Research examines historical use of Planned Unit Developments

by Sara Abraham-Oxford

School of Urban and Public Affairs Assistant Professor Andrew Whittemore focused on his research of cluster developments and the planning tool used for them, Planned Unit Development (PUD), while on Faculty Development Leave as a guest scholar at UCLA during the fall semester. He notes that historically planners hoped that these developments would allow for denser housing and more affordable housing in the suburbs. He also found that expectations that PUDs would combat suburban sprawl were “overly hopeful,” adding that “it takes a very sophisticated developer with a lot of capital” to implement such developments successfully.

Whittemore used a case study of PUD use in Los Angeles. Planners there hoped to use PUDs to preserve hillsides and promote affordable housing development but they were confronted by neighbors’ fears that the developments would result in substandard housing. The resistance to the developments made them politically and economically unfeasible. Whittemore has submitted an article based on this research to the Journal of Planning History.

He is currently focusing on the use of PUDs in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood. He found that PUDs were used quite extensively in Texas as they “allowed unique zoning to cater to specific needs.” He is studying Oak Lawn to understand “how PUDs are used, what developers are getting and what the community is getting.” Whittemore is preparing an article on this topic for publication.

Is the Dallas-Fort Worth Region Future-Ready?

The School of Urban and Public Affairs hosts guest speaker Rebecca Ryan who will address the question, “Is the Dallas-Fort Worth Region Future Ready.

In this fast-paced, dynamic keynote, futurist Rebecca Ryan shares:

  • Four trends that will rock your community in the years to come
  • Why NOW is the moment for action, and
  • How smart communities are leveraging these trends and forcing disruptive changes to make their communities more engaging, responsive, and attractive to current and future generations.

Ms. Ryan is an entrepreneur and the founder of Next Generation Consulting. She is the author of ReGENERATION: A Manifesto for America’s Future Leaders and Live First, Work Second: Getting Inside the Head of the Next Generation. She was named 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and 2006 Communicator of the Year by Women in Communications.

The event takes place on Friday, January 31, 2014, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Room 204 of the School of Architecture Building. The event isFREE but a reservation is required due to limited seating.  The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by Ms. Ryan’s presentation and a Q&A session. Students, faculty, alumni, professionals and their guests are welcome.