Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another interesting journal article

... remember that Sage Publications has open access to their journal backfile through tomorrow.  This is another article from Urban Studies Journal.

"Retrofitting the Suburbs to Increase Walking: Evidence from a Land-use–Travel Study"
Marlon G. Boarnet, Kenneth Joh, Walter Siembab, William Fulton and Mai Thi Nguyen
48(1) 129–159, January 2011

Abstract: This paper reports results from a detailed travel diary survey of 2125 residents in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County—a mature, auto-oriented suburban region.  Study areas were divided into four centres, typical of compact development or smart growth, and four linear, auto-oriented corridors. Results show substantial variation in the amount of walking across study areas. Trips are shorter and more likely to be via walking in centres. A key to the centres’ increased walking travel is the concentration of local shopping and service destinations in a commercial core. Yet the amount of business concentration that is associated with highly pedestrian-oriented neighbourhoods is from three to four times as large as what can be supported by the local resident base, suggesting that pedestrian-oriented neighbourhoods necessarily import shopping trips, and hence driving trips, from larger surrounding catchment areas. The results suggest both land use and mobility strategies that can be appropriate for suburban regions. 

While the article is focused on suburban locations, the point it makes about the retail trade area of successful walking shopping districts is relevant to the urban setting also.



At 8:22 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

I fear far too often we measure "commuting trips" rather than actual car use -- just because the commuting numbers are easier to find.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

many MPOs, even ours, do general household travel surveys. They are done with random samples and then diaries. Commute trips are important though because they represent the use of the mobility network at peak demand.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

Good point, but I still suspct the underlying terrority is harder to map.


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