Bridgeland is an 11,400-acre master-planned community northwest of Houston, Texas, which will be home to 65,000 residents when complete in 2037. Like the Woodlands, its predecessor, the Bridgeland site plan centers on scenic lakes that improve water quality, irrigate during droughts, and draw residents to common areas for recreation. These lakes form a stormwater system that exceeds local design requirements, and which has managed storm events much larger than those anticipated.

Building a Truly Bike-Friendly City: Lessons from Amsterdam

Amsterdam has long been recognized as one of the world’s great bicycling cities, and for good reason—the city is home to more bikes than people and a higher percentage of trips within the city are made by bike than by car. While Amsterdam residents have long had a history of cycling to meet their daily needs, a cultural preference for two-wheeled transportation alone does not explain why the city so vastly outpaces its peers in nearly every measure of bicycle use. Instead, over the past half-century, local advocates, elected officials, and other stakeholders have worked to reverse the city’s post–World War II embrace of the automobile by crafting bike-friendly policies and directing funding toward infrastructure that makes meeting one’s daily transportation needs by bike a safe, convenient, and even obvious choice.

Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City

Kashiwa, a city with a land area of 115 square kilometers (44 sq mi) and a population of just over 400,000, is in Chiba Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo in Japan’s Kanto region. Though home to companies in food processing and other industries, as well as a professional soccer team, it is now best known as the home of Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City. Currently being developed on 273 hectares (675 ac) in northwestern Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City was launched in 2005 with the opening of Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station on the Tsukuba Express train line. The land is divided into 299 parcels, to be subdivided further into blocks with interconnecting streets and pathways. Initial development is taking place in parcels 147, 148, 149, 150, and 151. This 42-hectare (104 ac) group of parcels extends outward from Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station and encompasses the University of Tokyo Kashiwa Campus, Chiba University Kashiwa-no-ha Campus, Kashiwa-no-ha Park, and industrial areas.

Accessible from Tokyo in less than an hour by train, Kashiwa-no-ha is an area rich in natural beauty as well as the home of a concentration of academic and research institutions. Creation of the grand design for the project was from the beginning a collaborative endeavor, with Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa, the University of Tokyo, and Chiba University involved in the planning and deliberation.


Mueller is a 700-acre redevelopment of a former airport into a health-focused master-planned community just three miles from downtown Austin, Texas. By 2020, Mueller is projected to have over 5,700 single family and multifamily units, a quarter of which will be affordable for low-income families. The Catellus Development Corporation worked with master planners ROMA Design and McCann Adams Studio to promote community health and wellness, to increase pedestrian activity, to improve air quality, and to utilize low-emission building materials.

Mueller’s various facilities and amenities are designed around the principles of social interaction, open space preservation, and active lifestyles. Tree-lined sidewalks and protected bicycle lanes provide shade and connect to a comprehensive trail system, retail, and recreational parks to encourage walking and bicycling. To promote physical fitness, Mueller provides sports facilities, playgrounds, a stretching area, and outdoor showers. A six-acre orchard and community garden provides residents with a seasonal harvest. Residents have initiated over 40 different clubs and interest groups and over 70,000 people attend large scale community events annually. The developer has facilitated social interaction these interactions through a block party at move-in and through physical design, including front porches, stoops, gardens, and alleyways in residential areas.


Avalon is a mixed-use town center that, in its first phase, includes retail, restaurant, multifamily rental housing, single-family for-sale housing, and office uses surrounding a main street and a central plaza. A second phase will add a hotel and conference center as well as additional retail, multifamily rental housing, and office space. The 2.3 million-square-foot project is located in an affluent northern suburb of Atlanta on an 86-acre site. A previous developer had planned a similar concept for the site in the mid-2000s era but was unable to execute the development.

Cézanne Saint-Honoré

Paris’s eighth arrondissement, the traditional business district surrounding the Champs-Elysées, remains a low-rise district that Georges-Eugène Haussmann—Napoleon III’s city planner who designed and executed the grand baroque boulevards that make Paris a preeminent European city—would recognize. The medieval streets that run behind and between the boulevards make Paris a French city. And rue Paul Cézanne is an archetypically French street that is only 15 meters (49 ft) wide from building face to building face and 100 meters (328 ft) long.


CityCentre is a mixed-use urban development that currently encompasses five office buildings, three multifamily residential options, brownstones, two hotels, streetfront restaurants and retail space, conference space, a cinema, a health/fitness facility, and parking. The project has been developed on a 37-acre site—recently expanded to 47 acres—formerly occupied by a retail mall that was failing. The development strategy involved demolishing all the existing retail buildings but retaining the three existing parking structures. The plan revolves around a central open space/plaza that is surrounded by hotel, office, restaurant, and retail uses. The design features several internal streets and a pedestrian-friendly environment.