Livability Solutions

A coalition helping communities succeed

Livability Solutions is a partnership of 5 leading non-profit organizations that was formed to help communities achieve their livability, sustainability, placemaking and smart growth goals. Our field-tested tools have been deployed in hundreds of communities and our experienced facilitators stand ready to help your community.

Team

Tools

Community Image Survey
(
Local Government Commission
)

The Community Image Survey (CIS) is a tool for engaging community members in land use planning and urban design. CIS uses images rather than words to describe planning and community design alternatives. Communities receive a visual preference survey with 40 to 60 images of housing types, street designs, parking types and, depending on local needs, other built and natural environment examples. The community's staff or volunteers receive training on survey administration.

Read More...
Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares
(
Congress for The New Urbanism
)

The manual and training advance the successful use of Context-Sensitive Solutions in the planning and design of major urban thoroughfares for walkable communities. They also demonstrate how context-sensitive design principles and techniques can be applied where community objectives support New Urbanism and smart growth: walkable, connected neighborhoods, mixed land uses and easy access for pedestrians and bicyclists. The training can be customized to a city or region, addressing specific challenges and identifying thoroughfares in need of redesign for improved walkability.

Read More...
Form-Based Code
(
Congress for The New Urbanism
)

Form-Based Codes (FBC) are smart growth tools that encourage compact, incremental growth patterns and preserve, restore and generate desirable (existing) growth patterns. Emphasis is placed on the public realm, places and connectivity. FBC promotes infill growth patterns, multi-use, multipurpose places, higher densities, greater walkability and less reliance on the automobile related development. This training tool is deployed as a workshop that involves training in the basic principles of FBCs, model FBCs, steps for developing them. The result is an understanding among the community of this approach to zoning and a scope of work for the modification or redrafting of their zoning ordinance.

Read More...
Getting to Grocery
(
ChangeLab Solutions
)

"Getting to Grocery: Tools for Attracting Healthy Food Retail to Underserved Neighborhoods" walks readers through the tools and steps involved in creating a successful grocery attraction and improvement strategy. Attracting a grocery store to an underserved neighborhood not only makes fresh produce and other healthy foods more accessible, it can create living-wage jobs, raise the value of surrounding property, attract other businesses to the area and create a new destination within walking distance of local residents.

Read More...
Green Infrastructure Tools
(
Center for Neighborhood Technology
)

"Green Infrastructure Valuation Guide" distills key considerations involved in assessing the economic merits of green infrastructure (GI) practices. This assistance provides communities with a how-to training on utilizing the guide to help decision-makers evaluate options for water management and deciding how, where and when to incorporate GI in development and redevelopment.

"Green Values National Stormwater Management Calculator" is a valuable stand-alone or companion tool to the "Green Infrastructure Valuation Guide" that allows users to quickly compare the performance, costs, and benefits of GI to conventional stormwater practices. It takes users through a step-by-step process ending in selection of a stormwater runoff volume reduction goal, outlines a range of GI Best Management Practices, and demonstrates the performance results and planning level cost estimates of GI versus conventional stormwater management solutions.

Read More...
Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper
(
Project for Public Spaces
)

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper is a strategy for transforming public spaces with low-cost, high impact materials, design and programming. Public spaces, streets, and transit stations are all places that can benefit from these types of projects, which can start with new amenities or public art, followed by events and programs, and then light development strategies for long-term change.

Read More...
Mini-charrette
(
Local Government Commission
)

A collaborative design workshop -- also known as a charrette -- harnesses the talents and energies of interested parties to begin to create and support a feasible plan for transformative community change. In this public engagement process, a 3-4 person design team works with local residents to craft a smart growth/sustainable development vision for the future of the community, along with illustrative specific recommendations for a site, town center, or neighborhood.

Read More...
Place Audit
(
Project for Public Spaces
)

The Place Audit is an interactive exercise for working with the public or groups of agencies where citizens, in facilitated groups, observe a place or street and  diagnose its performance based on four key attributes of successful public spaces: uses and activities; access and linkage; comfort and image; and sociability. Citizens and local stakeholders then work together to develop both short and long term actions to transform a place -- plaza, park, vacant lot, or street -- into a more vibrant, functional space that attracts people.

