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Stop 2 – mix it up in Downingtown

Euclidean zoning is the term that describes the type of zoning ordinances that are most prevalent in Pennsylvania. This approach is commonly known as single-use zoning where districts are created to provide for similar uses in very specific locations within a community. Very broadly, residential zones are denoted with R’s, while C’s represent commercial, and […]

Stop 1 – the lights of Ardmore

Downtown lighting discussions have traditionally been focused on function and led by technicians concerned primarily with illuminating the public realm to safe standards. Understandably, to be a successful and sustainable downtown, the after-dark hours image of your spaces is one of the most important views in your control. However, today, the lighting discussion is increasingly […]


Many larger US cities have well known districts that boast a distinct personality and vibe. There are the nationally known examples like Chinatown, Cannery Row, the French Quarter, and Pikes Place. But other small American towns and cities have embraced the concept, latching onto a wild array of distinctions to celebrate. Districts can serve many […]


repetition /rep-i-tish-uh n/   noun the act of repeating; something made by or resulting from repeating Copy and paste are two functions that we use almost every day in the office, sometimes with success, sometimes at our own peril. So too is the use of repetition in the built environment, a delicate balance of success and […]


ingenious /in-jeen-yuh s/ adjective characterized by cleverness or originality of invention or construction Buy a whole bunch of self-contained glider/picnic tables and set them up in your parking lot. Reading it on a page, there is not much inherently ingenious about the previous statement, however, walking up Bridge Street in Phoenixville on a rainy Saturday in […]


capacious /kuh-pey-shuh s/ adjective capable of holding much Think about your downtown as a container, or better yet, as a huge main street retail space. When you visit other communities and walk into their retail establishments, what are the qualities and attributes that make you linger and shop, tell your friends about the experience, and […]


sub ·tle  \suht-l\ adjective not immediately obvious or comprehensible; difficult to detect or analyze, often through being delicate or highly refined If you have enjoyed any time at The Villages in Florida, subtlety may not be the first word that comes to mind. It should be though. Like Celebration (see fabricate), it is a planned […]


fab ·ri ·cate  \fab-ri-keyt\ verb to make by art or skill and labor; construct; to make by assembling parts or sections New urbanism is a term coined in the early 1990’s by a group of very progressive architects who were planning new and creative neighborhoods. As a landscape architecture student later that decade, these communities […]


vi ·brant /vÄ«brÉ’nt/ adjective full of energy and enthusiasm, (of color) bright and striking Community member: “We want our downtown to be vibrant.” Planner: “What does it mean to be vibrant?” If this dialogue seems somehow familiar, join the hundreds of other core communities who have begun a revitalization dialogue along these familiar lines. Vibrancy […]


con ·viv ·i ·al /kÉ’nˈvivÄ“É’l/ adjective (of an atmosphere or event) friendly, lively, and enjoyable Wouldn’t we all love to have people describe our community streets as convivial? Honestly, that is a bit rhetorical, but a question worth pondering. It is important to use descriptive words when setting a vision for your community. And this […]