173 terms


GLOSSARY OF URBAN PLANNING TERMS *Majority Source: 'A Planner's Dictionary', APA - Editors: Michael Davidson & Fay Dolnick, 2004

Terms in this set (...)

Accessible or handicapped-accessible:
Accessible means easy to approach, reach, enter, speak
with, or use. Handicapped-accessible means
easy to approach, reach, enter, speak with, or use
for a handicapped person or someone with a disability
Adaptive reuse:
Rehabilitation or renovation of existing
building(s) or structures for any use(s) other than
the present use(s).
Affordable housing:
Housing that has a sale price
or rental amount that is within the means of a household that may occupy middle-, moderate-, or low-income housing. In the case of dwelling units for sale, housing that is affordable means housing in which mortgage, amortization, taxes,
insurance, and condominium or association fees constitute no more than 28% of gross annual household income. In the case of dwelling units for rent, housing that is affordable means housing for which the rent and utilities constitute no more than 30% of gross annual income.
Agricultural use:
The employment of land for the primary purpose of obtaining a profi t in money by raising, harvesting, and selling crops, of feeding, breeding, managing, selling, or producing livestock, poultry, fur-bearing animals, or honey bees, or by dairying and the sale of dairy products, by any other horticultural, forlicultural, or viticultural use, by animal husbandry, or by any combination thereof.
Aesthetic or other characteristics of a development (natural or man-made) that increase its
desirability to a community or its marketability to
the public. Amenities may include things such as
a unifi ed building design, recreational facilities,
security systems, views, landscaping and tree
preservation, attractive site design, permanent
open space, public art, etc.
Architectural feature:
A part, portion, or projection
that contributes to the beauty or elegance of a
building or structure, exclusive of signs, that is not
necessary for the structural integrity of the building or structure.
Area plan:
A plan that covers a specifi c sub-area of the
city and provides a blueprint for future development of the area. The plan also identifi es specific catalytic projects that will be undertaken to support that development. The plan provides policies
and strategies based on shared values that will
shape development for years to come. The plan
also outlines an implementation strategy and
framework for community partnership.
Automobile oriented retail:
Retail with large parking
lots and one and two story buildings that caters
to automobile drivers (e.g. strip malls, shopping
malls, drive-throughs, suburban style retail).
Base zoning district:
A portion of the city within which
only certain land uses and structures are permitted and certain standards are established for development of land. When a base zoning district is
combined with an overlay district for purposes of
development regulation specifi city, the base (underlying) district regulations shall apply unless expressly superseded by overlay district provisions.
Best Management Practices BMP):
A technique,
method, process, activity, incentive or reward
that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. Best managements practices can also be de-fined as the most
efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers
of people.
Bike lane:
A corridor expressly reserved for bicycles,
existing on a street or roadway in addition to any
lanes for use by motorized vehicles. These lanes
are usually designated by signs or stencils on the
pavement and a painted line marking the lane on
the pavement.
Biotech or Biomedical Technology:
Any technological
application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify
products or processes for specifi c use.
Block face or block front
One side of a street or the
building facades that make up one side of a street
between two consecutive intersections. For
example, a block face can be one side of a city
Block Grant:
The Community Development Block Grant
(CDBG), one of the longest-running programs of
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funds local community development
activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty
programs, and infrastructure development.
A steep headland, promontory, escarpment, riverbank, or cliff with an abrupt vertical change in
topography of more than 10 feet with an average
slope steeper than two feet of rise for one foot of
horizontal travel.
Bollards (fold-down):
Short vertical posts that can be
arranged in a line to close a road or path to vehicles, and to separate traffi c from pedestrians.
The fold down feature allows the bollards to be
removed when vehicle access is allowed.
Abandoned, idled, or underused industrial
and commercial facilities/sites where expansion
or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.
Buffer zone:
Districts established at or adjoining commercial-residential district boundaries to mitigate
potential frictions between uses or characteristics
of use. Such district regulations may provide for
transitional uses, yards, heights, off-street parking, lighting, signs, buffering, or screening.
Building Bulk:
The total volume of a structure.
Building code:
The various codes of the city that regulate construction and require building permits,
electrical permits, mechanical permits, plumbing
permits, and other permits to do work regulated
by city code pertaining to building and building
Building envelope:
The volume of space for building as
defined by the minimum setbacks and the maximum allowable height.
Building footprint:
The outline of the total area covered by a building or structure's perimeter at the
ground level.
Building height:
The vertical distance of the highest
point of the roof or any rooftop deck, fence, railing, widow's walk, or other rooftop structure or
feature above the mean fi nished grade of the
ground adjoining the building
Building lot coverage:
An area within the property boundaries of a lot or tract within which an allowed building or structure may be placed (does
not include paved surfaces).
Building mass:
The three-dimensional bulk of a building: height, width, and depth.
Building massing:
The way that three-dimensional
forms are combined to make up the total building
Built environment:
The elements of the environment
that are generally built or made by people as contrasted with natural processes.
