In Europe now, it's being taken even further. Eco suburbs in places like Freiburg are popping up and development is happening as tram lines are planned. The map below from a paper written by Berkeley student Andrea Broaddus shows the expansion of the network.
As an interesting side note, Broaddus' study noted that two ecosuburbs were the same except for parking provisions:
Travel behavior data showed that residents of Rieselfeld had higher rates of transit use in an otherwise typical modal split, while Vauban’s residents had extremely low car share and high bicycle share. These differences were attributed in part to more Vauban’s more restrictive parking policies.But back to the Reiselfeld. Of interest here is how the development was conceived. The tramway was built before the development and historical Google Earth images show this development happening.
Reiselfeld in 2000
Similar image from a different angle, from The Modern Tram in Europe.
And a more recent image in 2006
To me this is awesome. This is true transit oriented and development oriented transit. Could we ever do something similar here in the United States? It's already happening. Though perhaps not as eco-friendly or dense as would be most sustainable.
Salt Lake City is building the Mid Jordan Trax line into the Daybreak Neighborhood drawn up by Calthorpe. While all the houses are planned to be a five minute walk from local shopping and destinations, there are still a lot of single family homes. Additionally, there is a freeway that is being constructed up the left edge of the valley that will just make Utah's air pollution and inversion days that much worse in the future.
Image courtesy of Calthorpe Associates:
Salt Lake City Suffers from Wicked Inversion Days
Flickr Photo via UTA
Daybreak Under Construction - Flickr Photo via Jason S
Daybreak Completed - Flickr Photo via Brett Neilson
All the negatives aside, I think its an interesting experiment and one worth watching. And watch from the air we will...
More Flickr photos at Daybreak from UTA
And finally a little easter egg for LRT Vehicle nuts.