Rural by Design

Planning for Town and Country

By Randall Arendt

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For America's suburbs, small cities, and rural areas, new challenges demand new solutions. Author Randall Arendt meets them in an entirely new edition of Rural by Design.

With 80 percent new material, the second edition of this planning classic shifts the focus to infilling neighborhoods, strengthening town centers, and moving development closer to schools, shops, and jobs. New chapters cover form-based codes, visioning, sustainability, low-impact development, green infrastructure, and more, while 70 case studies show how these ideas play out in the real world. Readers — rural or not — will find practical advice about planning for the way we live now. 

Instructors may request exam or desk copies here.

Excerpts

Foreword, Introduction, and Chapter 3 (pdf)

About the Author

Randall Arendt is a senior advisor at the Natural Lands Trust in Media, Pennsylvania, and the former director of planning and research at the Center for Rural Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Product Details

Page Count
552
Date Published
March 20, 2015
ISBN
978-1-61190-152-8
Format
Paperback
Publisher
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

Foreword: Broadly Defining 'Rural'

Introduction

PART ONE: THE CHARACTER OF TOWNS

1. The Common Qualities of Traditional Towns
Planned Origins
Diverse Uses Within a Common Design Vocabulary
Distinguishing Features
Sense of Community
Opportunities for Casual Socializing
Open Space Within and Around
Compact Form and Incremental Growth

2. Changes in the Pattern
Zoning Unconnected to Planning
The Predicted Decline of Suburbia
Communitywide or Regional Development Patterns
Rediscovering Traditional Townscape Elements
A Matter of Scale
Mental Connections and Conscious Choices
Visual Techniques to Increase Awareness
Conventional Zoning as 'Planned Sprawl'
Performance Zoning for Open Space
Pigeonhole Zoning or Traditional Mix?

3. Future Prospects: Choosing Among Alternative Patterns
Public Dissatisfaction With Conventional Zoning
Boots on the Ground: Evaluating Community Strengths and Weaknesses
Identifying 'Places of the Heart'
Heart and Soul Planning: Incorporating Community Values Into Land-Use Plans
Two Pattern Book Experiences: Denton, Maryland, and Huntersville, North Carolina
Village and Hamlet Planning in Northern Virginia
Sidebar: Huntley Farm, Waterford, Virginia
Sidebar: Black Oak and Fremont Villages, Loudoun County, Virginia
Opposition to Planned Communities
Initiating Better Design Solutions

4. The Aesthetics of Form in Community Planning
The Unwinian School and Unwin's Relevance Today
Village Form and Townscape: Timeless Principles
Replacing Inappropriate Standards
Envisioning Settlements as More Than Subdivisions

5. Sustainability, Best Practices, and Visionary Planning
Overview
Definitions, Indicators, and Scorecards
Maryland's 'Genuine Progress Indicator'
Obstacles, Practical Limits, and Rebalancing Density
Rating System for Sustainable Neighborhoods
Social Sustainability: Hometown Aurora, Aurora, Illinois
Sustainable Sites Initiative
The Ahwahnee Principles and the 'Original Green'

6. Vision Plans, Downzoning, and Municipal Balkanization
Visions of the Ideal
The Downzoning Challenge
Notable Successes
Political Difficulties and Legal Obstacles
Several Possible Ways Forward
State Leadership, Regional Approaches, and Municipal Balkanization

PART TWO: DESIGN APPROACHES

7. Form-Based Coding and Standards for Performance and Design
Historical Antecedents
The Rise of Form-Based Coding
Components of Form-Based Codes
Building Support for Form-Based Codes
Supplementing Form-Based
Coding With Performance Standards
Another Approach in Flagstaff, Arizona
Experience Elsewhere: Canada and Britain
Three Further Local Examples
Design Standards and an 'FBC-Lite' Approach
FBCs, Smart Codes, and the Fiscal Impact Quotient
Form-Based Codes and Greenway Planning

8. Blending New Urbanism With Greenway Planning and Conservation Design
Creating Healthy and Connected Communities
Historical Antecedents: Greenway Community Design
Greater Respect for Site Features
Blended Forms: More Compact, Greener, and Healthier
Other Green Aspects of New Urban Design
Social and Health Benefits of a Greener Approach
Reducing Obesity Through Blended Community Design