Business Improvement District (BID):
A designated
geographic area where property owners voluntarily collect annual assessments that are spent
on projects that enhance the local business environment. These may include improvements
to the streetscape, marketing efforts, business
recruitment activity, and security programs.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT):
a broad term given to a variety
of transportation systems that, through improvements to vehicles, infrastructure, and scheduling,
attempt to use buses to provide a service that is
of a higher quality than an ordinary bus line.
Capacity building:
Building and demonstrating capacity to advance community plans through organizational development, community research, leadership development, partnership building, and
planning for improved services and development
projects. The process of building community
partnerships and strengthening relationships and
capacities requires engagement of a broad crosssection of community stakeholders in these activities, thereby establishing shared ownership.
Catalytic projects:
Redevelopment projects and programs aimed at increasing economic and community value within areas, districts, or neighborhoods of a municipality. These projects leverage
a signifi cant and visible investment in the area,
increase the value of surrounding properties, and
support comprehensive planning goals.
Center for Family Prosperity:
A resource center that
helps households increase their income and
spending power by offering in convenient neighborhood locations, a range of services such as, employment counseling, job training, financial
counseling, access to information on income supports like the Earned Income Credit, community
links, and other vital information and resources.
Special physical characteristics of a structure
or area (e.g. architecture, landscaping, natural features, open space, types and styles of housing,
number and size of roads and sidewalks) that set
it apart from its surroundings and contribute to its
An intensive focused workshop in which
designers, property owners, developers, public
offi cials, citizens, environmentalists, and other
stakeholders work together to brainstorm and
envision potential projects of benefi t to the community
Citizen participation:
The process through which citizens who live, work, invest or spend time in an
area are actively involved in the development of
plans and recommendations for that area.
City planning:
The decision-making process in which
community goals and objectives are established,
existing resources and conditions analyzed,
strategies developed, and investments targeted
and/or development controls enacted to achieve
these goals and objectives. The purpose of city
planning is to further the welfare of people and
their communities by creating benefi cial, equitable, healthful, effi cient, and healthy environments
for present and future generations
Commercial corridor:
A concentration of retail and
commercial buildings usually located along a
high traffi c pedestrian and transportation corridor.
Commercial corridors may be as little as two to
three blocks in length, or may extend to several
miles along a main street or highway.
Commercial district
A zoning district with designated
land uses characterized by commercial offi ce activities, services, and retail sales. Ordinarily these
areas have large numbers of pedestrians and a
heavy demand for parking space during periods
of peak traffi c.
(Neighborhood) commercial district:
Small commercial areas providing limited retail goods and services (e.g. groceries and dry cleaning) for nearby
residential customers.
Community character:
The image of a community or
area as defi ned by such factors as its built environment, natural features and open space elements,
type of housing, architectural style, infrastructure,
and the type and quality of public facilities and
Community garden:
A private or public facility or
plot of land for cultivation of fruits, fl owers, vegetables, or ornamental plants by more than one
person or family. Community gardens enhance
the character of a community
Complete Streets:
Street rights-of-way designed and
operated to enable safe, attractive and comfortable access and travel for all users. Pedestrians,
bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages
and abilities are able to safely and comfortably
move along and across a complete street
Comprehensive plan:
A plan for development of an
area which recognizes the physical, economic, social, political, aesthetic, and related factors of the
community involved. The plan usually includes
policy statements, goals, objectives, standards,
strategies, catalytic projects, maps, and statistical data for the physical, social, and economic
development, both public and private, of the community
Conservation district:
A district established to provide
a means of conserving an area's distinctive atmosphere or character by protecting or enhancing its significant architectural or cultural attributes.
Conservation district (neighborhood overlay):
A district intended to accommodate unique land use,
urban design, and other distinctive characteristics
of older established neighborhoods. The district,
used in combination with a base district, allows
variations in permitted uses and site development
regulation that are adapted to the needs of a specifi c neighborhood. The overlay is used to retain
the character of earlier periods of development,
stabilize and improve property values, encourage
rehabilitation of existing housing, and to promote
new construction that is compatible with the character of the area.
Context sensitive development:
Development that is
sensitive and responsive to the context in which
it occurs. This type of development seeks to balance development goals with other desirable outcomes (e.g. historic preservation, environmental
sustainability, and the creation of vital public
Context sensitive street design:
A custom-tailored approach to street design that takes neighborhood
context into account. Such design recognizes
that once a high-speed or major arterial enters a
community, a neighborhood, or a special, walkable district, it needs to transition into a more human-scaled design that obligates cars to drive in a
slower, safer, more courteous and aware manner.
Rights-of-way also need to be reapportioned to
better serve the needs of pedestrians and better
fi t the purposes of special districts.
Contextual zoning:
Zoning that regulates the height
and bulk of new buildings, their setback from the
street line, and their width along the street frontage, to conform with the character of the neighborhood.
