Pedestrian- and Transit-Friendly Design

A Primer for Smart Growth

Florida Department of Transportation and American Planning Association

Urban design differs from planning in scale, orientation, and treatment of space. The scale of design is primarily that of the street, park, or transit stop, as opposed to the larger region, community, or activity center. The orientation of design is aesthetic, broadly defined. Design lies
somewhere between art, whose object is beauty, and planning, whose object is functionality. The treatment of space in design is three-dimensional, with vertical elements as important as
horizontal ones in designing street space, park space, and other urban spaces. Planning, on the
other hand, is a singularly two-dimensional activity.

Another primer available from the Smart Growth Network, Best Development Practices: A Primer for Smart Growth, approaches development and redevelopment from a planning perspective. Scant attention is paid to aesthetics, small-scale elements, and the vertical dimension of development. The present primer takes the opposite tack, giving more attention to design than to planning. The two primers are meant to be read in tandem.

This primer is based on Pedestrian- and Transit-Friendly Design, a manual prepared for the Florida Department of Transportation(FDOT) and the American Planning Association (APA). The primer and manual draw primarily on three sources.the classic urban design literature, the best transit-oriented design manuals, and our own transit-related studies undertaken to give the manual an empirical base.

Filed in: Community Problems and Solutions, Promoting Walking and Bicycling, Plans and Policies, Transit

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