The Next Frontier for Compact Walkability? It's Gotta Be the Burbs

Suburban retrofit: what's next in issues, approaches, strategies, and tools.

1 minute read

March 16, 2016, 7:00 AM PDT

By Hazel Borys


"Local and regional governments in outlying areas are beginning to recognize the advantages of reversing sprawl — and the risks of not acting."

"America has about twelve thousand square miles of land, an area equivalent to the states of Connecticut and New Jersey, that are used for surface parking, loading, storage, and other nonstructural uses. The supply of this land is so vast that nearly all of America’s new nonresidential spaces and nearly all new multilevel attached residential units can easily occur on the parking lots of existing nonresidential development, especially along commercial corridors and in suburban centers."

Ben Brown quotes Lynn Richards, Arthur Nelson, Rob Steuteville, the Urban Land Institute, and Galina Tachieva as he gives us the latest on suburban retrofit and sprawl repair.

Mashpee Commons. Credit: DPZ & Co.

An early retrofit of an outmoded suburban mall, Mashpee Commons began its transformation, with DPZ & Co. as design lead, in the late 1980s. It has evolved into a mixed-use core for an emerging town where once there was centerless suburbia. Image Credit: DPZ & Co.

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