Sprawl

View of Santa Clara valley in San Francisco Bay Area at dusk.

How to Stop the ‘Growth Ponzi Scheme’

Even cities with wealthy tax bases and strong economies face budget shortfalls when it comes to basic needs. Why?

April 10, 2024 - Strong Towns

Green lawn and walkway in downtonw Houston park with skyline in background.

Promoting Infill Development for a Denser Houston

An advocacy group is calling for ‘sustainable, vertical’ mixed-use urbanism in the famously sprawling city.

March 19, 2024 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with dense, low-rise housing in foreground.

A Better Understanding of Smart Growth Benefits

Smart Growth creates compact, multimodal communities where residents consume less land, drive less, and rely more on non-auto modes. Planners have important stories to tell about the benefits of Smart Growth.

March 14, 2024 - Todd Litman

Close-up of row of electric car charging stations in a covered garage structure

Study: How EVs Perpetuate the Harms of Car Culture

While they emit less pollution, electric cars don’t solve many urgent issues like sprawl and fine particulate pollution.

March 12, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Cobblestone street with streetcar line, row of vintage streetlights on left, and colorful restaurant and shop awnings on right on River Street in Savannah, Georgia.

Savannah: A City of Planning Contrasts

From a human-scales, plaza-anchored grid to suburban sprawl, the oldest planned city in the United States has seen wildly different development patterns.

March 12, 2024 - Strong Towns

Aerial view of Ashland, Oregon.

Facing Housing Crisis, Oregon Could Alter its Historic Land Use Law

A 1973 state law creates urban growth boundaries that limit urban sprawl, but rising housing costs are causing lawmakers to consider a one-time expansion.

February 26, 2024 - Associated Press

Aerial view of housing and freeway in Cupertino, California.

Proposal Would Link Highway Funding to Zoning

Experts argue that zoning, housing, and transportation policy are intimately linked.

February 22, 2024 - Federation of American Scientists

Aerial view of suburban sprawl with large single-family homes near Dallas, Texas.

The Changing Shape of American Suburbs

Housing costs and availability are pushing more American households, including young families, to suburbs and exurbs — and they’re demanding changes.

February 13, 2024 - Business Insider

Aerial view of suburb outside Dallas, Texas with large single-family houses with enclosed backyards and green lawns.

The Rise of Zoning Reform

As the housing affordability crisis spread from mainly coastal cities to the rest of the nation, cities and states are taking a serious look at outdated zoning codes that hamper efforts to build more housing.

November 29, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

Aerial view of large parking lot in front of large grocery or big-box store with small fall-colored trees among parked cars and sunset sky in background.

It’s That Time of Year: #BlackFridayParking

An annual social media project underscores just how much parking goes unused, even on the busiest shopping days.

November 22, 2023 - Strong Towns

Aerial view of Buckeye, Arizona with sunset sky.

Arizona Town Looks for New Water Sources, Insists Development ‘Full Steam Ahead’

While many Southwest cities are looking for ways to conserve water and limit growth as water supplies become strained, one town is pressing ahead with rapid development.

October 29, 2023 - The Guardian

Pedestrians in busy crosswalk with tram in background in downtown Toronto, Canada with sunrise or sunset light in background.

Report Stresses Links Between Housing and Transit

A Canadian report calls for a more holistic approach to housing development policy and transportation planning.

October 26, 2023 - Mass Transit

View of Dallas city skyline with moderately busy freeway in foreground at twilight.

How to Reduce Excess Vehicle Travel

Some experts claim that remote work is the most effective way to reduce vehicle travel, but my research indicates that improving and encouraging walking, bicycling, and public transit can provide larger impacts and benefits.

September 8, 2023 - Todd Litman

Edmonton, Canada

Edmonton Considering Sprawl Control Measures

Under a proposed standard, developing neighborhoods in Edmonton would be required to fully build out infrastructure and community facilities, like retail and amenities, before the city approves additional development.

August 31, 2023 - CBC News

View from back of mother and hcild holding hands and walking down asphalt walkway painted with game grid.

Do Americans Really Prefer Sprawl?

Not if they live in a large metro area.

August 14, 2023 - Michael Lewyn

Sprawl

Majority of Americans Prefer Larger Homes and Longer Trips, Survey Says

The percentages have fluctuated on either side of the pandemic, but most Americans prefer to live in communities with larger houses, located farther away from schools, stores, and restaurants, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

August 3, 2023 - Pew Research Center

‘Divided by Design’ Underscores Inequities in Transportation Policy

The report calls for a wholesale overhaul of U.S. transportation policy to redress the damages caused by decades of auto-centric development.

July 14, 2023 - Smart Growth America

Close-up of silos with Imperial Sugar logo in Sugar Land, Texas

Sugar Land Mobility Master Plan Targets Microtransit, Connectivity

The southeast Texas city is responding to community demands for safer, more accessible, and more diverse transportation choices.

July 11, 2023 - Fort Bend Independent

Night view of wildfire burning near residential area in California

Wildfire Exposure More Than Doubled Since 2000

More intense and widespread fires caused by climate change and changing air temperature are threatening more existing communities.

July 6, 2023 - Source NM

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.