Measuring neighborhood sustainability : a comparative case study of Mueller and Stapleton
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This paper will examine two cases where urban infill and sustainable neighborhood development converge: the Mueller redevelopment in Austin, Texas and the Stapleton redevelopment in Denver, Colorado. These projects represent significant efforts to develop sustainably in their respective cities, as well as provide prominent examples of New Urban development. The theoretical similarities between the neighborhood developments are many. However, which project does the better job of meeting the goals of sustainable urbanism? In order to address this question, the paper will begin by examining the theoretical framework of sustainable urbanism; a critical influence on both projects. The two projects will then be compared in order to assess how well they address critical goals of sustainable urbanism in practice. The comparison will be quantitatively measured using a sustainability indicators analysis in ArcGIS. The literature review will introduce the concept of sustainable urbanism. Neo-traditional development will then be examined in greater detail, with a focus on New Urbanism. From this literature, a common framework for sustainable urbanism is established. This framework will be used to arrive at a set of concrete goals for quantitative analysis. The paper identifies four goals of sustainable urbanism that will be measured: density, diversity, connectivity, and accessibility. The four critical objectives will be used to create a set of 12 spatial indicators for neighborhood sustainability. An analysis of the indicators will be calculated to compare the two sites. The paper looks to identify which of the two projects best meets the goals of sustainable urbanism. Finally, the report will examine the nuances of the projects in order to answer the question: what can the comparison can tell us about the future of the Mueller neighborhood?