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Section 13. Enhancing the Built Environment through Design

What are zoning and neighborhood design, and how do they work together?

___Zoning is a set of community laws and regulations that divides a community into various zones, and specifies what kinds of building, development, and economic activity can take place in each zone

___Neighborhood design refers not only to the design of buildings, but to the design of the neighborhood as a whole

___The type of zoning a community adopts can greatly shape the design of neighborhoods subject to that zoning

Why use zoning and neighborhood design to influence the physical structure of your community?

___They can guide public spending toward the appropriate places by putting money into projects and improvements most needed and wanted by neighborhood residents

___They can foster economic and racial/ethnic diversity

___They can foster social interaction and mixing among neighbors, and among neighborhood residents from diverse backgrounds

___They can make the chores of daily life easier and more convenient

___They can provide health benefits from walking and biking

___They can create ease of travel and independence for everyone

___They can provide easy access to jobs

___They can afford residents savings on transportation

___They can produce environmental benefits

___They can foster development that’s energy efficient and environmentally responsible

___They can lead to more profit for developers, and more reasons for them to invest in affordable housing

___They can create a better commercial environment

___They can make for a physically and aesthetically more pleasant neighborhood

___They can foster safer and more secure neighborhoods

___They can enhance neighborhood quality of life

When should you use zoning and neighborhood design?

___When a zoning code is being revisited or developed

___When a community strategic planning or neighborhood planning process is in place

___When a major development that could change the character of the neighborhood is proposed

___When a community or neighborhood development effort is under way

___When a community or neighborhood appears to be in a downward spiral

___When a neighborhood is in the midst of, or threatened by, changes in population

Who should use zoning and neighborhood design?


___Neighborhood business owners and professionals (i.e. those who make their living in the neighborhood, although they may not live there)

___Industries with facilities in the neighborhood

___Those with financial interests in the neighborhood (landowners, developers with current plans)

___Neighborhood health and community service providers

___Civil servants – police, firefighters, etc.

___Local government representatives and agencies that serve the neighborhood – city councilors, state representatives, municipal recreation agencies, public transportation, etc.

___Cultural organizations with a venue or base in the neighborhood – museums, libraries, performing arts centers

___Educational institutions, both public and private

___Neighborhood houses of worship

How do you implement zoning and neighborhood design?

___Reach out and recruit stakeholders

___Solicit stakeholders’ ideas about the ideal future for the neighborhood

___Hold a series of public meetings where stakeholders can discuss their initial ideas and develop a shared vision for the neighborhood

___Flesh out the vision statement with outcome goals

___Generate concrete objectives tied to specific actions to achieve outcome goals

___Prioritize the lists of goals, objectives, and recommendations

___Identify the necessary zoning changes

___Implement the necessary zoning changes

___Choose a neighborhood design committee or other body to coordinate the effort

___Keep in close contact with everyone involved in changing the physical structure of the neighborhood

___If necessary, work with the municipality and developers to attract businesses and residents to the neighborhood

___Encourage neighborhood events, use of new bike and walking paths, public transportation, etc.

___Deliver regular progress reports to the neighborhood on work toward specific objectives and goals

___Revisit the neighborhood plan regularly and revise it as needed

___Maintain momentum indefinitely