Density and Mixing Land Use

Land use patterns greatly influence traffic patterns and volumes. When development is spread out (low density) and separated (isolated land uses), the number of trips made and the length of trips is higher than when development is more compact and different uses are intertwined. For example, people living in a single-family house subdivision often must drive several miles to work, go to the grocery store or access a park. In contrast, a person living in an environment of mixed uses can often walk, take transit or combine shorter trips. If designed well, living in a denser, more urban environment can be attractive to many people. Land use development patterns may be the most important influence on the amount of driving we do. Sound land-use planning may be the most effective way of reducing the amount of traffic congestion we experience in our daily lives. 


Visualizing Density (Lincoln Institute)
In the realm of community planning and land development, "density" is an often used but rarely understood term. The physical density of a development project can be measured in numerical terms, but such a measurement fails to convey the look and feel of density. Measured density is often very different than perceived density.
Visualizing Density

Land Use Impacts on Transportation
Land Use (also called Land Development, Spatial Development, Community Design, Urban Design, Cityscape or The Built Environment) refers to various land use factors, such as density, mix, connectivity and the quality of the pedestrian environment. These factors affect travel behavior by affecting the distances that need to be traveled between destinations, and the relative efficiency of different modes.
Land Use Impacts on Transportation

Mixed Land Use
Smart growth supports the integration of mixed land uses into communities as a critical component of achieving better places to live. By putting uses in close proximity to one another, alternatives to driving, such as walking or biking, once again become viable. Mixed land uses also provides a more diverse and sizable population and commercial base for supporting viable public transit.
Mixed Land Use

Land Use Change Article
The collapse in the housing market and high gasoline prices are bad news for middle-class homeowners left to sift through the wreckage. But if thee is consolation to be found amid the rubble, it may be that the inexorable spreading out that has characterized American life since World War II might finally be coming to an end.
Washington Post End of Sprawl.pdf

Cost of Community Services
Cost of Community Services (COCS) studies are a case study approach used to determine the average fiscal contribution of existing local land uses. A subset of the much larger field of fiscal analysis, COCS studies have emerged as an inexpensive and reliable tool to measure direct fiscal relationships.
Cost of Community Services.pdf

Making Transit Oriented Development Work Article
Even a cursory glance around the country suggests that transit-oriented development is hot; new TODs are on the drawing boards everywhere, from Alaska to Florida. Its advocates tout benefits ranging from more compact development and less automobile dependence to new retail opportunities.
Making Transit Oriented Development Work.pdf

Smart Code
The SmartCode is a model transect-based development code available for all scales of planning, from the region to the community to the block and building. The code is intended for local calibration to your town or neighborhood. As a form-based code, the SmartCode keeps towns compact and rural lands open, while reforming the destructive sprawl-producing patterns of separated use zoning.
Smart Code
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