New Suburbanism: Sustainable Spatial Patterns of Tall Buildings
journal contributionposted on 07.11.2018, 00:00 by Kheir Al- Kodmany
Much of the anticipated future growth in North America will occur in suburbia. The critical challenge that we will face is how to accommodate this growth in a sustainable and resilient manner. While the past 50 years have been characterized by suburban sprawl and low-rise development, “suburban sustainability” is increasingly making its way into the planning and urban design policy realm. This research investigates the spatial patterns of tall buildings in 24 suburban communities of three different regions including, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Chicago. The study identifies 10 different spatial patterns that prevail in suburbia and provides a concise summary of these patterns and reflects on their spatial and urban design aspects. The research concludes that the Tall Buildings and Transit-Oriented-Development (TB-TOD) model, an urban design approach that refers to vertical mixed-use clusters centered on mass-transit nodes, is one of the sustainable options for large regions going forward. The paper also discusses the challenges to the TB-TOD model implementation, mainly limited transit lines and community resistance. It ends by offering directions for future research.