Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently released its report titled “Shifting Suburbs: Reinventing Infrastructure for Compact Development” which focuses on how American can refocus its suburban growth to a more compact form. The report specifically focuses on America’s trend for “higher-density development clustered in nodes or along corridors and with increasing options for getting around without a car”. ULI presents their findings in three key parts: an introduction to the idea of compact suburban development and the requisite infrastructure, lessons learned in previous scenarios, and case studies from cities that have engaged in such efforts. The main idea contained within the report centers around the understanding that:
For compact development to occur, developers and municipalities must determine how to plan, fund, and finance the often costly and complicated infrastructure required for suburban compact growth. That infrastructure can include transit investments, structured parking, intricate street grids, sidewalks, streetlighting, and water, sewer, and other utility upgrades.
The case studies presented examine the following cities:
- Dublin, Ohio, and the Bridge Street Corridor
- Aurora Corridor, Shoreline, Washington
- Belmar, Lakewood, Colorado
- State Road 7, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, Florida
- White Flint/Rockville Pike, Montgomery County, Maryland
- West End, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
- Richardson, Texas
- CityCentre, Houston, Texas
The case studies focus on five overlapping suburban development or redevelopment types including suburban mall retrofits, suburban transit-oriented development, suburban arterials or commercial corridors, and large-scale suburban transformation.