Multiuse development projects infuse communities with new life

'Unsprawl' chronicles re-envisioned housing communities in 12 case studies

Drive into the Hill Country south and west of Austin, Texas, and you pass suburb development after cacti-decorated suburb development.Like many U.S. cities in the past few decades, Austin has seen car-dependent suburbs pop up on its outskirts, leaving its downtown, until recently, an after-work-hours ghost town.Image of sprawl in the Austin, Texas-area Hill Country via Shutterstock.A six-block downtown mixed-use redevelopment project has helped Austin revitalize its downtown.It's one of a dozen community-redefining projects in the U.S. and Canada from Portland, Ore., to Atlanta, profiled in a 229-page book published this year by urban planning publishing house Planetizen Press."Unsprawl" chronicles the select community projects -- including challenges, successes and shortfalls -- that have succeeded in developing pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use, efficient residential communities.The highlighted projects, both downtown and suburban, have a strong sense of pla...