Read More...
Project Startup Intensive
(
National Charrette Institute
)

The Project Start-up Intensive helps communities to create a unified action plan for a project co-authored by its key partners. The National Charrete Institute assembles the partners of a project at a 1.5 day workshop in order to create a shared understanding and approach to the project. This tool is appropriate during the project planning phase or for a stalled project. The outcome of the Intensive is to establish guiding principles, goals, a stakeholder process and a process roadmap that will carry the project through its initial phases towards implementation.

Read More...
The Power of 10
(
Project for Public Spaces
)

The Power of 10+ is a concept Project for Public Spaces developed to evaluate and facilitate Placemaking at multiple city scales. It is a powerful tool for generating constructive conversations to identify targeted Placemaking efforts. Cities succeed or fail at the human scale -- the place scale -- and this scale is often overlooked. The Power of 10+ shows how paying attention to the human experience when building a city's destinations and districts can have immediate and widespread impacts.

Read More...
Transit-Oriented Development Database
(
Center for Neighborhood Technology
)

The  Transit-Oriented Development Database helps developers, investors, and city officials make planning decisions that take advantage of development opportunities around transit nodes. Spanning Honolulu to Portland, it is the only national data clearinghouse for the density, demographics, occupation, and transportation habits of households within walking distance of the 4,160 existing and proposed fixed-guideway transit stations, from commuter rail and streetcars to light rail and ferries. This tool can help technical and policy staff track trends in development and transportation behavior around transit systems, develop typologies for different station types, or other projects to improve data-driven decision making.

Read More...
Transit-Oriented Development Typology
(
Reconnecting America
)

Developing a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Implementation Typology provides cities, transit agencies and MPOs with an organized set of strategies that can be used to realize the potential of transit-oriented development. The TOD Typology provides a means of classifying and differentiating the many transit rich places by grouping these areas based on key shared characteristics at both the corridor and the regional scales. This tool helps communities clearly articulate the expectations and objectives of investments in TOD so that all stakeholders, from private developers to community members to policymakers, can have a clearer understanding of the outcomes and process of TOD.

Read More...
Walkable Community Workshop
(
Project for Public Spaces
Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
Local Government Commission
)

Walkable Community Workshops are used to assess the walkability of a street, neighborhood, or entire community. Walk audits engage participants in inventorying and measuring the quality and effectiveness of the built environment for people on foot, bike or other modes of active transport. Each workshop includes a presentation on the best practices of walkable communities. The outcome of a Walkable Community Workshop is a community action plan for next steps.

Read More...
Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares
(
Congress for The New Urbanism
)

The manual and training advance the successful use of Context-Sensitive Solutions in the planning and design of major urban thoroughfares for walkable communities. They also demonstrate how context-sensitive design principles and techniques can be applied where community objectives support New Urbanism and smart growth: walkable, connected neighborhoods, mixed land uses and easy access for pedestrians and bicyclists. The training can be customized to a city or region, addressing specific challenges and identifying thoroughfares in need of redesign for improved walkability.

Read More...
Walkable Community Workshop
(
Project for Public Spaces
Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
Local Government Commission
)

Walkable Community Workshops are used to assess the walkability of a street, neighborhood, or entire community. Walk audits engage participants in inventorying and measuring the quality and effectiveness of the built environment for people on foot, bike or other modes of active transport. Each workshop includes a presentation on the best practices of walkable communities. The outcome of a Walkable Community Workshop is a community action plan for next steps.

Read More...
The Power of 10
(
Project for Public Spaces
)

The Power of 10+ is a concept Project for Public Spaces developed to evaluate and facilitate Placemaking at multiple city scales. It is a powerful tool for generating constructive conversations to identify targeted Placemaking efforts. Cities succeed or fail at the human scale -- the place scale -- and this scale is often overlooked. The Power of 10+ shows how paying attention to the human experience when building a city's destinations and districts can have immediate and widespread impacts.

Read More...
Place Audit
(
Project for Public Spaces
)

The Place Audit is an interactive exercise for working with the public or groups of agencies where citizens, in facilitated groups, observe a place or street and  diagnose its performance based on four key attributes of successful public spaces: uses and activities; access and linkage; comfort and image; and sociability. Citizens and local stakeholders then work together to develop both short and long term actions to transform a place -- plaza, park, vacant lot, or street -- into a more vibrant, functional space that attracts people.

Read More...
Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper
(
Project for Public Spaces
)

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper is a strategy for transforming public spaces with low-cost, high impact materials, design and programming. Public spaces, streets, and transit stations are all places that can benefit from these types of projects, which can start with new amenities or public art, followed by events and programs, and then light development strategies for long-term change.

