Suburban Remix: Creating the Next Generation of Urban Places





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Published on Mar 26, 2018

The demographic and economic changes reshaping cities are also transforming suburbs. As demand for residential subdivisions, malls and office parks recedes, the void is being filled by higher density, mixed-use development, that planned right, creates walkable urban places that renew the appeal of suburbs as places to live work, play, and invest. This session offers “how to” guidance for planners to lead creation of a generation of walkable urban places taking place in the suburbs.

The session begins with a rapid history of the origin and growing importance of walkable urban places in suburbs. It explores the market foundation—rapid changes in demand for residential, office, research, retail and other types of development—and how market shifts can support innovative P3s.

Next, the speakers will describe the urban design and placemaking building blocks for creating places that become the heart of their communities and compete for investment, including walkable density—the critical mass of people (and disposable income) to bring streets to life; public realms that promotes interaction and community; and authenticity that represents living culture and traditions.

Finally, case studies drawn from across the country (Arlington, Reston, and Tysons, VA, Dayton, OH, and Bellevue, WA), will describe how walkable urban places are taking shape in three regions, local economies, and over very different periods of time.


Jason Beske, AICP, is an urban planner and urban designer with public and private experience and a frequent speaker and instructor at planning conferences.

David Dixon, FAIA, leads planning and urban design for Stantec's Urban Places, an interdisciplinary team that helps cities and suburbs alike thrive by harnessing the growing demand for urban life. His work has won national awards from the AIA, CNU, International Downtown Association, and ASLA. He is co-author of Urban Design for an Urban Century: Placemaking for People, which was first published by Wiley in 2009.

In partnership with Island Press.


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