March 2007


On March 26, Pringle Creek in Salem, OR was named Land Development of the Year by the NAHB’s National Green Building Awards. The designation is a new category for the Green Building Awards, and Pringle Creek is the first development to win it.

Pringle Creek is pursuing a full suite of sustainability practices. One of the more experimental is the system of porous streets that capture and purify stormwater runoff. The developers call it an “innovative storm water management system utilizing the largest community porous asphalt and concrete road system in North America.”

Here’s a cross-section of the street design:

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Terry Holzheimer, economic development director for Arlington, VA, had a clever idea. Usually the density of neighborhoods is measured in residents per acre. But historic neighborhoods and transit oriented development are mixed use, so there may be all sorts of activities that don’t get counted by the usual methods. Why not add residents and jobs together to get a measure of “overall intensity”?

That’s exactly what Holzheimer did in his short paper, Urban Development Intensities in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. He looked at overall intensity for historic neighborhoods and for new, transit oriented, mixed use centers. For good measure, he also looked at suburban employment centers, including the so-called edge cities like Tysons Corner.

The unexpected conclusion: Historic neighborhoods are more intense than edge cities.

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Québec City in the province of Québec: 399 years old and going strong. A few existing sections remain from the 17th century, and most of the Old Town was built during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

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Climbing the cliff from Lower Town to Upper Town on Côte de la Montagne.

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At the foot of the funicular (an easier way to travel up the cliff) on the Quartier Petit Champlain commercial street.

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