Read More...
Community Image Survey
(
Local Government Commission
)

The Community Image Survey (CIS) is a tool for engaging community members in land use planning and urban design. CIS uses images rather than words to describe planning and community design alternatives. Communities receive a visual preference survey with 40 to 60 images of housing types, street designs, parking types and, depending on local needs, other built and natural environment examples. The community's staff or volunteers receive training on survey administration.

Read More...
Mini-charrette
(
Local Government Commission
)

A collaborative design workshop -- also known as a charrette -- harnesses the talents and energies of interested parties to begin to create and support a feasible plan for transformative community change. In this public engagement process, a 3-4 person design team works with local residents to craft a smart growth/sustainable development vision for the future of the community, along with illustrative specific recommendations for a site, town center, or neighborhood.

Read More...
Project Startup Intensive
(
National Charrette Institute
)

The Project Start-up Intensive helps communities to create a unified action plan for a project co-authored by its key partners. The National Charrete Institute assembles the partners of a project at a 1.5 day workshop in order to create a shared understanding and approach to the project. This tool is appropriate during the project planning phase or for a stalled project. The outcome of the Intensive is to establish guiding principles, goals, a stakeholder process and a process roadmap that will carry the project through its initial phases towards implementation.

Read More...
Getting to Grocery
(
ChangeLab Solutions
)

"Getting to Grocery: Tools for Attracting Healthy Food Retail to Underserved Neighborhoods" walks readers through the tools and steps involved in creating a successful grocery attraction and improvement strategy. Attracting a grocery store to an underserved neighborhood not only makes fresh produce and other healthy foods more accessible, it can create living-wage jobs, raise the value of surrounding property, attract other businesses to the area and create a new destination within walking distance of local residents.

Read More...
Transit-Oriented Development Database
(
Center for Neighborhood Technology
)

The  Transit-Oriented Development Database helps developers, investors, and city officials make planning decisions that take advantage of development opportunities around transit nodes. Spanning Honolulu to Portland, it is the only national data clearinghouse for the density, demographics, occupation, and transportation habits of households within walking distance of the 4,160 existing and proposed fixed-guideway transit stations, from commuter rail and streetcars to light rail and ferries. This tool can help technical and policy staff track trends in development and transportation behavior around transit systems, develop typologies for different station types, or other projects to improve data-driven decision making.

Read More...
Transit-Oriented Development Typology
(
Reconnecting America
)

Developing a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Implementation Typology provides cities, transit agencies and MPOs with an organized set of strategies that can be used to realize the potential of transit-oriented development. The TOD Typology provides a means of classifying and differentiating the many transit rich places by grouping these areas based on key shared characteristics at both the corridor and the regional scales. This tool helps communities clearly articulate the expectations and objectives of investments in TOD so that all stakeholders, from private developers to community members to policymakers, can have a clearer understanding of the outcomes and process of TOD.

Read More...
Form-Based Code
(
Congress for The New Urbanism
)

Form-Based Codes (FBC) are smart growth tools that encourage compact, incremental growth patterns and preserve, restore and generate desirable (existing) growth patterns. Emphasis is placed on the public realm, places and connectivity. FBC promotes infill growth patterns, multi-use, multipurpose places, higher densities, greater walkability and less reliance on the automobile related development. This training tool is deployed as a workshop that involves training in the basic principles of FBCs, model FBCs, steps for developing them. The result is an understanding among the community of this approach to zoning and a scope of work for the modification or redrafting of their zoning ordinance.

Read More...
Green Infrastructure Tools
(
Center for Neighborhood Technology
)

"Green Infrastructure Valuation Guide" distills key considerations involved in assessing the economic merits of green infrastructure (GI) practices. This assistance provides communities with a how-to training on utilizing the guide to help decision-makers evaluate options for water management and deciding how, where and when to incorporate GI in development and redevelopment.

"Green Values National Stormwater Management Calculator" is a valuable stand-alone or companion tool to the "Green Infrastructure Valuation Guide" that allows users to quickly compare the performance, costs, and benefits of GI to conventional stormwater practices. It takes users through a step-by-step process ending in selection of a stormwater runoff volume reduction goal, outlines a range of GI Best Management Practices, and demonstrates the performance results and planning level cost estimates of GI versus conventional stormwater management solutions.

Read More...