PART THREE: IMPLEMENTATION TECHNIQUES

9. Broadening Housing Choices
Pocket Neighborhoods
Cohousing: A Community-Based Alternative
Sidebar: Essential Design Keys for Pocket Neighborhoods
Senior Cohousing
Affordable Housing
Affordable Housing in a Small Southern Town, Davidson, North Carolina
Density Bonuses That Really Work
Compact Neighborhood Layouts
Affordable Home Designs in Neighborhood Development and Redevelopment
Two-Family Homes: Fitting in Better
Multifamily Dwellings
Accessory Dwelling Units: A Hidden Resource
Preserving Affordability Through Community Land Trusts
Affordable Conservation-Based Housing: Conservation Fund Examples
Mixed Uses: Living 'Above the Shop'

10. Strengthening Town Centers
Town Centers: Maintaining Their Vital Functions
Proactive Efforts: The Main Street Program
Sidebar: New Life for an Old Department Store, Northampton, Massachusetts
Lessons Learned in Holland, Michigan
Town Centers: Maintaining Their Traditional Form
Infill Development as Pattern Enhancer
The Value of Public Open Space in Town Centers
Sidebar: Embracing Public Art
Small Parks and Parklets
Sidebar: The Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
Pedestrian Streets / Downtown Malls
The 'Smart Math' of Mixed Use Development
Resolving Parking Issues
Sidebar: Small-Town
Example of Downtown Revitalization With a Parking Garage

11. Transforming Gateways and Highway Corridors
Overview
The Declining Highway Strip and New Approaches
Reinventing the Highway Strip
Choices for the Future
Developing a Gateway Corridor in Davidson, North Carolina
Sidebar: Gateway Visioning in Warwick, New York
Another Progressive Example: South Kingstown, Rhode Island
Gateway Corridor to York, Maine
Highway Corridor Design Handbook: Kittery, Maine
Design Standards Along Major Corridors in Gainesville, Florida
Official Mapping and Physical Plans to Set the Proper Pattern
Physical Plans Showing New Street Alignments
Rural Highways: An Appropriate Form

PART FOUR: DESIGNING MAN-MADE INFRASTRUCTURE

12. Designing Better Streets
Overview
Complete Streets
Sidewalks for Exercise and Safety
A Fresh Look at Street Standards
Excessive Widths and 'Road Diets'
On-Street Parking and 'Yield Streets'
Shorter Curves to Calm Traffic
Curbing the Tendency to Curb
Center Medians for Beauty and Safety
Modern Street Roundabouts
Back Lanes and Alleys
Cul-de-Sacs and Their Alternatives
Street Connections and Official Street Maps
Street Tree Planting
Country Lanes and Common Drives

13. Low-Impact Development: A Greener Approach to Stormwater
Problems and Challenges
The Fundamentals of Low-Impact Development
Soil Characteristics
Smart Growth Development Patterns
Economic Benefits
Adopting New LID Regulations
Rain Gardens: Several Minnesota Examples
Contaminated Stormwater Sediment: Costs and Challenges
Infiltration Basins in Red Clay Soil, Athens, Georgia
The Green at College Park, Arlington, Texas
Street Edge Alternatives Demonstration Project, Seattle
Redevelopment Strategies to Improve Stormwater Management at High Point, Seattle
LID in New Developments: Blending New Urban and Conservation Design
Prairie Crossing's 'Treatment Train', Grayslake, Illinois

14. Sewage Treatment Alternatives
Overview
Conservation Design and Septic Systems
Septic System Design Innovation
Contour Systems
Off-Lot Individual Drainfields
Wastewater Volume Reduction
Statewide Efforts to Require Community Sewage Systems
Shared Septic Systems: Community Drainfields
Design of Shared Systems
Sidebar: Village Square: Community Wastewater System Enables Open Space Protection
Maintenance of Shared Systems
Sand Filters
Sidebar: Donovan Farm: Community System Protecting Historic Farmstead
Land Treatment
Categories of Land Treatment
Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse
Addressing Maintenance Concerns
Alternative Sewer Systems
Benefits of Small-Scale Alternative Sewage Systems
Constructed Wetlands
Constructed Wetlands for Individual Homes
Common Misconceptions Concerning Constructed Wetlands
Mayo Peninsula, Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Constructed Wetlands for a Small City: Arcata, California
Municipal Composting

