Creating Traditional, Walkable Neighborhoods: A Handbook for Maine Communities

Description: This handbook is designed to acquaint municipal officials and citizen volunteers with the elements of traditional, walkable neighborhoods and with ways of crafting land use regulations and municipal policies that foster them.

Maine home buyers are looking for in-town locations for a number of reasons: they like being close to shops and cultural amenities, they like their children to walk to school, or they want to save on gasoline, for example. Yet many of these potential buyers end up out in rural areas, because in-town housing is not being built to suit their needs. These buyers want neighborhoods with a sense of community, an abundance of civic amenities, convenient access to goods and services, and a connection to nature. They want walkable neighborhoods with desirable public as well as private places, areas that are compact, yet livable. They want neighborhoods that are attractive, safe, quiet and peaceful.

Traditional, walkable neighborhoods can answer their needs. Across the nation, developers are responding to the demand for alternatives to the typical suburban subdivision; building residential neighborhoods with corner grocery stores and tree-lined streets that people love. Yet, requirements commonly found in many local land use ordinances in Maine impede traditional neighborhood design. The planning and design of such places involve thinking at different scales and levels of detail and interrelationships. They necessitate vision and clear planning objectives. They require that municipalities be proactive in residential development.

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Source: Maine State Planning Office
Date: 2009
Format: PDF Report

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