Urban consolidation is an urban planning strategy that seeks to densify existing neighborhoods as opposed to growing outwards. Many cities have experienced decades of outward growth that have resulted in vast regions being converted into suburban homes while downtown neighborhoods have decayed. Urban consolidation is a collection of strategies to make downtown areas attractive to draw people back. The following are examples of urban consolidation techniques.
Public TransportationSpending on improving public transportation in core urban areas as opposed to expanding the system outwards.
BrownfieldsDeveloping brownfields into city facilities, parks or attractive commercial developments.
Natural SurveillanceUsing techniques such as natural surveillance to make downtown neighborhoods lively, busy, attractive spots where people feel safe.
Improving the Central CommuteDowntown becomes more desirable when its commutes are safe, short and enjoyable. For example, in Ottawa some people skate to work in the winter on the frozen Rideau canal. Wide sidewalks, friendly public transportation and safe bike lanes help.
Repurposing the Infrastructure of the Unpleasant CommuteReplacing parking with parks and roads with pedestrian zones.
Mixed-use ZoningLively neighborhoods with cafes, shops, public services, employment, transportation, entertainment and night life as opposed to vast separated zones.
Air QualityImproving air quality downtown using techniques such as rooftop gardens and clean air zones.
Neighborhood CharacterEngaging neighborhoods in placemaking to create features that are unique to each area.
Ghost SpacesDeveloping ghost spaces with facilities that attract people.
Living StreetConvert low traffic streets into community areas by dramatically slowing traffic and installing features such as play streets.
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