Traditional Neighborhood Development

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Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) refers to the development of a complete neighborhood or town using traditional town planning principles. TND may occur in infill settings and involve adaptive reuse of existing buildings, but often involves all-new construction on previously undeveloped land. To qualify as a TND, a project should include a range of housing types, a network of well-connected streets and blocks, humane public spaces, and have amenities such as stores, schools, and places of worship within walking distance of residences. TND is limited to the scale of neighborhood or town, and should not be confused with New Urbanism, which encompasses all scales of planning and development, from building to region. TND projects incorporate many different architectural styles and are not exclusively traditional in aesthetic. An example of a TND known for modern style as opposed to neotraditional style is Prospect New Town.

The TND type of development plan, while well known in design circles for quite some time, was originated the US in a legal form in 1990 thru 1992 in the Town of Bedford, NH. Recognizing that for the design to be implemented zoning laws needed to adapt, an effort was initiated by a group of four individuals (Rick Chellman, (now "TND" Engineering), The Honorable Norman Stahl (US Federal Court of Appeals); Andreas Duany and Scott Brooks) who came together to write and then seek the passage of the first "TND Ordinance". This "ordinance" put into a traditional zoning form the necessary legalities that prior to its enactment made it legally impossible to gain regulatory approvals in much of the US as the common zoning laws of the period had requirements that mandated suburban design principles directly contrary to the TND design needs. Most importantly was the adaptation away from a single 35 mph design speed on all suburban streets as had been the standard since the 1960s. The TND zoning was ultimately passed in Bedford, NH and subsequently copied and/or used as a starting point by many communities thereafter. Creating a regulatory precedent and practical foot hold was the original intent of the four person team. No TND was ever actively undertaken in the originating Town of Bedford NH (although one was approved by the efforts of Stahl, Brooks, Chellman & Duany and it encompassed over 1,000,000 s/f of commercial space, 829 housing units and acres of riverfront park lands) as in the midst of the TND zoning Approvals, a banking crisis took hold and defeated the feasibility for new development at that time.

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