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

  • Houses that have small front yards and driveways that are short or behind the house, use of alleyways.
  • Streets that are designed to create calm and encourage slow driving by creating narrower streets or putting tree planter boxes on one side of the street, to discourage high speed thoroughfare-type driving.
  • Each house was to have two trees—there would be 20 species of disease- and drought-resistant trees, one species to each block. This planting plan was expected eventually to provide a continuous canopy of shade.

Critique: “the development fails the sustainability test because it is not served by public transportation and is as completely car dependent as any other suburb.” – Urbanist Sir Peter Hall

Reference: The New Urbanism, Peter Katz; Wikipedia


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