Study Shows TND Encourages Walking

Orenco Station in Portland, OR shows that traditional neighborhood development (TND) can decrease car use and encourage walking, according to a new study.

"The study was based on a door-to-door survey of four neighborhoods in the Portland, Oregon, area. One was a conventional suburb in Beaverton, Oregon. Two were neighborhoods in Portland with differing physical characteristics and histories. The last was Orenco Station, one of the best-known new urban developments in the Northwest, with approximately 1,850 housing units and a town center that includes 68,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space on a total of 190 acres.

The physical design of Orenco Station, with its pedestrian-friendly network of streets, small parks and public spaces, differs substantially from the other neighborhoods studied - especially the conventional suburb containing large lots, cul-de-sacs, and few sidewalks. Data was collected from Orenco Station in 2002 and 2007, offering insights into how attitudes change in a new urban community over time. A paper that fully describes the study will be published in an upcoming urban research journal."

Among the findings: Ten times more Orenco Station residents regularly walk to a store than do the inhabitants of the Beaverton suburb. "This achievement likely contributes not only to environmental sustainability but to personal health," the researchers note.

Thanks to Renee Brutvan

Full Story: New urban community promotes social networks and walking



Walking In Orenco Station

from the article:
"Fifty percent of Orenco station residents report walking to a local store five or more times a week, compared to 5 percent in Beaverton."

That is such an impressive figure for a suburb that I want to call it out in this comment.

Charles Siegel

TOD, not just TND

I think it is more accurate and relevant to call Orenco Station a TOD than just a TND. The fact that it is located adjacent to a transit stop and is a mixed-use development is relevant. TND, to me, implies a particular architectural style, which is, in my view, unrelated to pedestrianism. Also, some TNDs are located where they can only be accessed by car. For example, Town Commons in Howell, Michigan, not to single it out, but the design of the community is walkable, and it was intended to be "mixed use", but those efforts are basically negated by the fact that it is nowhere near mass transit, in a completely car-dependent community. Now, it may be a nice place to walk your dog, which is fine, but these developments have no power to change commuting habits.

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