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Shaping Our Towns & Cities

Project Manager:

Why do we live where we live? What attracts us to certain towns or neighborhoods? Why are our communities designed the way they are? This discussion guide and its seven policy possibilities prompt us to–

  • explore the forces and decisions that shape our communities.
  • Ask whether these decisions could be altered or re-directed.
  • and explore and develop different visions for the future of our communities. What’s your vision of a good community, a good place to call “home”? How might we focus our efforts at community design and development?

Fused Grid by UrbanGrammar / CC BY-NC-SA

We may tend to think of the development of our communities as something that just happens, organically, and just the way things are. Conversely, we may also think of urban planning as a topic that is too complex for us as average citizens. Yet these decisions hit us where we live and impact our housing, transportation, and economic development. They affect what we think of as “home” and how we are able to live our lives there.

The seven policy notions in this report include:

  • Create Beautiful Towns and Cities: focus on beautiful design that is responsive to local conditions
  • Come Together: focus community design on fostering social interaction
  • Design Communities to Maximize Access: focus community design on enabling ready access to things people need in their daily lives
  • Foster Sustainable Towns and Cities: focus community design on enhancing resiliency
  • To Your Local Community Be True: focus community design on fostering distinctive local identities
  • Protect Community Value in the Marketplace: focus on fortifying the social value of our communities
  • Let the Private Sector Determine Community Design: focus on enabling the free market to shape our communities

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