PART FIVE: PROTECTING THE NATURAL INFRASTRUCTURE

15. Greenways: A Healthy Community Builder
Overview and History
Environmental Benefits of Greenways
Property Value Enhancement
Physical Wellness Benefits
Benefits to the Mind
Safety Benefits
Greenway Design: Connectivity and Edges
Comprehensive Greenway Planning
Official Maps in Greenway Planning
Greenway Zoning and Subdivision Techniques
Using the Conservation Subdivision Technique: Examples
Sidebar: London Grove Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania: Building Greenways and Trails for a Growing Community
Land Trusts
Developer Requirements
Challenging Conventional Thinking
Overcoming Public Concerns
Minimum Widths for Greenway Buffers
Greenway Buffers for Water Quality
Greenway Corridors for Wildlife
Composite Greenway Standards

16. Protecting and Restoring the Green Infrastructure Network
Overview
Information Resources for Communities
Southeastern Wisconsin's Environmental Corridor Mapping and Policies
Backyard Measures and Highway Corridors
Conserving Woodlands
Woodland Management
Woodland Regeneration and Hydrology
Conserving Vernal Pools: Ephemeral Wetlands Teeming With Life
Protecting Lakes and Rivers
Conserving Grasslands
Mitigating Woodland Losses
Wildfire Management at the Wildland Urban Edge
Land Trusts and Green Infrastructure Protection
Sidebar: Westford Conservation Trust, Westford, Massachusetts
Redressing Environmental Mistakes
Mitigation Banking and Ecosystem Credits
Reforestation by Municipalities and Land Trusts
Restoring Grasslands and Prairies
Restoring Floodplains by Removing Legacy Sediments in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Improving River Water Quality by Creating Farmland Wetlands
Regreening Shopping Centers

17. Retaining Farmland and Farmers
Overview
Metropolitan Agriculture
Characteristics of Metro Farms
Characteristics of Metro Farmers
Problems and Opportunities
Solar Farming
Minimizing Conflicts With Farmers: Urban Growth Boundaries
Agricultural Protection Zoning
Related Variations: Sliding Scale and Area-Based Allocation Zoning
Purchasing Development Rights
PDR Paying for Itself in Suburbia: Opportunity Knocks
Saving Farmland With Creative Subdivision Design
Two Decades of Rural Clustering in Howard County, Maryland
Low-Density Agricultural Clustering in San Luis Obispo County, California
Landowner Compacts
Role of Land Trusts in Protecting Farmland
Agricultural Urbanism and Agrarian Urbanism
Continuing Concerns

18. Transfer of Development Rights in Small Communities
Overview
Early History and Examples
Local Success Stories in Three New Jersey Townships
Large-Scale Conservation by Combining TDR With Master Planning
Special Challenges in Small Towns
Lessons Learned
Single Successes: Still Worth Achieving
Multiple Transactions in Buckingham Township, Bucks County
Other Examples and the Density Exchange Option
Commercial Conversions With TDRs
Transferring Density Without TDRs

19. Designing Subdivisions to Save Land
Overview
Short History of Designing With Open Space
The Planning and Regulatory Framework
The Four-Step Design Process
Open Space Networks
Calculating Density
Density Bonuses and Penalties
Addressing Public Concerns
Ownership, Maintenance, and Liability Issues
Consumer Preferences
Developer Issues
Conservation Design in Sewered Areas
Notable Initiatives and Achievements by States, Counties, and Municipalities
Canadian Provinces
Stewardship and Large-Scale Conservation in the West

PART SIX: CASE EXAMPLES

20. In-Town Residential Examples
Radburn, Fairlawn, New Jersey
Brown's Farm, Kingston, Rhode Island
St. Alban's Neighborhood, Davidson, North Carolina
Hawthorne Corner, Nanaimo, British Columbia
Village Homes, Davis, California
Warwick Grove, Warwick, New York
The Cottages, Moscow, Idaho
East Lake Commons, Atlanta
Summerfield, Elverson, Pennsylvania
Affordable Housing
Battle Road Farm, Lincoln, Massachusetts
Orchard Gardens, Missoula, Montana
Poplar Gardens, Boulder, Colorado
Austerbruin Affordable Housing, Poulsbo, Washington
Pocket Neighborhoods
Third Street Cottages, Langley, Washington
Chico Beach Cottages, Silverdale, Washington

