Interesting Quotes

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“Rational planners have been obsessed with controlling how and when and which people use public as well as private space. Meanwhile, ordinary people continue to find creative ways of appropriating spaces and creating places, in spite of planning, to fulfill their desires as well as their needs, to tend the spirit as well as take care of the rent.” – Sandercock, L. Toward Cosmopolis: Utopia as construction site. In Readings in planning theory

“Abu Dhabi 2030”

Comprehensive Planning, Environment, Housing, Planning, Sustainable Development, Transportation, Urban and Regional Design

Currently the city of Abu Dhabi has a population of 1 million. By the time of 2030, the figure will rise to 3 million. What will the urban planning department deal with such a large population, and guide the city towards sustainability? This short video will tell you.

Land Development – Financial Institutions and Analysis

Real Estate Development
  • What Are Capital Markets and How do They Work?

Real Estate competes with other investments on a risk/return basis.

Debt ranges from 0-100%, and normally 50-80%; equity ranges from 20-50%.

Debt is repaid from project proceeds before equity.

  • Four Types of Real Estate Investments

Public Private
Equity Equity REIT Individuals
Debt Mortgage REIT Banks

Real Estate Development Drivers, Risks, and Risk Mitigation

Land Use Development, Planning, Real Estate Development
  • Real Estate Development Drivers

DEMAND FACTORS:

Housing (retail): demolitions, population growth, reduction of household size, shifting of household type toward non-family, increase proportion of middle-age and seniors, etc.
Commercial and Industrial: employment growth, etc.

SUPPLY FACTORS:

increase of land prices and supplies, increase of material prices, reduction of mortgage rates, increase of labor costs, etc.

OTHER FACTORS:

Cultural values and attitudes, infrastructure, etc.

  • Mega Trends

High housing vacancy

Rapid growth of seniors

Flat per capita income growth

Potential post-recession surges in employment and housing starts

Fastest growth in medical, office and educational occupations

Job leadership by small establishments

Strong inflation in steel prices

Urban Design Case Study – Laguna West, Sacramento County, California

Case Study, Community Design, Community Planning, Planning, Sustainable Development, Urban and Regional Design

Laguna West occupies an area of 1,045 acres. It is the first application of Calthorpe’s Transit-Oriented Development principles, which is now embraced in the general plan for Sacramento.

Design Features:

  • Pedestrian friendly neighborhoods that encourage walking
  • A town center
  • A nature/riparian zone

Real Estate Development Process and Major Players

Land Use Development, Planning, Real Estate Development

“[…] developers must understand the users and their needs. Without users, buildings – no matter how aesthetically pleasing or how theoretically functional – have no value.”

  • What is Real Estate Development/Land Development?

Real estate development is the continual reconfiguration of the built environment to meet society’s needs.

  • The 8 Stages Non-linear Process of Real Estate Development

Inception of an Idea: market research, problem solving, creating
Refinement of the Idea: site selection, project design
Feasibility: public and private review
Contract Negotiation: contractors, tenants, regulators
Formal Commitment: contracts and entitlements
Construction: building
Completion and Formal Opening: marketing , sales
Property, Asset, and Portfolio Management” tenants and technology

Urban Design Case Study – Seaside, Walton County, Floride

Community Design, Community Planning, Housing, Planning, Urban and Regional Design

Seven decades ago, when the grandfather of Robert S. Davis purchased this 80 acres of land along the shore of Northwest Florida, he may not imagined that his land had become a dream of many urbanists and architects.

But now, Seaside, Florida is in slides of many lecture class in architecture schools, with the pictures of Andres Duany and  Elizabeth Plater-zyberk. Designers describe it as recreating traditional neighborhood of 1920s. “Old way, new town.” As the principal designers, Andres Duany and  Elizabeth Plater-zyberk pursued an overriding goal, which was fostering a strong sense of community.

Form-Based Codes

Law, Planning
  • What Are Form-Based Codes?

“Form-based codes foster predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. They are regulations, not mere guidelines, adopted into city or county law. Form-based codes offer a powerful alternative to conventional zoning.” – FBCI

“Form-based codes place a primary emphasis on building type, dimensions, parking location and façade features, and less emphasis on uses. They stress the appearance of the streetscape, or public realm, over long lists  of different use types. ” – Local Govenment Commission

Form-based codes were developed to overcome the problem of sprawl, which is created by use-based codes.

New Urbanism

Community Design, Community Planning, Planning, Sustainable Development, Urban and Regional Design

“New Urbanism aims to build hamlets, neighborhoods, villages, towns, and cities rather than subdivisions, shopping centers, and office parks like those found in conventional suburban development (CSD). A fundamental goal is a proper balance between the needs of the automobile and the needs of the pedestrian. Maximizing walkability is essential.” – Comprehensive Report & Best Practices Guide

Seven Principles: (Comprehensive Report & Best Practices Guide)

1. Building blocks->neighborhood->village/small town/bigger town/city

2. Well-defined edge: a quarter-mile distance that everyone can reach.

3. Corridors are connecting different neighborhoods.

4. Human scale.

5. A range of transportation options.

6. Hierarchy streets.

7. Civic buildings as landmarks.