Re-Zoning For Sustainable Development in a Built Urban Environment

Michael Irwin, Duquesne University

What are the elements of social capital that help hold current residents, and attract new neighborhood citizens? As urbanist Jane Jacobs noted, sustainable neighborhoods have multiple commercial and residential purposes, short blocks walk-able blocks that provide opportunity for social interaction and encourage street life, buildings that vary in age and condition, and dense concentration of people. Such elements have tangible positive outcomes for residents that further reinforce community viability. Zoning can maximize these elements as a sustainable community. A Duquesne University team is working in partnership Borough of Dormont, Pennsylvania, an inner suburban city in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, to redesign the municipal zoning ordinances. This study assesses community elements that best maximize sustainable social conditions, identifies areas and segments for the community that would benefit most from changes in zoning, and develops inventories of social capital and related maps to facilitate citizen input into future zoning policies.

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Presented in Poster Session 2