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10 Basics of Traditional Neighborhood Design

Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) is a comprehensive planning system inspired by the many great towns and neighborhoods developed before World War II. These communities were developed prior to the suburban sprawl engendered by the expanding highway systems of our increasingly auto-dependent society.

The result is an innovative development approach that creates compact, walkable communities. TND emphasizes a return to the way we used to build neighborhoods, with their human scale and lively mix of uses. With many services located a short walk away, the need for car travel is lessened and a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere results.

  1. The neighborhood has a discernible center – often a square or green.
  2. Most of the dwellings are within a short walk of the center.
  3. There are a variety of dwelling types within the neighborhood in close proximity to one another.
  4. There are shops and offices within or close to the neighborhood.
  5. Buildings at the neighborhood center are placed close to the street. This creates a strong sense of place.
  6. Street networks are interconnected and blocks are small.
  7. The streets are relatively narrow. This slows traffic, creating an environment friendly to pedestrians and bicycles.
  8. Parking lots and garage doors are relegated to the rear of buildings, usually accessed by alleys.
  9. Prominent sites are reserved for civic buildings.
  10. The architecture is reflective of the surrounding region.

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