Mobility and Community Form
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) seeks to promote a new approach to local transportation planning by placing community life
at the center of the planning process. Fundamental to this approach is the encouragement of mobility patterns that support walking, social
interaction, and civic life. Lively communities consist of people and events, not merely buildings and streets. Local planners must look beyond
conventional planning methods and work to achieve more satisfying community forms.
An organizing principle for this approach is the concept of the Transect, a planning tool that represents an idealized “geographic slice” of
the elements and scale of development patterns. These elements and patterns are depicted in a manner that gradually increases in both density
and scale along a continuum from natural and rural to suburban and urban. The Transect helps the viewer visualize the appropriate development
patterns at each scale, where the various “pieces” belong and how they fit together, and the transitions that occur as development takes place
and density increases. Since its introduction to the planning profession, the Transect has evolved and been applied to a variety of uses,
including form-based zoning codes.
However, the needs and activities of people are not represented in existing Transects. In place of people, movement, and activity, Transect
diagrams typically represent buildings, streets, and landscape details. The
Activity-Based Transect (pdf 8.8m) expands the concept to
include the basic patterns of social and economic activity
|that occur throughout the continuum from the natural to the urban realm. It can be read from left to right as a progression from
rural highlands and agricultural areas through towns and suburbs to a central city, then on to the port industry and seaside towns of the New
Jersey shore. Together with the Patterns and the accompanying guide, the Transect can help
municipalities better understand the dynamics of community form and work to improve mobility and the quality of life in New Jersey’s
(Click to enlarge, pdf 8.8m)
There are files above that are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files, which is available free
state Adobe Access page.