Essays and Art Work
by Laurence Aurbach

Selected Writings:

TND Design Rating Standards
A comprehensive rating system for the evaluation of neighborhood-scale urban design. The system was developed in order to provide a consistent, transparent set of standards for the Town Paper's links list. Portions of the Standards have since been incorporated in the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED-ND rating system.

Home Page of the TND Design Rating Standards - Includes scoring parameters, discussions, case studies, and a worksheet to derive a total score.
"Five Stars for Urban Design" - An overview from the American Planning Association's New Urbanism Division Newsletter, Summer, 2005 issue.
• The TND Design Rating Standards system is listed in the EPA compilation Smart Growth scorecards (2006).

Neighborhoods and Safety
A debate about about safety and crime in new urban neighborhoods. Consists of several parts:

  1. My letter to the editor of Reason magazine concerning its article "Crime-Friendly Neighborhoods," and my similar, but more detailed, point-by-point rebuttal of the article
  2. A response from one of the article's authors
  3. My reply to the author
  4. Some of my various comments on this topic in the "Related Materials" page

Delightful Density
Some of the most desirable historic neighborhoods in the U.S. were built at surprisingly high densities. This article describes the character of these "all-star" places, and lists the densities of selected neighborhoods as determined by the Census 2000.

Ghansoli Node: TOD By the Bay
The world's largest new urban neighborhood is located in the world's largest new city. Ghansoli Node (projected population 150,000) is a transit-oriented development under construction in Navi Mumbai, India (projected population 2,000,000). The article covers the background and design features of the project.

The First Transect Seminar
The Transect describes and codes for the character of built environments. It's also a preliminary attempt to integrate human habitat into the field of ecology. This story covers the speakers and topics that were presented at the public seminar, held at the Yale School of Architecture.

Recent Immigration to the U.S.: Geography, Assimilation and Neighborhoods
A review of the literature on immigration during the 1990's. Looks at where immigrants are settling and how segregated they are from native Americans. Discusses immigrant quality of life in relation to crowding, health and nativist regulations. Concludes with policy recommendations.

Growth and Consequences: Austin and Ottawa Compared
How can you tell if a city has managed its growth successfully? This report uses transit ridership and open space preservation as indicators of growth management policy performance. The years 1970-1996 are the principal focus.

Coney Island: Forty Years as the Carnival Capital
An essay on cultural history 1885-1925. Tens of millions visited a sandy peninsula in Brooklyn every summer to play. What accounted for the popularity of America's earliest thrill rides and theme parks?



Ped Shed Blog - My blog about walkable urban design and sustainable placemaking.
The Ecothresholds Project - Understanding thresholds in global change and their implications for decisionmaking.
Mississippi Renewal Forum - Documents the design and planning initiative to rebuild the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Original design by ICharrette.
Congress for the New Urbanism DC Chapter - Features a calendar of local events for urban planners, designers and architects.
The Town Paper - Publications about urbanism and town design. Includes a directory of links to TNDs and new urban neighborhoods.
Timeline of New Urbanism - Online database of events, projects and practitioners of new urban design, from 19th century antecedents to the present.

Viridian Graphics - includes the following contest entries and designs: Font, Banners, Summer Health Warning, Dead Mike, Greenhouse Disaster Symbol, Magazine Cover (contest winner), Hot Rod, Web Page Composition 1  (selected design), Web Page Composition 2, Enron Logo

Rotala Gallery A collection of maps, photographs and art in a variety of media.

Contact Info:

Laurence (L.J.) Aurbach is an editor, researcher and graphic designer. He holds degrees in geography and automotive technology and has expertise in urban studies and graphic arts. His writing and artwork have appeared in a variety of books, magazines and websites. He is a contributor to the LEED for Neighborhood Developments Rating System and served on the review panel for the EPA National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in 2005 and 2007.

Comments and inquiries are welcome:

All works on this website are Copyright © 1999-2007
by Laurence Aurbach