Corridor, environmental:
An area of land usually bordering a water course or wetland identifi ed as
containing unique natural features that should be
preserved for its inherent ecological importance,
environmental education and/or passive recreation.
Corridor, mixed-use:
An area of land typically along a
linear transportation route where a variety of land
uses are permitted, including employment, shopping, and residential. These areas are intended to
be pedestrian-oriented and accessible by public
Curb cut:
A curb break, or a place or way provided for
vehicular ingress (entrance) or egress (exit) between property and an abutting public street
Selected population characteristics as used in government, marketing or opinion research, or the demographic profiles used in such research. Commonly-used demographics include
race, age, income, disabilities, mobility (in terms
of travel time to work or number of vehicles available), educational attainment, home ownership,
employment status, and area or location. Demographic trends describe the changes in a population over time
The number of dwelling units or principal buildings or uses permitted per net acre of land.
Densit bonus:
The granting of the allowance of additional density in a development in exchange for
the provision by the developer of other desirable
amenities form a public perspective (e.g. public
open spaces, plazas, art, landscaping, etc.).
Design review:
The evaluation of development projects against community standards and criteria, typically conducted by a specially established design review board or committee. Projects may be evaluated for their impact on neighboring properties, benefit to the community, architectural, site and landscape design, materials, colors, lighting, and signage.
Destination retail:
Retail businesses that generate a
special purpose trip and that do not necessarily
benefit from, or require a high-volume pedestrian
location. Typically, destination retail acts as a market draw and/or anchor for other retail that stands
to benefi t from proximity to its customers.
Development impact fee:
A fee levied on the developer of a project by a city, county, or other public
agency as compensation for otherwise-unmitigated impacts the project will produce. This fee is
intended as total or partial reimbursement for the
cost of providing additional facilities or services
needed as a result of the new development (e.g.
wider roads, new sewers, etc.).
Development incentive
Measure that can be taken,
usually by a governing agency, to encourage certain types of developments.
Development standards
A set of guidelines or defining parameters to be followed in site or building development.
Many or varied, may also mean multi-ethnic or
Cultural diversity encompasses the cultural
differences that exist between people, such as
social customs, language, dress and traditions,
and may also refer to the way societies organize
themselves, their conception of morality and religion, and the way they interact with the environment.
A grant by a property owner to the use of
land by the public, a corporation, or persons forspecifi c purposes as the construction of utilities,
sidewalks, drainage ways, or roadways.
Environmental corridor
A linear landscape or topographic feature containing a concentration of natural and cultural resources, or combined features of water, wetlands, and steep topography
of 12.5% or greater. The planning community has
often modifi ed or expanded this defi nition to meet
state or federal planning requirements and to include scenic, recreational, and historic resources in urban or urbanizing environments.
Export drivers:
Products currently in strong market
sectors (nationally and/or internationally) or part
of growing market sectors, that export goods or
services outside of the Milwaukee metro region,
and as a result: (1) Create new jobs, (2) Attract
new investment, and (3) Retain and attract talent.
Export drivers are also known as "high multiplier"
jobs because they create regional wealth, related
industry jobs, and jobs from direct and indirect
A region lying beyond the suburbs or the
"outer ring" of a city, especially one inhabited
principally by wealthy people as in exclusive enclaves, or one experiencing a shift from rural to
"leapfrog" low-density urban development.
The face of a building. All wall planes of a
building which are visible from one side or perspective. The front Facade faces and is most
closely parallel to the front lot line.
Facade (street-active, street-friendly)
The portions of
a Facade which face and are most closely parallel
to a street lot line, that engage pedestrians and
help to create street activity through features
such as storefront windows, welcoming storefront signs, etc.
Facade grants
A program that provides financial and
business assistance to businesses and commercial property owners interested in renovating the
street faces or public faces (principal facades) of
their buildings.
Feasibility study
An analysis of a specifi c project or
program to determine if it can be successfully
carried out
Floor area ratio (FAR):
The total floor area of all buildings or structures on a zoning lot divided by the area of said lot.
An entrance corridor that heralds the approach of a new landscape, neighborhood, or area
and defi nes the arrival point as a destination.
Gentrifi cation:
The rehabilitation and resettlement of
low- and moderate-income urban neighborhoods
by middle- and high-income professionals.
Green building:
Structures that incorporate the principles of sustainable design - design in which the impact of a building on the environment will be minimal over the lifetime of that building. Green
buildings incorporate principles of energy and resource effi ciency, practical applications of waste
reduction and pollution prevention, good indoor
air quality and natural light to promote occupant
health and productivity, and transportation effi -
ciency in design and construction, during use and
Green infrastructure:
A strategically planned and managed network of wilderness, parks, greenways,
conservation easements, and working lands with
conservation value that supports native species,
maintains natural ecological processes, sustains
air and water resources, and contributes to the
health and quality of life of communities.
