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How can governments leave behind the traditional model of the “bedroom suburb” in favor of more diverse, connected, mixed-use communities? 

Increasingly, leaders and planners in the suburbs realize that long-term financial success depends on a diverse mix of people, places, ages, and cultures. The majority of neighborhoods in some municipalities are automobile dependent, so leaders need a step-by-step process to retrofit drive-only landscapes for quality of life and the human-scale.

For many projects, the difference between success and failure is political leadership and a project champion. While there is no “one size fits all” strategy for managing this arena, there are common lessons that can be gleaned from some communities’ successes and failures.

Highlights of a walkable center

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, a major suburban “edge city” outside of Philadelphia, has created a walkable town center. Here are highlights.

Five ways to make better ‘burbs

The following are strategies and techniques for making a suburban community better.

Water in the suburbs, rethought

There are new answers for managing water in the suburbs.

 

Creating a suburban downtown

For a university town in Connecticut, a new urban center in place of a suburban-style commercial strip highway.

A lively core for an edge city

As one of the first suburban developments of an entire downtown, Addison Circle gives its community a core and character.

Seven reasons to fund bicycle infrastructure

People on bicycles need adequate bike-friendly infrastructure in neighborhoods.

Ten steps toward pedestrian-friendly suburbs

Rescaling suburban communities can be long and difficult. Here’s how to start.