Tag Archives: Suburbs

Suburbs Increasingly View Their Auto-Centric Sprawl as a Health Hazard

Traffic congestion in Bethesda, Maryland (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
Planners in Prince George’s County have talked for years about reshaping communities to help residents fetch a gallon of milk via a walk or bicycle ride, rather than add to stifling traffic congestion by having to drive. But planners say they’re increasingly treating the Maryland county’s low-density, auto-dependent design as more than a traffic problem. More often, they say, they’re considering sprawl a health hazard. Read more... Read more

Housing in the Evolving American Suburb

(Source: ULI)
This report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) classifies and compares suburbs in the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States and assesses the key issues that will shape suburban residential demand and development in the years ahead. The report points out that healthy regions and fully functioning housing markets require a range of housing choices for households of different backgrounds, means, desires, and stages of life. Read report... Read more

The New American Suburb: Diverse, Dense, and Booming

Downtown Naperville, Illinois, an example of denser suburban development (Credit: Ian Freimuth / Flickr)
American suburbs are far from a static set of cookie-cutter housing developments. But a forthcoming new report, Demographic Strategies for Real Estate, suggests that this archetypical part of the American landscape is in for some massive changes over the next decade that will reshape planning, land-use, and the real estate market. Read more... Read more

The Impact of Stroads in a Suburban Immigrant Community

Pedestrians in Langley Park
Langley Park, Maryland, a town in the DC suburbs, is centered around two major stroads, New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard. These stroads were built in the 1950s and 60s when pedestrians were an afterthought, but today with many of the recent immigrants unable to afford luxuries like cars, these major roads are busy pedestrian corridors, which has had some deadly consequences. Read more... Read more

A Guide to the Future: Repurposing Stranded Assets & Revitalizing New Jersey’s Suburbs

Suburban office parks and retail properties in New Jersey are deeply distressed, with overall vacancy rates pushing 30%. These distressed properties reflect broader trends in the U.S., with companies relocating to the mixed-use, 24/7 environments preferred by the millennial labor pool and away from the single-purpose, sterile work-places of the past. As a result, there is growing interest in repurposing these properties for other uses. This guidebook contains case studies of ongoing repurposing efforts and best practices for guiding the repurposing... Read more

A Dead Mall Becomes a Downtown for a Sprawling Suburb

The entrance to a multiplex theater punctuates the view down a block in Belmar (Source: Chris Whitis)
​Although Lakewood, Colorado, is the fifth largest city in the state, until the last decade the city had no true downtown. Instead, the Denver suburb boasted one of the country’s largest indoor shopping malls, built in the 1960s—but by 2000, that mall was largely vacant. That mall has been converted to a downtown called Belmar.   Read more... Read more

What Should Suburbs Look Like? Arlington Heights and Evanston

This seven-story condo building in Arlington Heights is a block from the town's main Metra station.
Arlington Heights and Evanston are the Chicago suburbs most ready for the future, and other towns should borrow from their playbooks, a new book says. In the past couple of decades, the two towns have intentionally paired up mass transportation hubs with buildings taller than the suburban norm, creating a mini-downtown where people can live, go to restaurants and get to work without taking a car. Read more... Read more
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