: resources

The Northwest Center has developed a resource bank with information on livable communities, in order to:

  • showcase books, research papers, case studies, and articles, produced by the Center and other organizations
  • make available the tools and best practices used and developed by design and planning professionals
  • develop a neighborhood scale set of indicators with which to evaluate community livability


Copenhagen Park Policy | Policy for a green Copenhagen

Seattle Street Edge Alternatives Project | Seattle's SEA project provides drainage that closely mimics the natural landscape, significantly reducing stormwater run-off

Center for Neighborhood Technology: Green Infrastructures Initiative | Making Green Infrastructure the preferred stormwater management option for municipalities, developers, communities, and individuals

How Cities Use Parks for Green Infrastructure | An American Planning Association document describing multiple benefits of parks

EPA Office of Sustainable Communities: Smart Growth Program | EPA helps communities grow in ways that expand economic opportunity, protect public health and the environment, and create and enhance the places that people love. Through research, tools, partnerships, case studies, grants, and technical assistance, EPA is helping America's communities turn their visions of the future into reality

EPA Regional Smart Growth Alliances | In 2005, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) received a grant from EPA to create and support regional alliances of diverse stakeholders to promote smart growth development. The alliances are created in an effort to break the political stalemate that often results as communities examine how best to support economic development, accommodate growth, enhance community livability, and protect the environment

EPA Report: Redevelopment Continues in Urban Neighborhoods | EPA's 2010 report, "Residential Construction Trends in America's Metropolitan Regions," shows a continuing shift in develpment toward urban neighborhoods in the United States, despite a slow real estate market

Blueprint America: PBS reports on infrastructure | News, videos, and discussions on the latest in infrastructure

The Impacts of Proposed Initiative 933 on Real Property and Land Use in Washington State | An analysis focusing on the legal and economic impacts of I-933 (2006) as it pertains to the regulation of "real property"

Sleepy Lady Mountain Resort, Leavenworth, Washington | Northwest Assembly. Growth management Tomorrow: Toward a Prosperous Future

Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities by Patrick Condon | Patrick Condon discusses transportation, housing equity, job distribution, economic development, and ecological systems issues and synthesizes his knowledge and research into a simple-to-understand set of urban design rules

Speech presented at the Congress for the New Urbanism 2000: The Politics of Place | Ground Zero In The Livable Communities Debate

Building Livable Communities: A Policymakers Guide to Infill Development | Sacramento: Center for Livable Communities

Growing Smarter: Achieving Livable Communities, Environmental Justice, and Regional Equity | Growing Smarter is one of the few books to view smart growth from an environmental justice perspective, examining the effect of the built environment on access to economic opportunity and quality of life in American cities and metropolitan regions

Parks, recreation, and open space: a twenty-first century agenda | Garvin studied the details of successful parks and open space projects throughout the country. He distilled a set of principles to guide the actions of public and private leaders in all aspects of park, recreation, and open space development. His ideas - many of which challenge existing practices and "conventional wisdom" - fit new times and circumstances in America

Partners for Livable Communities: The State of the American Community | Mulitple Reports from Partners for Livable Communities, a national, nonprofit leadership organization working to improve the livability of communities by promoting quality of life, economic development, and social equity

Transit Cooperative Research Program: The Role of Transit in Creating Livable Metropolitan Communities | The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it

Office of University Partnerships 2012 National Conference, "Strategies for Strengthening Communities" in New Orleans, Louisiana | Office of University Partnerships (OUP) in an effort to encourage and expand the growing number of partnerships formed between colleges and universities and their communities. OUP recognizes the crucial role these collaborations and partnerships play in addressing local problems and revitalizing our nation's communities. Additionally, colleges and universities are making future generations aware of these issues by integrating partnership activities into their academic studies and student activities

National Institute for Environmental Health Science: Environmental Health Perspectives | A peer reviewed open-access journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention: Designing and Building Healthy Places | CDC's Healthy Community Design Initiative is part of the National Center for Environmental Health's Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services, working to improve public health