Green space:
An open urban space with plant life or
the natural environment; also any natural area,
landscaped area, yard, garden or park accessible
to the public.
Historic building:
Any building that is historically or
architecturally signifi cant.
Historic district:
A district or zone designated by a local authority or state or federal government within
which buildings, structures, appurtenances
Historic landmark district
A geographically defined
area possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of landmarks, improvements,
or landscape features united by historic events or
aesthetically by plan or physical development, and
which area has been designated as an historical
landmark district pursuant to procedures of the
city code and ordinance. The district may have
within its boundaries noncontributing buildings or
other structures that, while not of such historic
and/or architectural significance to be designated
as landmarks, nevertheless contribute to the
overall visual character of the district.
High density land use:
Compact or clustered development, resulting in a higher overall number of
units built in the same area and possibly reducing the demand for development in other areas.
Higher density development does not necessarily
mean multifamily development or high-rise buildings. Higher densities can be achieved by building homes on smaller lots, by building attached
homes (rowhouses or townhomes) or by building
multifamily structures (apartment buildings). But
higher densities may be feared due to connotation with overcrowded housing in the late 19C.
High intensity land use:
High density street-oriented
development (lively, diverse, engaging) that draws
a large amount of foot traffi c to an area. Densely
developed urban neighborhoods may have a high
intensity street layer of development comprised
of one or more levels of retail, restaurant or entertainment uses, with quieter residential, offi ce or
studio levels above.
Highrise building:
A tall building or structure, typically
a minimum of twelve stories, thus requiring mechanical vertical transportation. This building type
includes a rather limited range of building uses,
primarily residential apartments, hotels and offi ce
buildings, though occasionally they include retail
and educational facilities.
Historic preservation:
The preservation of historically
significant structures and neighborhoods until
such time as, and in order to facilitate, restoration
and rehabilitation of the building(s) to a former
Hope VI principles:
The Hope VI program is part of the
US Department of Housing and Urban Development's efforts to transform public housing. The
four guiding principles are: 1) changing the physical shape of public housing, 2) establishing positive incentives for resident self-suffi ciency and
comprehensive services that empower residents,
3) lessening concentrations of poverty by placing
public housing in nonpoverty neighborhoods and
promoting mixed-income communities, and 4)
forging partnerships with other agencies, local
governments, nonprofi t organizations, and private
businesses to leverage support and resources.
Human scale:
A design approach based on Greek and
Roman architecture that used building mass and
proportions that were related to the size of the
human body. For civic spaces, combined height
and width (mass) of buildings were monumental
Impact fee:
A fee, also called a development fee, levied
on the developer of a project by a city, county,
or other public agency as compensation for otherwise unmitigated impacts the project will produce.
Impervious (impermeable) surface:
Any hard-surfaced (e.g. asphalt, concrete, roofi ng material,
brick, paving block, plastic), man-made area that
does not readily absorb or retain water, including
but not limited to building roofs, parking and driveway areas, graveled areas, sidewalks, and paved
recreation areas.
Incompatible land use:
The proximity of one or more
land uses to another use when the former is not
compatible with the latter; for example, an odious
factory next to a rose garden.
Industrial Center or Industrial Park:
Area designed
and zoned for manufacturing and associated activities, which may include
Infill development:
The construction of a building on
a vacant parcel located in a predominately builtup area. The local zoning regulations determine
whether the new building fi ts harmoniously into
the neighborhood.
Facilities and services needed to sustain industry, residential, commercial, and all other
land-use activities, including water, sewer lines,
and other utilities, streets and roads, communications, transmission lines, and public facilities such
as fi re stations, parks, schools, etc.
Innovation economy:
Global economy where the ability to innovate in research, product development,
manufacturing processes and market penetration,
are the keys to survival and competitiveness.
Land use:
Land use is based on the functional differentiation of land for different human purposes or
economic activities. Typical categories for land
use are dwellings, industrial use, transportation,
recreational use or nature protection areas. Use
categories are assigned to individual land parcels,
as established for zoning, real estate permitting,
planning, and those aspects of environmental law
as apply to such real estate matters. Urban land
use categories usually place restrictions on building lot coverage, height, area and setbacks, etc.,
as well as economic activity.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
A certification program and the nationally
accepted benchmark for the design, construction
and operation of high performance green buildings.
Lighted Schoolhouse Programs:
Supplemental after school programs for school age children that offer
learning activities, athletics or a study hall. They
may also provide tutoring, guidance and advocacy
to help youth reach their fullest potential.
Light-rail transit:
Street cars or trolley cars that typically operate entirely or substantially in mixed traffi c
and in non-exclusive, at-grade-rights-of-way. Passengers typically board vehicles from the street
level (as opposed to a platform that is level with
the train) and the driver may collect fares. Vehicles are each electronically self-propelled and
usually operate in one or two-car trains
Liner buildings/uses:
Buildings specifi cally designed
to mask parking lots or garages from street frontage.
