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Planned Unit Development: Examining Approaches and Outcomes of Flexible Development in the Twin Cities

Typically codified in local zoning regulations, the planned unit development (PUD) tool provides a means to master plan at the project scale to respond to unique site or market conditions, promote a mix of uses or densities, coordinate infrastructure development, and accomplish specific planning goals such as conservation and affordable housing. However, anecdotal evidence suggests these outcomes are not always achieved, and little research has been conducted to determine how successfully PUD approaches are used. Carissa Schively Slotterback (Humphrey School of Public Affairs) is investigating the use of PUDs in 65 municipalities in the 11-county Twin Cities metropolitan area by conducting a content analysis of these communities' PUD ordinances, interviewing practitioners involved in PUD implementation, and assessing the outcomes of completed PUD projects on the ground. For practitioners in the Twin Cities region and nationwide, this research has potential to increase awareness and understanding of PUD tools, how they are used, whether they achieve their intended goals, and best practices for improving their use to encourage positive development outcomes. Preliminary results from the research were presented at a CURA Housing Forum in June 2012. The research will be summarized in a future CURA Reporter article.

Project Award Date: 
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737