Making Healthy Places | Designing and building for health, well-being, and sustainability

Health Impact Project | Advancing smarter policies for healthier communities

How Land Use and Transportation Systems Impact Public Health | City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology

How the built environment affects physical activity – views from planning | American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 23 (5), 64

Project for Public Spaces: Healthy Places | Through Healthy Places Program, PPS is promoting a holistic approach to address our nation's public health issues by planning active transportation systems that connect to key destinations, including healthy food hubs that eliminate food deserts and support local business

Office of University Partnerships 2012 National Conference, "Strategies for Strengthening Communities" in New Orleans, Louisiana | Office of University Partnerships (OUP) in an effort to encourage and expand the growing number of partnerships formed between colleges and universities and their communities. OUP recognizes the crucial role these collaborations and partnerships play in addressing local problems and revitalizing our nation's communities. Additionally, colleges and universities are making future generations aware of these issues by integrating partnership activities into their academic studies and student activities

Parks Equity and Public Health Toolkit | A resource developed by the Trust for Public Land to help communities advocate for and develop a healthier built Environment

i-SUSTAIN | i-SUSTAIN partners with public and private leaders of the Built Environment to understand, adapt and further evolve Global Best Practices in Urban Sustainability

Livable Communities Task force | The Livable Communities Task Force recognizes that federal policies – from transportation to tax incentives to environmental regulations and everything in between – have a profound effect on the livability of communities. This Task Force seeks to identify the ways in which the federal government can affect community livability and improve Americans' quality of life

Let's Do This King County | Let's Do This is a campaign to inspire King County residents to work together for healthier places to live, learn, work and play

Livable Washington: The American Planning Association (APA) Action Agenda for Growth Management, Washington Chapter | In the context of Washington's Growth Management Act, "Livable Washington" documents success stories, identifies areas that need attention, and recommends actions for legislators and planners alike

Quality Growth Alliance: A Framework for Sound Action | An alliance of eight Puget Sound partner organizations - ULI Seattle, PSRC, University of Washington, Enterprise Community Partners, CLC, MBAKS, Futurewise, and NAIOP - that prioritizes public awareness, zoning and entitlement process, maximized transportation investments, and land use decisions around climate change to foster sustainable, enduring, quality growth

INTA: International Urban Development Association | INTA is a global membership association of policy-makers and urban practitioners who contribute significantly to sustainable urban development. INTA is the network where the public and the private sectors come together to exchange experiences and knowledge on integrated urban processes and strategies for a more sustainable urbanity.INTA's 34th World Urban Development Congress, taking place in the exquisite San Sebastian, is assembling urban policy-makers, practitioners and global thinkers to rethink beyond tomorrow the assets of urban regions. What are the drivers and obstacles for innovation and leadership in territories? How to lay the fundamentals for the next generation of infrastructure for regional development?

EUKN: The European Urban Knowledge Network | EUKN shares knowledge and experience on tackling urban issues. Seventeen EU Member States, EUROCITIES, the URBACT Programme and the European Commission participate in this European initiative. The EUKN Secretariat is housed at Nicis Institute in The Hague. Their website has information on the EUKN partners' urban policy initiatives

Victoria Transport Policy Institute | VTPIA is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative and practical tools for solving transport problems. Their website is a compendium of practices and definitions related to transportation and its role in making communities more livable

The LivCom Awards | The International Awards for Livable Communities

Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development | The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world

OECD | Urban Development | OECD's Working Party on Territorial Policy in Urban Areas (WPURB) works with the Territorial Development Policy Committee (TDPC) to assess trends and challenges of urban regions; to promote regional competitiveness and achieve a more sustainable urban development; and to address institutional changes needed to enhance the capacity of urban governments, in partnership with civil society and the private sector

World Health Organization | WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends

World Health Organization: Healthy Cities Program | The WHO Healthy Cities project is a global movement engaging local governments in health development through a process of political commitment, institutional change, capacity-building, partnership-based planning and innovative projects

International Monetary Fund | The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world

UN-HABITAT | The mission of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all

