Harris Steinberg, director of PennPraxis of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, offers 10 steps for good urban planning.
Among the 10 steps:
"1. STREET SMARTS
Does the project respect the Philadelphia block structure or does it sprawl over many acres? Does the building squarely meet the sidewalk or float in a suburban-style landscape?
Philadelphia city blocks are easy to walk along with a fine-grained city street grid that disperses multiple building uses and traffic efficiently.
2. DOES SIZE MATTER?
How big is the project? Macy's and Wal-Mart are both big retail boxes but Macy's (the old Wanamaker's) sits on a city street with parking below grade and shop windows on the sidewalk. Wal-Mart is an island surrounded by a sea of surface parking. Which would you rather walk past?
3. CITIES ARE FOR PEOPLE
Cities and riverfronts are made for people. Is the development pedestrian-friendly, designed in a way that will encourage walking, biking, strolling and jogging? Is there public art to lift the spirit?
Do the public spaces encourage people to linger and socialize or is it a gated community designed to keep the public out?"