21. Rural Residential Examples
Jarvis Farm, Westford, Massachusetts
Partridgeberry Place, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Trim's Ridge, New Shoreham, Rhode Island
The Pines, North Oaks, Minnesota
The Meadows at Dolly Gordon Brook, York, Maine
Alexandria Trilogy, Alexandria, New Jersey
Chimney Rock, Flower Mound, Texas
Hunter's Pointe, Hamburg Township, Michigan
Canterbury, Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania
Winfield, Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania
Indian Walk, Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania
Ponds at Woodward, Kennett Township, Pennsylvania
Paternal Gift Farm, Howard County, Maryland
The Preserve at Hunter's Lake, Ottawa, Wisconsin
Tryon Farm, Michigan City, Indiana
The Fields of St. Croix, Lake Elmo, Minnesota
The Fields at Cold Harbor, Hanover County, Virginia
Birch Hollow and Dobbins Creek, Loudoun County, Virginia
Farmcolony, Green County, Virginia
The Ranch at Roaring Fork, Garfield County, Colorado
Heartwood Ranch Cohousing, La Plata County, Colorado
Skokomish Farms, Mason County, Washington

22. Large-Scale Mixed Use Examples
Weatherstone, West Vincent Township, Pennsylvania
Montgomery Farm and Watters Creek, Allen, Texas
Serenbe, Chattahoochie Hills, Georgia
Old York Village, Chesterfield Township, New Jersey

23. Downtown Commercial and Mixed Use Examples
199 East Pearl Offices and Condos, Jackson, Wyoming
Freeport McDonald's, Freeport, Maine
Camden Rite-Aid, Camden, Maine
Gold Dust, Missoula, Montana
Cedar Street Bridge Shops, Sandpoint, Idaho
Winslow Green, Bainbridge Island, Washington
Tontine Mall, Brunswick, Maine
Village Square, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Bow Street Market, Freeport, Maine
Kent Town Center, Kent, Connecticut
Kent Village Barns, Kent, Connecticut
The Village Commons, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Old Main Street, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Southport Green, Fairfield, Connecticut
Redeveloping Two Downtown Corners in Davidson, North Carolina
CVS Building
Stowe's Corner
Downtown Mixed Use Infill, Oxford, Ohio
Three Downtown Infill Projects in New Jersey
Cranford Crossing, Cranford
Lumberyard Condominiums, Collingswood
Plainsboro Village Center, Plainsboro
BoDo, Boise, Idaho
Public Art

24. Commercial Corridor Mixed Use Examples
Mill Village, Sudbury, Massachusetts
Mattick's Farm, Saanich, British Columbia
Birmingham Crossroads, Milton, Georgia
Red Brick Farm, Mayville, New York
Mad River Green and Village Square, Waitsfield, Vermont
South County Commons, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
Livingston Town Center, Livingston, New Jersey
Washington Town Center, Robbinsville, New Jersey
Smyrna, Georgia
Mashpee Commons, Mashpee, Massachusetts
Carriage House Square, Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania

25. Greenways and Greenway Development Examples
Carolina Thread Trail
Daylighting Little Sugar Creek, Charlotte, North Carolina
Indian Creek Daylighting Restoration, Caldwell, Idaho
Hawksbill Greenway, Luray, Virginia
North Kitsap String of Pearls Trail Network, Kitsap County, Washington
The Peninsula Neighborhood, Iowa City, Iowa
Valley West, Bozeman, Montana
Village Grande at Miller's Run, East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Viera West, Brevard County, Florida
Trail Master Planning in Omaha, Nebraska

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Reviews

“We are using the new Rural by Design in the classroom. The text and color illustrations are great and so inspiring for our Master of Urban Design students.”
– Prof. Max Underwood, Presidents’ Professor at The Design School, Arizona State University

"In vivid photos and poignant text, Rural by Design captures what our communities were before the age of sprawl, and what they can become again. From the very first page, Randall Arendt presents with urgency, simplicity, and elegance a profound understanding of how community design not only reflects but also ultimately defines who we are as a people. The book is SO incredible, SO well written, that I can't say enough. It reads not like a classroom text but like the impassioned and meaningful work it obviously is. Anyone in any profession could pick up this book and become entranced with both its sentiment and its message.”
– John A. Lipman, Lipman Development Strategies, South Orleans, Massachusetts

"An amazing compendium that can be used for decades to come.”
– William L. Rawn III, FAIA, LEED AP, William Rawn Associates, Boston

