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UW-RF Offers Class in Residential Design

APRIL 28, 2006-- Learn about community character by exploring the design of residential neighborhoods through a class offered at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls June 22-24 and June 26-28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residential developments reflect aesthetic and environmental sensibilities of a region’s population as well as economic and social realities of the times, according to Eric Sanden, professor of land use planning at UW-River Falls and workshop instructor.

“Typical ‘cookie-cutter’ subdivisions became popular in the post-World War II era,” says Sanden. “Returning service personnel found their piece of the American dream in these suburban developments.”

In an increasingly affluent country, new subdivisions offered affordable housing and easy commuting to cities served by newly established highway networks. Although convenient and efficient, these developments are viewed by some as being homogenous and sprawling. Traditional U.S. neighborhoods were more compact, contained more diverse types of housing, and were pedestrian-friendly.

Features of the old neighborhoods are getting a second look from planning professionals.

“We are seeing a move toward more creative designs as planners incorporate open spaces and elements of the older, more traditional neighborhoods,” says Sanden. In addition to the traditional planning tools of zoning, subdivision regulations, and building codes, planners can now draw on tools such as conservation development, traditional neighborhood design and planned unit developments to enhance the livability of a neighborhood, he added.

The residential building boom of recent years has boosted demand for people who understand how to use these tools, says Sanden, who designed the course, “Residential Design Options,” in response to these needs of students, planners, government officials, land developers and concerned citizens.

The course is open to students, professionals and interested members of the public. Participants will have opportunities to see examples of and examine different approaches to residential development. Noncredit fees for the class are $280, and participants who want undergraduate credit will pay applicable tuition and campus fees.

The UW–River Falls Outreach and Graduate Studies Office provides lifelong learners with academic, professional development and enrichment programs that are practical, flexible, convenient and affordable. A complete list of courses, course descriptions and online registration information is available at http:/ or can be obtained by calling at 715-425-3256, 1-800-228-5607 or e-mailing


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:21 Central Daylight Time

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