The Sprawl Transect. Some folks had erroneously accused the T3 zone of being sprawl, thereby accusing the Transect of accommodating sprawl. This simply isn't the case; T3 simple represents walkable low-density residential areas. These areas existed long before sprawl was a problem, and they are a great and important part of any city's land use portfolio.