Life Ventures Center:
A youth-serving community
group that connects young people to information
and opportunities about future careers. The "Life
Ventures Partnership" joins employers, organizations and institutions to accomplish three goals:
(1) expose young people to the world of work;
(2) educate them about the critical relationship
between education and career choices; (3) teach
skills essential to future success in the workplace,
like teamwork, communications, and problem
Linear park or parkway:
Park or parkway that is a lot
longer than it is wide. Linear parks are often created from strips of public land next to rivers, creeks,
canals, easements for electrical lines, former rail
corridors, scenic highways, and shorelines.
Live/work dwelling:
A dwelling unit used for both
dwelling purposes and any nonresidential use
permitted in the zoning district in which the unit is
located, provided that not more than two persons
who do not reside in the unit are employed on the
Live/work space:
Buildings or spaces within buildings
that are used jointly for commercial and residential
purposes where the residential use of the space
is secondary or accessory to the primary use as
a place of work.
Local Landmark District:
Historic district usually containing a number of National Register designated properties, requiring that site- and structure-specific guidelines be followed for repairs, exterior
alterations, additions, and new construction.
Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA):
Term for the Milwaukee metro "preferred" transit solution for federal funding purposes. Typically, evaluation measures are selected to assess how well (or poorly)
each alternative meets the goals and objectives
defi ned for transportation improvements, e.g., effective problem-solving, environmental impacts,
cost effectiveness, fi nancial feasibility, and equity
of costs and benefi ts across different population
Main Street:
A neighborhood shopping area sometimes
having a unique character that draws people from
outside the area.
Main Street Four Point Approach:
First established
by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as
a pragmatic approach to redeveloping historic
downtowns, the Four Point Approach is a community-driven, comprehensive, commercial district focused approach to economic development
that emphasizes reinvestment in historic assets,
marketing, restructuring to make businesses
more competitive, and job and wealth creation
in urban communities. The Main Street Four
Point Approach focuses on the following areas: 1)
preservation (adaptive reuse) and urban design,
2) organization, 3) economic restructuring, 4) marketing and promotion.
Mass transit:
Passenger services provided by public,
private, or nonprofi t entities such as the following
surface transit modes: commuter rail, rail rapid
transit, light rail transit, light guideway transit, express bus, and local fixed bus routes
A document that describes, in narrative
and with maps, an overall development concept.
The master plan is used to coordinate the preparation of more detailed plans or may be a collection of detailed plans. The plan may be prepared
by a local government to guide private and public
development or by a developer on a specifi c project.
Example: The city planners checked to see if the
zoning request complied with the city's master
Example: The master plan for further development of the resort condominium is displayed in
the sales offi ce.
Mixed-use development:
The development of a tract
of land or building or structure with two or more
differing uses such as residential, offi ce, retail,
service, public, or entertainment, in a compact
urban form. These types of developments can result in measurable reductions in traffi c impacts.
Multimodal transportation options:
The availability of
multiple transportation options designed to work
safely and effi ciently within a system or corridor,
e.g., streetcar, bus, automobile, bicycle, walking
National Register of Historic Places:
The listing maintained by the US National Park Service of areas
that have been designated as historically signifi -
cant. The Register includes places of local and
state signifi cance, as well as those of value to the
nation in general.
National Register structure or district:
A property
or area that has been added to the offi cial list of
properties signifi cant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, or culture for
use in local preservation planning efforts.
Neighborhood character:
The atmosphere or physical
environment which is created by the combination
of land use and buildings within an area. Neighborhood character is established and infl uenced
by land-use types and intensity, traffi c generation,
and also by the location, size, and design of structures as well as the interrelationship of all these
Neigborhood Improvement District (NID):
A designated geographic area where property owners
voluntarily collect annual assessments that are
spent on projects that will enhance the neighborhood environment. These may include improvements to local parks, landscaping, streetscaping,
lighting, identity features or security programs
Next generation manufacturing:
Next generation
manufacturing refers to a constant process of
research, product design and development - and
ongoing refi nement and "reinvention" of existing
products. The cycle of design, creating a prototype, testing it, and moving into high-volume production is compressed. Customers often take a
role in design. Products have a shorter shelf-life.
New Urbanism:
The process of reintegrating the components of modern life - housing, workplace,
shopping, and recreation - into compact, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhoods linked
by transit and set in a larger regional open space
framework. Initially dubbed "neotraditional planning," the principles that defi ne new urbanism
can be applied successfully to infi ll and redevelopment sites within existing urbanized areas.
Open space:
An area of land that is valued for natural
resources and wildlife habitat, for agricultural and
forest production, for active and passive recreation, and/or for providing other public benefi ts.
Open space in urban areas, is also defi ned as any
public space not dedicated to streets or parking.
Overlay district:
Overlay districts or zones are special
zoning districts where new developments and
redevelopments must follow design guidelines,
requirements and/or restrictions established by
the City. Typically, this is an area where certain
additional requirements are superimposed upon
a base zoning district or underlying district and
where the requirements of the base or underlying
district may or may not be altered.