"What a tour-de-force! I am so impressed with the level of detail provided. It's a wonderful resource for planners.”
– Philip Caton, FAICP, Partner, Clarke, Caton & Hintz, Trenton, New Jersey

"This is the foundational work on how we can use land for a higher quality of life, without destructive exploitation. It is a practical thesis that points out how to achieve that quality better than we have for much of our recent past. Real, existing, and successful examples show projects that provide for great living, and profit for the developers. There is no excuse for anyone to do sorry development ever again. If you only have one book about planning and development, this should be it.”
– Clay Preston, Village Habitat Design, Atlanta

"What I have found most helpful is the depth of research. The book contains extensive, well-documented examples, with links to websites. They allow readers to further research the successes (and challenges) others have dealt with when reworking their codes or offering conservation design as an alternative to ‘business as usual.’”
– David Ager, Principal, Townscape Design, Clarksville, Maryland

"Randall Arendt has done it again. No brag, just facts. Evidence abounds here. The new Rural by Design has left us with a wealth of information for how to make sound land planning decisions.”
– Prof. Jon Rodiek, FASLA, Harold L. Adams '61 Endowed Interdisciplinary Professorship in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

"What I found interesting and very useful was the book’s updated structure, which made it easy to find a particular topic of interest. Each chapter is organized with an opening paragraph or two that help a reader scanning the book understand the gist. The illustrations and photographs, as well as the updated case examples, are outstanding. This excellent work will be a must-read for our planners here at the City.”
– Roger E. Eastman, AICP, Comprehensive Planning and Code Administrator, City of Flagstaff, Arizona

“Thank you for a great resource. I will be referencing many elements from this second edition with my graduate students and in community visioning workshops. Of particular interest are the evidence supporting strategies for transfer of development rights and the conclusions regarding overbuilt commercial corridors.”
– Prof. Ralph Johnson, Director of the School of Architecture, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

“The book is fantastic! It will be a valuable tool for our staff in understanding the elements of good (and bad) design. With the wealth of topics covered, this book will be an important source of information for our staff for many years to come.”
– Jack Simoneau, Director of Planning, Huntersville, North Carolina

"The new edition is beautifully designed, provocatively written, and, best of all, a practical and useful guide for better design and development.”
– John M. Gaadt, AICP, Principal, Gaadt Perspectives

"The new edition of Rural by Design is an important addition to my undergraduate environmental planning courses. It is a valuable follow-up to the original, classic text that became a driving force in the U.S. conservation design movement. The updated book builds on the original concepts while including broader coverage of nonresidential development. As with the first, this edition includes a sequential topical format, thoughtful and concise interpretations, applicable case studies, and excellent supporting graphics. It's a great achievement and will have a lasting impact on development here and abroad.”
– Eric Sanden, Professor of Conservation and Environmental Planning, University of Wisconsin–River Falls

"Rural by Design, 2nd edition, explores urban planning and design through a rural construct. It offers practical advice and strategies for all aspects of land development, including transportation opportunities, land preservation, rural character, housing choice, town centers, and more. Author Randall Arendt synthesizes the needs for growth and preservation, navigating political and economic challenges to create a blueprint for healthy, vibrant communities where unique character is preserved and valued. This text is a recipe book for sustainable, livable communities. I highly recommend it.”
– Andrew Singelakis, AICP, Director of Land Use & Transportation at Washington County, Oregon

"The new edition of Rural by Design is a definitive text, is not just for practitioners in small cities and suburbanizing towns. New Urbanists will also profit from an array of strategies and examples for concentrating development and minimizing impacts. Most of all, Rural by Design provides professors in planning and landscape architecture a text for their most important task: training students to apply ideals and principles in practice.”
– Bruce Stephenson, Professor of Environmental Studies, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida

"This new edition of Rural by Design is a comprehensive guide to navigating myriad aspects of growth management for small-town America. The book is an excellent resource for communities with limited budgets. While providing relevant technical information on a wide range of rural land management tools, it beautifully articulates and illustrates the vision of the CNU, which is to encourage human-scale development built in harmony with its natural environment.”
– Robin Bergstrom, Executive Director, Congress for the New Urbanism, New England Chapter, Boston

"Randall Arendt has managed to take a great book and make it even better. This new version has been expanded to make it even richer in content, with double the number of case studies and graphics. It also has evolved to address current issues such as leveraging greenways as a framework for broader planning, providing well-designed affordable housing, combating the ills of strip commercial development, revitalizing town centers, and understanding the intricacies of transfer of development rights. Even if you’ve read the original edition, the new and improved version of Rural by Design is unquestionably worth another read.”
– Philip Walker, AICP, Principal, The Walker Collaborative, Nashville, Tennessee

Rural by Design is one of my favorite books.

