From the B.A. Watkins Blog, originally posted 4/26/2013 by Barry Watkins
How do we help troubled places? How can we spark and maintain private re-investment? Set the stage with an amazing neighborhood plan. Plan for walkability as a priority. Walkable places are always the most resilient and prosperous places. Here are some steps to transform a struggling place into a prosperous, vibrant, desirable one:
Structure neighborhoods into walkable chunks. Define a neighborhood boundary so that all residents are within 1/4-1/2 mile of an existing or potential neighborhood center.
Define the neighborhood center. This will be the place with the most activity. You will want it to be near a prominent intersection. It need not be the geographic center of the neighborhood. It can be anywhere within the neighborhood boundary.
Plan the center as a higher density mixed use zone and assign lower densities to the rest of the neighborhood. This focuses the activity in the center and provides for a diversity of habitats within your neighborhood. This of course needs to be done with the context in mind. Changes to your neighborhood should blend naturally with the existing development.
(to be continued…)