(Site Plan Review) Overlay District:
A Site Plan Review Overlay District retains the regulations of
the underlying zoning district and adds design and
use standards.
(Neighborhood Conservation) Overlay District:
A Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District replaces the requirements of the underlying zoning district with performance standards, and modifies the range of permitted uses.
Park, neighborhood:
A park which serves the population of a neighborhood and is generally accessible
by bicycle or pedestrian ways.
Park, public:
A land use designed principally to offer
recreation, passive or active, t the public
Parking, shared:
A public or private parking area used
jointly by two or more businesses, retail shops,
The density, layout, and infrastructure that encourages walking and biking within a
subdivision or development, including short setbacks, front porches, sidewalks, and bike paths.
Pattern language:
The patterns that make up an architectural design language, usually based in the
customs and preferences of a people, place or
culture, also a placed-based and cultural history
of architectural design.
Pervious (permeable) surface:
A surface that presents an opportunity for precipitation to infiltrate into the ground by virtue of the surface material's porous nature or by large spaces in the material (e.g. gravel, stone, crushed stone, open paving
Place-based assets:
Assets that are specifi c and attributable to a place or locale, or that characterize
or differentiate an area. Traditional assets may be
geographic, as in proximity to mountains, lakes
and rivers; economic as in the home of a team or a
company; historic as in the birthplace of a national
fi gure or the place where an event occurred. Less
tangible but equally important assets may be livability, intellectual capital, or creative culture.
Placemaking: .
Creating squares, plazas, parks, streets,
and waterfronts that attract people because they
are pleasurable or interesting. Landscape plays
an important role in the placemaking design process
Planned Development:
A Planned Development is
a special zoning district where written project
descriptions, development standards, use restrictions, and site plans become the zoning regulations which control how a specifi c parcel(s) of
land can be developed and used. This is usually
done in two phases, the General Plan Development (GPD) which establishes an overall land use
plan, and the Detailed Plan Development (DPD)
which establishes architectural and site design.
Planned Unit Development (PUD):
A development guided by a total design plan in which one or more of the zoning or subdivision regulations, other
than use regulations, may be waived or varied to
allow fl exibility and creativity in site and building
design and location, in accordance with general
Public art:
Public art refers to art placed in public settings for the purpose of enriching the community
by evoking meaning in the public realm. Public art
can take a variety of forms: (1) Architectural design elements (carvings, embedded relief sculptures); (2) Landscape features; (3) Streetscape
design (benches, artist gardens); (4) Sculptures
(site-specifi c monumental works); (5) Civic enhancement projects (placed symbols, wayfi nding
signs and markers); (6) Exhibits, extemporaneous performances, indigenous artwork "found
objects" located in public spaces; (7) Community
Art (engravings, murals, vernacular pieces); (8)
Ephemeral Art (sidewalk poetry, ice sculpture).
Public open space:
Open space owned and maintained
by a public agency for the use and benefi t of the
general public.
Public realm:
The region, sphere, or domain within
which anything occurs, prevails, or dominates
available to anyone. From a land use standpoint,
public realm is all public open space and rightsof-way (streets, sidewalks, alleys, hike and bike
trails, etc.); also public space that is formed by
architecture or landscape features to create commons, courtyards, quadrangles, urban parks,
woonerf, etc.
Public transportation:
Services provided for the public
on a regular basis by vehicles such as bus or rail
on public ways, using specifi c routes and schedules, and usually on a fare-paying basis.
Purchasing power:
The ability to purchase goods and
services, generally measured by median household income, also retail spending per square mile.
City strengths (including dense population, the
high concentration of workers, and consequent
high concentration of earned income) translate
into higher purchasing power per square mile for
retail necessities, including food at home, apparel
and home furnishings.
Quality of life:
The attributes or amenities that combine
to make an area a good place to live. Examples
include the availability of political, educational, and
social support systems; good relations among
constituent groups; a healthy physical environment; and economic opportunities for both individuals and businesses.
Former rail corridors that have been
converted to paths designed for pedestrian, bicycle, skating, equestrian, and occasionally light
motorized traffi c. Most are multiuse trails offering
pedestrians and cyclists recreational access (hike
and bike trails) and right-of-way to these routes.
Any proposed expansion, addition,
or major Facade change to an existing building,
structure, or parking facility or proposed development on a formerly occupied site.
Redevelopment plan:
A redevelopment plan is a program for large-scale change in the use and character of a renewal district. This fundamental change
may involve actions of a redevelopment authority,
and may include job creation, blight elimination,
property acquisitions by eminent domain, large
and small-scale land assembly, targeted investments, increases in property values, and related
improvements to neighborhood identity and character that require political support and community
Regional planning:
Regional planning is the science of
efficient placement of infrastructure and zoning for
the sustainable growth of a region. Advocates for
regional planning promote the approach because
it can address region-wide environmental, social,
and economic issues which necessarily require a
regional focus.
