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Urban Design for Planners 4: Neighborhood Centers
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Urban Design for Planners 4: Neighborhood Centers

Urban Design for Planners 4: Neighborhood Centers

90 min

This course is approved for 1.5 AICP CM credits

Neighborhood centers provide a common, centrally located destination for residents. Centers are a symbolic, coalescing focal point, but they also provide needed services for people, ideally within walking distance. Centers provide a means of connecting people—to one another and to a larger shared, public purpose.

The objective of this course is to suggest design improvements to enhance neighborhood centers. This course explores centers that function as walkable destinations and foster community connections. Learn to characterize the different kinds of community centers, investigate these centers in relation to population density, and determine neighborhood coverage.

In This Course

  1. Emily Talen introduces the topics covered in the fourth course of the Urban Design for Planners series.
  2. What are Neighborhood Centers?
    Learn about the importance of neighborhood centers in urban design.
  3. QGIS: Setting Up Layers
    This chapter shows how to create layers of information and then combine these layers to evaluate neighborhood centers from a design perspective.
  4. QGIS: Identifying and Evaluating Centers
    This chapter shows the steps for determining which places operate as centers and for evaluating neighborhood coverage.
  5. Learn to select schools as centers based on the relationship between two layers of information: schools and concentrations of multifamily housing. Additionally, learn to consider commercial areas as neighborhood centers.
  6. Inkscape: Enhancing a School Site
    This chapter demonstrates design ideas for a school site functioning as a center. For example, consider enhancing four surrounding intersections or adding a plaza in place of an existing parking lot.
  7. GIMP: Adding a School Gateway
    This chapter shows how to use GIMP to produce a realistic design for an enhanced entranceway.
  8. SketchUp: Importing Models from Google Earth
    In this chapter, begin creating a SketchUp model of a redesigned commercial area—one that could be more appropriately used as a neighborhood center.
  9. SketchUp: Creating a Baseline Model
    Learn how to add your design ideas to the baseline model.
  10. SketchUp: Expanding the Baseline Model with Design Ideas
    In the final chapter, learn to modify the baseline SketchUp model to propose new design ideas for a commercial intersection.

Published 2014