The Community Design Manual was created to assist local leaders, civic groups and others interested in shaping their communities to meet the challenges that towns face, from managing growth and development to addressing climate threats to dealing with transit and traffic issues Since communities often need to make land-use and design decisions without the aid of professional planners, this guide aims to serve as a blueprint for how to approach key land use and design decisions. View the Better Town Toolkit online. Download the print version of the Community Design Manual (PDF, 128MB). Individual Sections: Introduction, Places, Details, Tools and Actions.
RPA’s community design work focuses on promoting sustainable and equitable development patterns by directing as much of the region’s growth as possible to established villages, towns and cities.
RPA works with individual communities throughout the region to demonstrate how both public investment and private development can help them achieve their local objectives for community development and quality of life. The community design program engages this challenge in several ways: by creating vision plans and land use regulations for individual communities, through training programs that build local capacity and by providing resources such as model codes and guidelines. In addition, we have developed an extensive Community Design Manual that aids civic groups and residents in shaping their communities in the absence of professional planning staff.
In recent years, RPA has developed growth and sustainability plans for Bridgeport, Conn., Somerville N.J., and Orange County, N.Y.