The action or measure taken, or to be
taken, to lessen, clean-up, remove, or mitigate
the existence of hazardous materials existing on
the property to such standards, specifi cations, or
requirements as may be established or required
by federal, state, county, or city statute, rule, or
Re-establishing the economic and social
vitality of urban areas through infi ll, legislation, tax
incentives, commercial development, etc., within
existing urban areas to take advantage of existing investments in infrastructure and reduce the
negative impacts of urban sprawl.
A public or private area that allows for
the passage of people or goods. Right-of-way
includes passageways such as freeways, streets,
bike paths, alleys, and walkways. A public rightof-way is dedicated or deeded to the public for
public use and is under the control of a public
Riparian habitat:
A habitat for plants and animals that
is strongly infl uenced by water and that occurs
adjacent to streams, rivers, shorelines and wetlands.
Riparian owner:
One who owns land bounding upon a
lake, river, or other body of water, whose ownership rights include access to the river and use of
its waters, or riparian rights. Riparian ownership
may in some instances extend from the river bank
to the center point of the river or "thread of the
A publically owned or privately owned way,
generally open to the sky and unobstructed by
buildings, that runs along the river edge and is
open to the public during specifi ed times. It may
include any combination of open space, paved
areas, landscaped areas, pedestrian paths, and
pedestrian furnishings.
River trail:
A trail is a footpath or extended trek through
a wilderness or wild region; as, an Indian trail
along the banks of the river. A river trail may be
an unpaved "soft trail" that may have originated
from common use, or may be a moderately surfaced trail placed to reinforce or modify an existing pathway.
Sense of place:
The characteristics (constructed and
natural landmarks, social and economic surroundings) of a location, place, or community that make
it readily recognizable as being unique and different from its surroundings and that provide a feeling of belonging to or being identified with that
particular place.
The minimum distance by which any building or structure must be separated from a street
right-of-way or lot line.
Smart growth:
Smart growth focuses on the long-term
implications of growth and how it may affect the
community, instead of viewing growth as an end
in itself. It is designed to create livable cities, promote economic development, and protect open
spaces, environmentally sensitive areas, and agricultural lands. Planning, regulatory, and development practices and techniques are founded upon
and promote the following principles for managing the growth of a community: 1) using land resources more effi ciently through compact building forms, infi ll development, and moderation in
street and parking standards; to lessen land con
Social network:
A social structure made up of nodes
or clusters (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied or connected by one or
more specifi c types of interdependency, such as
values, visions, ideas, fi nancial exchange, friends,
kinship, dislike, confl ict, trade, or web links. These
nodes or clusters may be reinforced by overlapping interests, geographic proximity (villages,
towns, etc.), or common history.
Special district or contextual district:
Certain zoning
districts are called special districts or contextual
districts, because they aim to guide the character
and appearance of new development. Special
districts often are empowered to tax residents of
the district, usually by a property tax but sometimes an excise or sales tax, for the services they
A rail borne vehicle, lighter than a train, designed for the transport of passengers (and/or,
very occasionally, freight) within, close to, or between villages, towns and/or cities, primarily on
Street edge (also called continuous street edge or
continuous building edge):
The vertical face
formed by building facades, street trees, and
screening walls that is aligned along a street and
forms a comfortable people-scaled space.
Street grid system (also called multi-modal street
grid system):
A street system based upon a
standard grid pattern (i.e. checkerboard blocks)
with streets running at right angles to each other; however, offset intersections, loop roads,
and cul-de-sacs as well as angled or curved road
segments may also be used on a limited basis.
The block pattern is characterized by regular (i.e.
rectangular or trapezoidal) blocks and irregular
polygons do not predominate. The grid system is
the dominant spatial arrangement in cities.
Street hierarchy system:
An urban design technique
used to separate automobile through-traffi c from
development areas. The street hierarchy completely eliminates all straight-line connections
between arterial roads, whereas arterials in a
traditional grid plan are connected by dozens of
through streets. The street hierarchy system is
the dominate spatial arrangement in suburbs and
The treatment of space between buildings and street that defi nes the public realm.
Streetscape elements may include building frontage/Facade, public art, outdoor cafes, transit stops
or shelters, landscaping (trees, planters, fountains, etc.), sidewalk pavers, special embedded
street paving, street furniture (benches, kiosks,
etc.), signs, awnings, and street lighting.
Street wall:
The wall or part of the building nearest to
the street or property line
Sustainable development:
Development that maintains or enhances economic opportunity and community well-being while protecting and restoring
the natural environment upon which people and
economies depend. Sustainable development
meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs.
