Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary

In order to better understand some of the concepts mentioned on this site and on our Facebook page, we’ve put together a glossary of terms used when discussing issues relevant to urban living.

Urban Planning – Urban planning is the act of envisioning new developments alongside existing infrastructure, hopefully with the aim of maintaining a mixed use, compact urban core that is walkable, bikeable and connected.

Complete Streets – Complete Streets is a mandate that some states and municipalities adopt in order to create healthier cities and townships. The idea behind complete streets is that roads should accommodate everyone, not just cars. It makes room in road design for cars, bicycles, pedestrians and public transportation.

Resilient cities – Cities can become more resilient to the effects of climate change. Some ways they can do that are by upgrading their stormwater and sewage infrastructure, limiting development near coastlines, creating safety nets for their most vulnerable citizens, building sustainable food systems and leveraging existing community assets.

Climate change adaptation – Climate change adaptation refers to the steps people, companies and governments take to try to live with the consequences of climate change. Often this means making regulations about where you can build your house. The insurance industry is adapting by raising prices on homeowners insurance or denying it in certain flood-prone areas. People adapt by moving to areas that suffer fewer consequences of climate change.

Bike share – A bike share is a program where a fleet of bicycles is available for rent by the hour or day. Sometimes the bike share is owned by a city and sometimes it is owned by a public corporation. Usually you have to use a credit card to pay for your ride. Often, subscriptions are offered that make each ride more affordable.

Workforce housing – Workforce housing refers to housing that regular, working people can afford. It’s not subsidized housing like Section 8. It’s housing that someone working any 8-5 job could afford without assistance.

Bicycle infrastructure – When we talk about bicycle infrastructure, we first think of bike lanes. Bike lanes can be simply drawn on the road or they can be separated from the road with a barrier. Bike trails are generally separate from roads altogether. Bike lanes may also have their own traffic lights that coincide with the traffic lights for cars.