Sustainable Urban Development Resource Guide

ASLA created a new online resource guide on sustainable urban development. The guide contains lists of organizations, research, concepts and projects related to sustainable urban development, and includes sections on: tools for fighting sprawl, sustainable zoning, the reuse of brownfields, investment in open spaces, and sustainable urban design. Developed for students and professionals, the resource guide contains recent reports and projects from leading U.S. and international organizations, academics, and design firms.

The guide is separated into six sections:

  • Fighting Sprawl
  • Sustainable Zoning
  • Reusing Brownfields
  • Investing in Downtowns
  • Open Spaces
  • Sustainable Urban Design

As an example, the section on “open spaces” includes major research studies and policy papers outlining the economic, social and cognitive benefits of parks and green spaces in cities. There are also links to award-winning sustainable urban parks and master plans.

This resource guide is part of an on-going series. See earlier resource guides:

More guides focused on Livable Communities and Green spaces in the Built Environment are coming.

The Sustainable Urban Development resource guide is constantly expanding. If there are resources we’ve missed, add in the comments field below, or email We are particularly interested in case studies on sustainable urban development.

Go to the Resource Guide

Image credit: Mia Lehrer + Associates, Civitas, Inc., Wenk Associates, Tetra Tech, Inc. Copyright City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan (2007)

3 thoughts on “Sustainable Urban Development Resource Guide

  1. miracleplaysystems 08/13/2009 / 12:01 pm

    This is a useful tool and will benefit all who use it, not only those in the landscape architecture field, but also those in many other professions including those related to construction, maintenance, and park supplies. It’s great to see the point on the cognitive social benefits of parks and public open spaces. By having places to imagine, create, be physically active, challenge themselves, and associate themselves with others, children learn vital skills that will help them later in life–such as in their educational careers and even further down the road in the workplace. This is just one point of what looks to be the resource guide’s many.

  2. Jack Buchanan 11/04/2009 / 2:52 pm

    What I want to know is: why isn’t urban agriculture more prominent on the sustainable urban development agenda? There are so many potential benefits to be had in the implementation of urban farm and garden systems in cities, so why aren’t we talking about it?

  3. Amanda Hughes-Horan 08/07/2011 / 3:46 pm

    This is a great resource – would just like to also include the importance of educating the general public about sustainable urban design/architecture…..not just planning and building with this sensitivity but once a project is built, including on-site educational features such as interpretive signage to spread the word. People love green space, they like what they see but I think we often miss a golden opportunity to let them know why this kind of design is so important and why we’re doing it!

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