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February « 2012 « leadingleed.com
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Archive for February, 2012

Cities As Gardens: Sustainable Urbanism & LEED’s Role – Part Four

Part Four: Benefits of Appropriate Neighbourhood Pattern & Design

The neighbourhood pattern and design credit category aims to improve the internal design of the neighbourhood, as opposed to smart linkage which tries to place the neighbourhood in an appropriate external context. It advocates diverse – in use and population – dense, and walkable streets. These measures increase the liveliness of the neighbourhood by keep more people on streets and out of their cars.

The three concepts of walkability, density and diversity are intrinsically linked. Increasing density will bring out an increase in the uses of the area which in turn will bring more people on the streets increasing walkability. Shorter, tree-line and well lit city blocks will also encourage walking as it provides a more local feel to the area. A variety of functions, ranging across the economic spectrum, will make sure people are on the streets throughout the day: cafes, banks and clinics in the morning, eateries and shops in the afternoon, and bars and restaurants at the night. Other facilities such as public transit, urban agriculture, community centres and schools will also increase the community health by increasing diversity in age and socio-economic groups. If majority of one’s uses are within the neighbourhood, people will utilize cars less for day to day activities. We will no longer have to drive for 20 minutes to access the bank, grocery store, clinic or restaurant if they are only a walk away.


A dense, walkable street in Barcelona, Spain.


People tend to attract towards cities due to crowds: may it be their economic or intellectual benefit. Keeping people within their neighbourhoods crowds the streets, making them safer and more enjoyable than empty ones. Crowds’s synergistic value in successful neighbourhoods provide overall positive emotions to the user of the space. By keeping people on the streets by taking them out of their cars, not only do more people enjoy the space but the environment benefits from reduced transport usage.