“If all volunteer planning commission members, professional planners, township and city officials, and others involved in the land development and homebuilding industry were to read this book, America would be a much finer place. We'd never see a dull cookie-cutter subdivision again, and children and adults would have easy access to nature close to their homes.

“This second edition is a must-read for planners and anyone interested in improving their community and quality of life. Buy it, read it, and implement the excellent and profitable techniques today. It’s that good!”
– Kirt Manecke, Citizen Planner, Milford, Michigan

"The new second edition of Rural by Design is much, much more than an updating of the original, seminal volume. Arendt has expanded the book considerably and covers many recent trends in urban planning and design. While it still emphasizes the rural context, it covers many topics relevant to urban and suburban areas. What makes this new work especially valuable is that it includes thoughtful discussion about the practical challenges facing communities in implementing strategies to become more livable and sustainable. It is easy to read, has many photographs and illustrations, and includes numerous case studies from a wide range of contexts. This is a book that should become a standard reference for every planner."
– Paul Zykofsky, AICP, Associate Director, Local Government Commission, Sacramento, California

"If you liked the first Rural by Design as much as I did, you will like the second edition even more. Randall Arendt has gone well beyond the typical update to this classic planning text book. He has made it highly relevant and useful to practicing planners by a more broadly defined notion of 'rural' that will help planners, developers, policy makers, and citizens to improve the quality of our 'urbanizing' suburbs, and to make better land-use and development decisions for rapidly growing communities. If you are a planning student, practicing planner, or land-use policymaker, I highly encourage you to consult this volume, asit is a planner's treasure chest. I find it incredibly inspiring and applicable to contemporary practice."
– Fred Merrill, FAICP, Principal, Sasaki Associates, Watertown, Massachusetts

"This updated version of the 20-year-old classic is a how-to guide to creating walkable towns in rural and urbanizing suburban North America, bursting with examples, many not yet built when the original book was written. It also shows how metropolitan residents can have a connection to nature that is so crucial for human settlements no matter the density. We are witnessing the end of sprawl, and this book provides the blueprint for how it is being replaced by environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically successful ways of building the country."
– Christopher B. Leinberger, Professor, George Washington University School of Business; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; President, LOCUS, a project of Smart Growth America

"In this update to his classic book, Randall continues to shape rural planning by integrating current discussions of town centers, sustainability, biophilia, and green infrastructure into his timeless advice for maintaining rural character, creating a detailed reference guide that everyone involved in planning the towns and open spaces of the American countryside should have at their side. Though full of case studies and supporting facts, this edition is organized to give quick, easy access to the practical tools needed to create great places."
– Daniel K. Slone, national land-use and sustainability lawyer; board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Resilient Design Institute

"Rural by Design: Planning for Town and Country (second edition) is a valuable resource for anyone interested in how to promote and protect small-town quality of life through proactive community design strategies. Arendt's new edition is a comprehensive, extremely readable, and practical resource for staff as well as local leaders and community partners. His inclusion of critical lessons learned over the past 20 years, illustrated case examples, and new emphasis on greenways as a recurring theme in town planning are especially helpful in education and advocacy work."
Sherry Barrett, Sustainable Communities Program Associate, Upstate Forever, Spartanburg, SC

"What a delight to find not just a new edition to a great foundational work but a total modernization and sharing of the most current capture of town form and planning history. Standing on Arendt's shoulders to inform your next work, or to just broaden your knowledge or plan of action in your community, is just one of many benefits to be drawn from this deep well."
Dan Burden, Director of Innovation and Implementation, Blue Zones, and national consultant on walkability

"Randall Arendt has done it again! The second edition of Rural by Design focuses on newly emerging trends evident in rural Hunterdon County, New Jersey, such as focusing development in town centers, broadening housing choice, and creating greenways. The reemergence of historic town centers, the desire for increased connectivity, and a defined vision for a sustainable future are all highlighted within the pages and photographs of this book. The new Rural by Design will, no doubt, become a standard for all planning professionals."
Sue Dziamara, AICP, Director of Planning, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

