Planning firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company’s (DPZ) Charlotte, N.C., office recently completed a study on Light Imprint New Urbanism (LINU), a development technique that aims to "lie lightly on the land" by coordinating engineering practices and New Urbanist design techniques, offering different solutions for different transect zones. According to DPZ, LINU emphasizes sustainability, pedestrian-oriented design, and increased environmental and infrastructure efficiency, while reducing a community’s anticipated construction expenses by as much as 31 percent.
Using Greenville, S.C.’s Griffin Park community as a case study, the strategy significantly lowers construction and engineering costs, and allows for additional focus on conservation and environmental efficiency without compromising design priorities such as connectivity and the public realm, DPZ says.
Griffin Park, a traditional neighborhood development designed by DPZ, is one of the first examples of LINU development. The first phase of construction offered an opportunity to document the evolution of this environmentally sensitive community. The development strategy resulted in a 27-percent cost increase, with the introduction of tree protection fences. Yet, a 50-percent cost savings occurred with reduction of curbs and gutters, reduction in the number of stormwater pipes and inlets, reduction in pervious pavement in alleys and streets, and introduction of rain gardens.
Joe Jelks, developer and founder of Griffin Park explains, "The LINU case study was compelling enough to lead our development team to apply LINU techniques even after the construction had started. It convinced us to work with local approval agencies to holistically apply the LINU approach for the next phases."
DPZ’s study is available online at www.dpz.com/news.aspx.