A community's urban form is a function of the urban foundation, the built environment, the shape and design of the streets, paths and open spaces, the uses and activities that are encouraged; and the design and intensity of development and public improvements.
City planners play a major role in shaping a communities' urban form and should be working toward an urban form the supports sustainability. Sustainable urban form implies an inter-linkage of sound environmental, social and economic foundations. It considers the principal elements of urban form – land use patterns, position/ transport infrastructure, density and characteristics of the built environment.
This book published by Lincoln Institute of Land Policy shows how the build environment can promote walking in a community and provides on the ground examples of dense, vibrant, and walkable neighborhoods in the U.S.
These resources provide information on incentives and best practices for reshaping unsustainable development and entitlement patterns.
Publications and Web Resources
Active Living Research - Counting Bicyclists and Pedestrians to Inform Transportation Planning
National Complete Streets Coalition – Complete Streets
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Green Building
Playbook for Green Buildings + Neighborhoods – Green Building