Transit Oriented Development in North Temple : Towards a Sustainable and Walkable Community
From June to August we had the opportunity to stay in Salt Lake City in Utah, US where the case of our study is taking place. During this time we were working on our thesis with office at the Planning Division in Salt Lake City. From September to December we have worked with completing our thesis in Karlskrona, Sweden. The aim with our thesis is how to densify and ennoble an area west of downtown Salt Lake City and how to strengthen the area as a social sustainable and transit oriented community. The project area range over 600 hectares and is located along North Temple Street. Today the area has a bad reputation within the city. In 1998, Salt Lake City worked with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) to study the feasibility of providing Light Rail Transit on North Temple Street between Downtown and the Salt Lake City International Airport. The new light rail line will be a 6-mile (approximately 10 Swedish kilometers) light rail serving an alignment between the city Airport and the City centre. Six new stations are planned along the alignment. The area around North Temple has great potential and a new light rail line will create a basis for adapting Transit Oriented Development. A TOD community is walkable and pedestrian friendly. In a walkable community the streets are connected, the environment is attractive and contains a great number of destinations. In order to achieve a social sustainable community input from the public has been a foundation for our proposal. The public posses a great knowledge in their local environment that needs to be brought out and considered. We have been attending two public meetings/workshops where we have been making contacts with people living, working and owning properties in the area. A step towards achieving a social sustainable community is changing the character of the community from being auto-oriented towards being more walkable. The area currently has a bad reputation that needs to improve; an enhanced environment increases the feeling of security since signs of neglect often are associated with crime. Economic arguments can be used to anchor the benefits followed by a social sustainable transit oriented development. The ownership structure primarily consists of private landowners. In order to motivate landowners, building proprietors and developers using economical incitement can be a successful method. Also the area needs to be developed in stages to minimize the risk of abandoned half-completed building projects and to contribute to a flexible land use. Additionally North Temple should be a compliment to downtown and not a standing in its competition since downtown Salt Lake City is undergoing a big change to revitalize the core of the city. The thesis results in a plan proposal for developing the area around North Temple, achieving a social sustainable and transit oriented community.
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