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When Transportation Planning Meets Innovative Design


Transit-oriented development (TOD) has gained currency in the United States as a means of promoting smart growth, injecting vitality into inner-city settings, and expanding life choices. This research project analyzed the Uptown District Project of 1988, a case which has served as a model for successful transit-oriented development in the form of mixed-use infill development for many communities. The study examined its success, not only in terms of the environment its compact mixed-use buildings yield, but also of the unique role that the city and community played in the planning process. The research design used qualitative and quantitative data in the form of interviews, surveys, on-site observation, planning documents, and census data. This range of research components provided insight into the actual nature and effectiveness of the program, the challenges in successful implementation, and offered inferential data into the plausibility of applying such practices in potential redevelopment areas. The research contributes to the literature on the benefits of transit-oriented development by demonstrating that high- density projects such as the Uptown District can be effective in promoting pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use environments within an otherwise automobile-oriented urban society.

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