United Nations Research Institute for social Development | The UNRISD mission is to generate knowledge and articulate policy alternatives on contemporary development issues, thereby contributing to the broader goals of the UN system of reducing poverty and inequality, advancing well-being and rights, and creating more democratic and just societies

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Division for Sustainable Development | The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides leadership and is an authoritative source of expertise within the United Nations system on sustainable development, with the goal of integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in policy-making at international, regional and national levels

Smart City Event 2012 | The Smart City Event 2012 is the largest conference within Europe where all the parties convene for 2 days to learn from the most progressive projects. The focus is on sharing knowledge to realise climate ambitions and energy transition

American Planning Association | APA is a nonprofit public interest and research organization committed to urban, suburban, regional, and rural planning. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, advance the art and science of planning to meet the needs of people and society

Project for Public Spaces | This site possesses a wealth of information on making places more socially vibrant. One of its many writings is focused on Health and Community Design. It discusses how making places more attractive, accessible, and social can encourage people to walk more

Making Cities Livable | Making Cities Livable is a state-of-the-art handbook on how to make cities livable, with essays selected from the 17th International Making Cities Livable Conference in Freiburg, Germany. The web site has a really good bibliography for further reading on topics having to do with livability

carfree.com | This site goes with the book "Carfree" by J.H. Crawford. It offers rich imagery of examples of places and spaces that are car-free accompanied by useful information on urban design and planning. It also has an extensive list of printed and web resources

Partners for Livable Communities | Partners for Livable Communities is a non-profit leadership organization working to improve the livability of communities by promoting quality of life, economic development, and social equity. Partners promotes livable communities through technical assistance, leadership training, workshops, charettes, research and publications

Growth Management Leadership Alliance | GMLA is a network of leaders from state, provincial and regional organizations in the United States and Canada that carry out programs to directly shape and implement smart growth policies and actions

Affordable Housing Design Advisor | Developed by HUD with support from a number of partners, this site offers information on the "Whats", "Whys", and "Hows" of good design for affordable housing. It offers a "Gallery of High Quality Affordable Housing," as well as a "Design Considerations Checklist". Contact information of architects, developers, contractors, and landscape architects involved in affordable housing projects is also provided. Presentations on the "demystification of density" can also be found here

Urban Advantage: Envisioning Urbanism | This is a fun site that shows digital re-imaging of the physical design of places such as residential streets, oversized streets, urban creeks, etc. Click on images to see how they can be transformed to create more livable spaces

Sierra Club: Smart Growth Program | A collection of images showing how places can be transformed to be more walkable and livable

The Funders Network | The Funders Network is an active resource and focal point for foundations, nonprofit organizations and other partners working to solve the environmental, social, and economic problems created by suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. It was established to inform funders of critical policy and grassroots developments; enable program staff to share effective strategies and tools; build the capacity of key constituencies to promote smart growth and livable communities; and raise awareness about the interdisciplinary nature of these issues and the need for sustained engagement by a diverse coalition of funders

The Center for Livable Communities | is a national initiative of the Local Government Commission (LGC). A nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization of elected officials, city and county staff, and other interested individuals throughout California and other states, the Local Government Commission helps local governments identify and implement solutions to today's problems. Their website houses a wide array of information pertaining to community design, energy, transportation, as well as specific guidelines and principles for creating more livable communities

The EcoGateway Anthologies: Sustainable and Livable Communities | A collection of links to readings focused on urban development in the 21st century that reflects a movement towards enhancing livability and striving for sustainability

TheCommunityGuide.net | A community resource for Ulster County, New York

New Partners for Smart Growth Conference | Building Safe, Healthy, and Livable Communities

The New York Times: No Rust in Rochester | " ...there is no single answer for cities facing the departure of a major employer, and there are many things unique to Rochester, Pittsburgh and San Diego that have allowed them to thrive where others have foundered. But long-term investments in education, culture and community have made all three postindustrial success stories, and there is no reason such a strategy can't help the next city hit by a big-business bankruptcy to follow their lead."