Which Attributes Make a Community Successful?

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A presentation by Sophie Mintier and her colleagues from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments at Mobility Lab in Arlington on February 27, 2014. This looks at the Arlington examples of Rosslyn, Shirlington, and Columbia Pike.

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Which Attributes Make a Community Successful?

  1. 1. Place + Opportunity Strategies for Creating Great Communities and a Stronger Region Mobility Lab | February 27, 2014
  2. 2. Which attributes make a community successful? 2
  3. 3. Civic / Multimodal Transportation Cultural Facilities Parking Options Public Spaces/Parks Urban Walkable CharacterStreets
  4. 4. Diverse Housing Types Infrastructure Investments Higher Education Anchor Employer
  5. 5. Multi-Modal Transportation Choices
  6. 6. What Are Activity Centers? Places targeted for regional growth Urban & suburban centers, traditional towns, emerging communities Consistent with local planning Mixed-use Aligned with existing & planned transportation network 6
  7. 7. Why do Activity Centers Matter? Strong Strong Activity Transportation Centers Network 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. Finding (& Sharing) What Works • Regional perspective: Activity Centers with common characteristics can benefit from similar strategies • Creates “common playbook” • Facilitates regional knowledge-sharing—local governments can learn from each other 9
  10. 10. Report Overview 2/3 of Centers Analyzed Place Types Opportunity Types Goals Goals Strategies Strategies Tools Tools 10
  11. 11. 6 Place Types Urban Center Dense Mixed-Use Suburban Multi-Use Downtown DC Reston Town Center Falls Church Close-in & Urbanizing Revitalizing Urban Satellite City West Hyattsville Minnesota Avenue Downtown Frederick 11
  12. 12. 4 Opportunity Types Transforming Poplar Point Connected Core Clarendon Transitioning Wheaton Stable King Farm 12
  13. 13. Example: Rosslyn Photo: washingtonpost.com 13
  14. 14. Rosslyn: Types Goals Maximize Market Potential Urban Center Add Parks & Public Space Connected Core Center Expand Affordability 14
  15. 15. Rosslyn: Strategies & Tools Zoning Intervention Public Finance Options • Minimum densities • Design guidelines to improve pedestrian environment • Require additional open space • Tax increment finance • Tax abatements/ credits Affordable Housing Development • Enhance inclusionary zoning policies • Density bonuses for additional units • Expedited permitting, streamlined development review for affordable projects Housing Stock Diversification • Universal design modification • Employer-assisted housing 15
  16. 16. Example: Shirlington 16 Photo: Assemblyrow.com
  17. 17. Shirlington: Types Goals Add Parks & Public Space Dense Mixed-Use Center Encourage Additional Mix of Uses Stable Center Leverage Existing Assets 17
  18. 18. Shirlington: Strategies & Tools Public Private Partnership Development Incentives • Land swaps/donations • Joint development/ development assistance • Density bonuses • Reduced impact fees • Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Commercial & Job Diversification • Identify retail & services gaps • Temporary/pilot/ flexible businesses, e.g. food trucks, pop-ups Business Retention & Promotion • Revolving micro-loan fund • Façade improvements 18
  19. 19. Example: Columbia Pike Town Center 19 Photo: bettercities.net
  20. 20. Columbia Pike Town Center: Types Goals Close-In & Urbanizing Center Create New/Strengthen Existing Land Uses Create Stronger Brand/Image Transforming Center Stabilize & Preserve 20
  21. 21. Columbia Pike Town Center: Strategies & Tools Development Incentives • Prioritize catalyst projects • Land banking • Density bonuses • Reduced impact fees Develop Stewardship Entities • Special services district • Business improvement district (BID) • Catalytic development entity (CDE) Affordable Housing Preservation • Long-term affordability covenants • Shared-equity homeownership • Just-cause eviction controls Public-Private Partnerships • Land swaps/donations • Joint development/ development assistance Business Retention & Promotion • Revolving micro-loan fund • Technical assistance for small-/locally-owned businesses • Façade improvements • Local hiring & contracting provisions 21
  22. 22. Digging into urban form: Columbia Pike Town Center URBAN FABRIC DESTINATIONS LIVELINESS & UPKEEP COMFORT 22
  23. 23. Digging into urban form: Columbia Pike Town Center HARDEST TO CHANGE EASIEST TO CHANGE (LOWEST-HANGING FRUIT) 23
  24. 24. Digging into urban form: Columbia Pike Town Center LOW-SCORING (NEEDS) HIGH-SCORING (ASSETS) 24
  25. 25. Digging into urban form: Columbia Pike Town Center • Place need = Proximity  Proximity strategies: • Charrette to identify community needs • New walkable destinations – markets, gathering places, etc. • Temporary/flexible programming – food trucks, farmers markets, public events 25
  26. 26. Digging into urban form: Columbia Pike Town Center • Place need = Parks & Public Spaces  Parks & Public Spaces strategies: • ID locations for new parks/public spaces • Public-private partnerships to develop quasi-public spaces • Better programming/upkeep of existing parks & public spaces 26
  27. 27. Report available at www.regionforward.org/reports Ryan Hand rhand@mwcog.org | Sophie Mintier smintier@mwcog.org

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