For TOWNSCAPE the ethos of sustainability leaps beyond “green” issues for individual building and sites to inform our approach to a broad range of town planning issues, pointing to strategies for compact urban development patterns, interconnected open space networks, diverse land use mixes, self-contained neighborhoods, multi-modal transportation choices, “complete street” design and a strong foundation of walkability. Our approach addresses both environmental and economic viability for the long term.

inner ring suburbs

Suburban communities developed since WWII have been characterized by large homogenous residential subdivisions and strip retail – all intentionally walled off from each other and oriented entirely to the automobile. As these developments age, property values tend to decline at the same time as the street and utility infrastructure requires major reinvestment.

TOWNSCAPE has led planning efforts with market and economic development collaborators to help suburban communities re-invent themselves to attract new investment. For example, our “Study of Vacant and Underperforming Retail” looked at several prototypical sites in Carrollton, Plano and Richardson and recommended strategies to revitalize them. Each of these cities has made significant progress in implementing the recommendations.

For more information, check out Dennis' contribution to Richard B. Peiser's recently published book entitled "Regenerating Older Suburbs". How can aging inner-ring suburbs remain vital and attract investment from private development? This book describes the strategies and solutions employed by 10 inner-ring suburbs—some experiencing significant redevelopment and others striving to attract redevelopment.