From Master Plan to Specs: Sustainable Design in Detail

abanks's picture

As planners, and advocates for healthier place making and urbanism, we often talk about the importance of scale. We recognize that city planning must be comprehensive in that the various scales of planning including the region, city, block, street, and building all must be addressed. Sustainable planning can be mapped on a spectrum of needs from the “big picture” of design all the way down to the specifications of individual buildings. It’s the attention to details the matter.

In a short article from, a small effort to improve bicyclist’s commute is demonstrated through the convenient placement of trash bins along bicycle paths. This may seem like an insignificant detail within the large realm of sustainable planning, but such efforts, catering to environmentally friendly methods of travel should be commended.

Speaking for myself, and the large community of supporters of New Urbanism, it’s refreshing to see little ways that pedestrians are taking precedent in an ever growing vehicular dominated society. Small efforts to support pedestrian and environmentally friendly places are integral to the overall success of the urban fabric. After all, it’s important to be reminded of whom we are planning for; those who live in the communities we are designing, improving and rallying for.


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