Targeted Investment Neighborhood (TIN):
The Targeted Investment Neighborhood (TIN) Program is
a neighborhood revitalization strategy in which the
City of Milwaukee, working with a neighborhood
community partner, focuses resources in a relatively small area (6 to 12 city blocks) in an effort to
stabilize and increase owner-occupancy, provide
high quality affordable rental housing, strengthen
property values and improve the physical appearance of the neighborhood. The program includes
forgivable loans for home rehab and rent rehab
and incentives for owners to buy investment
properties in the neighborhood
Tax incremental financing (TIF):
An economic
(re)development tool used by municipalities to

leverage private development investment. TIF
allows cities to capture increased tax revenues
generated by economic development projects
and to use this money to pay back city funds injected at the front end of the development, most
often for public infrastructure (e.g. streets, sewer,
environmental remediation or other site improvements).
Tax increment financing (TIF) district:
A district established to facilitate redevelopment and stimulate new investment in deteriorating areas or
potentially problematic sites. TIF districts enable
a municipality to borrow against the future tax
revenues of an area to fund a variety of costs associated with the redevelopment process. During
the time a TIF is in place, all affected local taxing
bodies continue to receive their shares of taxes
on the initial assessed valuation of the district.
Only the additional tax revenue, or increment, is
used to fund redevelopment expenses. TIF funds
can be used to pay for property acquisition, site
preparation, utility connections, building rehabilitation, infrastructure improvements, amenities,
environmental cleanup, fi nancing charges, etc.
Traditional neighborhood development:
A development that exhibits several of the following characteristics: alleys, streets laid out in a grid system,
buildings oriented to the street, front porches on
houses, pedestrian-orientation, compatible and
mixed land uses, a recognizable 'village' center,
and clearly defi ned edges. Optimum size for this
type of development is a quarter mile from center
to edge
Traffic calming:
Measures taken to reduce the adverse
impact of motor vehicles on built-up areas. Traffic
calming usually involves reducing vehicle speeds,
providing more space for pedestrians and cyclists, and improving the local environment and
safety by installing speed bumps, traffic circles,
alternate paving materials at crosswalks, etc., to
slow traffic.
Transit-oriented development (TOD)
Moderate- to
high-density mixed-use communities within an average 2,000 foot walking distance of a transit stop
and core commercial area. TODs mix residential,
retail, offi ce, and public uses in a walkable environment, making it convenient for residents and
employees to travel by public transit, bicycle, foot,
or car. Development in such areas is designed to
make transit use as convenient as possible
TOD Node:
Balanced, mixed-use clustering of land uses
within a pedestrian-friendly district connected
to transit that enables transit riders to purchase
goods and services within a quarter-mile or fi veminute walking radius of a transit station, thus
eliminating need for automobile trips.
Typically, a TOD Node will support a higher density (dwelling units per acre) than the surrounding
land use.
Urban agriculture:
The sustainable practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in a
village, town, or city. Urban farming is practiced
for income-earning, food-producing, recreation,
and relaxation. Urban agriculture contributes to
food security and food safety by increasing the
amount of food available to people living in cities,
and providing fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, and
meat products to urban consumers.
Urban design:
The attempt to impose a rational order
or to give form, in terms of both beauty and function, to selected urban areas or to whole cities.
Urban design is an effort to make an urban area
or whole city comprehensive, functional, and aesthetic through the articulation of its parts.
Urban sprawl:
The spreading out of a city and its suburbs over rural land at the fringe of an urban area.
Residents of sprawling neighborhoods tend to
live in single-family homes and commute by automobile to work school, shopping, recreation, etc.
Urban-to-rural transect:
A place-based planning model for the built environment based on a series of
zones that transition from rural farmland to dense
urban core. Each zone has its own development
code that provides a framework for mixed-use;
can be used to control and promote growth in
certain areas; is intended to increase pedestrian
life, local safety, and community identity; and provides tools to protect and restore natural environments.
View corridor:
A three-dimensional area extending out
from a viewpoint upon which no building may encroach. View corridors are established by city ordinances which impose height restrictions so that
no structures block a city view amenity. Typically,
view corridors preserve the view of landmarks
from key points of the city.
The measure of the overall walking conditions in an area, also the extent to which the built
environment is friendly to pedestrians. Increased
walkability has been proven to have individual and
community health benefi ts, as well as economic
the ways in which people orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place
to place. Wayfi nding can include signage or other
graphic communication, tactile elements, and
provisions for special-needs users to help users
choose a path within the built environment.
Workforce development:
A relatively wide range of
policies and programs related to learning for work
and acquiring skills needed to enter the workforce, such as youth vocational training, organization-based training, adult training and retraining,
and related employment initiatives. The term has
become more important, focusing on five converging concepts: 1) globalization, 2) technology,
3) the new economy, 4) political change, and 5)
demographic shifts.
Legislative regulations by which a municipal
government can control the use and characteristics of buildings and land within its boundaries.
Zoning laws consist of two parts: text which
spells out specific regulations for each zoning
district and maps that show where each district
applies. It has become, in the United States, a
widespread method of controlling urban and suburban development (e.g., density, nuisance, etc.)
and is also used to correct or compensate for
defects of existing plans.