"Rural by Design, Second Edition comprehensively links different areas of planning practice in a new and unique way. Most importantly, Randall Arendt connects form-based placemaking, creating vibrant, and walkable human habitats with the preservation and enhancement of natural and cultural landscapes. He also squarely faces the political, economic, and practical obstacles that confront both robust urbanism and effective land preservation. By weaving together diverse strands of planning practice, this magnificently illustrated book shows how to improve our human habitat while preserving the fragile ecological systems on which we all depend."
– Joel Russell, Executive Director, Form-Based Codes Institute

"The second edition of Rural by Design is worth the 20 years necessary for its update. This book is a tremendous resource explaining the issues associated with successful land conversion and the absolute importance of design as the fundamental component of the preservation of place. Arendt's latest work is thorough and well researched. It provides planners with the critical tools necessary to actually create great places, especially at the rural and suburban end of the transect, by explaining the best of historic town-building principles and updating them with the latest in current practice. This is a must -have book for every planner's library. The concepts are transferable and clear, and the rationale is directly on point and understandable to all audiences."
Rick Bernhardt, FAICP, Executive Director, Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Planning Department

"Rural by Design represents a lifetime of experience and wisdom. Randall Arendt is a passionate proponent of the value of good design for planning more humane and healthy communities. His grasp of the history of planning new communities — and his deep personal involvement in making numerous plans across the United States — inform Rural by Design. This expanded edition includes considerable new information, notably concerning sustainability. Arendt's clear and informative writing make Rural by Design an invaluable resource for practitioners, educators, and students in planning, landscape architecture, architecture, civil engineering, law, and real estate."
– Frederick Steiner, Dean, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin

"If you have an interest in planning as a form or a function, this book will be educational, entertaining, and evocative. In this edition, [author Randall] Arendt has successfully pulled together many diverse areas of planning practice and, most importantly, he communicates their value and their impacts in a vibrant and highly readable manner. As I read the text and browsed the clear illustrations, I was struck by how useful the information is to rural and urban alike. This book is a great tool for new urbanists, small-town enthusiasts, and those who want to preserve and enhance the open space we all need.
– Christopher G. Parker, AICP, Assistant City Manager, City of Dover, New Hampshire

"The new edition of Rural by Design is part reference manual, part guidebook and part inspiration. It should be on the shelf of every planner, developer, and citizen interested in better land development. This book proves that small towns can grow without losing the attributes that make them unique and valuable. We have choices for how we grow. Randall Arendt's new book tells us what they are and how to achieve them."
– Ed McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute

"I loved the first edition and learned a lot from it. This one is even better. Look at the table of contents and you will be struck at how encyclopedic this book is. It covers every important topic, all in detail. The revisions are substantial and appropriately reflect two key developments in the 20 years since the first edition. First, we know a lot more than we did back then about planning, regulation, and how to make things right. Second, there has been a demographic tectonic shift with boomers, millennials, and the emergence, soon, of the single-person household as the dominant type. There is simply less pressure to sprawl and more to intensify. ... Maybe, just maybe, if you read this book and use it, you'll be an illustration and laudable example of success in the third edition in 2035."
– Dwight H. Merriam, FAICP, Partner, Robinson & Cole LLP

"The new version of Rural by Design is even better, and vastly different, than the first edition — even more comprehensive, up-to-date, useful. Just looking at the illustrations, one is struck by the quality as well as the quality of the case study examples. Diving into the text on almost any page reveals a depth of knowledge, presented in straightforward and easily understandable prose, primed for quotes and footnotes. This new edition will be invaluable to educators, practitioners, planning advocates, commission members, public officials, and private landowners and developers — anyone involved with identifying and discouraging poor development practices and defining and encouraging state-of-the-art initiatives for our rural, hamlet, and suburban communities."
– Ernest Watson Hutton Jr., FAICP, Hutton Associates/Planning Interaction, New York

"Arendt does a fantastic job of describing the path American urban planning has taken. With beautiful photos and illustrations, he shows us that we know how to build great places and that, by paying closer attention to the details, we can improve both the built environment and the lives of the people who inhabit those environments. While Rural by Design emphasizes the value of land conservation, the second edition takes a broader view of urban planning and addresses design issues that are applicable across the rural to urban transect. More than any recent work, this book is an excellent resource for planners to convey planning concepts to citizens, planning commissioners and elected officials."
– Tom Yantis, AICP, Assistant City Manager, City of Leander, Texas