Repairing Sprawl Neighborhoods


Looking further into this whole “sprawl repair” thing…

To repair sprawl neighborhoods we want to compare what exists now with the ideal of the complete, compact, and connected walkable neighborhood.  We look for the things that don’t match up and then we come up with a neighborhood plan that addresses the deficiencies.  The plan directs the neighborhood’s evolution.  Whatever changes we’d like to see may or may not happen overnight, but a good plan will set the stage and mold the shape of things to come.

Moving toward completeness.  Most of sprawlville (car-dominated development) is organized in big, single-use chunks. To make it walkable we should aim to bring it into balance at the human pedestrian scale.  If we are looking at an office park then we will divide it up into walkable chunks.  Within each chunk we would find a logical center and edge where we can create a complete neighborhood about 1/4 mile from edge to center. That neighborhood would then be planned so that a couple of different residential types could be introduced in the walkable envelope.

Conversely, where there are stretches of housing developments along an arterial with no commercial nearby we can divide the sprawl into walkable envelopes and select spots where it makes sense to add some walkable commercial along the busiest streets.


 Illustrations above from “Sprawl Repair Manual” by Galena Tachieva
This entry was posted in Feature Articles, Repairing Sprawl and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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