PPME Neighborhood Planning Assignment

 Note: This assignment requires a considerable amount of work and is a mjor part of the course grade. It cannot be done at the last minute. You should do it in phases following class discussions.

Develop a neighborhood plan for a section of land located in southeastern Wisconsin. This area should be approximately one square mile and you should develop a complete neighborhood including school, park, commercial areas, etc. The neighborhood should be designed so that it can be developed in stages, depending upon the sale of individual parcels of land. Basic information on soils, land ownership and terrain will need to be found depending on the site you choose. You will also need to make assumptions regarding the availability of sanitary sewer and water supply and nearby development. In order to support an elementary school, a school age population of 500 would be needed. You should also indicate zoning on your final plan and conform with the zoning ordinance for the appropriate area for your location. The project requires the following steps:

Site Selection

Identify a possible neighborhood. It should be approximately one mile square, be mostly undeveloped, have few areas of wetland and have relatively large areas of open land which could be developed. Suggestions for sites should be submitted by the third class of the semester.

We will need one site for every four people in the class.

You may use a one mile square area and soils information as found, but assume that the piece of land is located in another country. Modify land ownership information, zoning and location of other activity as appropriate. Be specific in your assumptions. Develop the design to conform to appropriate cultural, social, political, religious and technological conditions in the country you have assumed.

Data Gathering

Students will work in teams to develop a good set of maps, to the same scale, of the area. These should include the following maps:

1. Base map at a scale of 1" = 200 ft. or 1" = 400 ft. showing two foot contours if possible and current property boundaries.

2. A soils map identifying soil suitability for urban development and location of wetlands.

3. Current zoning on the area as well as in adjacent areas. Also describe the general setting and surrounding land use.

Data should be collected in teams. Soil inventories are available for most counties; they have to be enlarged to the proper scale. You will also need to get a plat map for the area and wetland information. Data should be ready within two weeks of when you have an assigned site. Work will be in teams only for data gathering. The remaining works should be done individually.


Develop a set of goals for your design. What are you trying to accomplish in this area? Also develop several alternative themes representing different approaches to the design. Be specific. Include your goals and alternatives and how you dealt with them in the written report. Explain why you did what you did.


Develop several alternative designs for your neighborhood following different goals, patterns, or concepts. Develop these quickly as sketch plans (freehand) and allow your design to evolve to balance different elements. Do this early to avoid a last minute crunch and to lead to a higher quality design.


When you have completed the neighborhood design compute the percentages of the area that are devoted to the following uses: streets, public lands (schools, parks, drainage ways), residential land (by density or zoning category), commercial land, and other land uses. Also compute the estimated population of the area, the school age population, and the yield in lots/gross residential acre.

Report and Plan

Prepare a final map of your area showing streets and indicate zoning in the color code of your plan. In addition indicate the direction of flow of surface water along the streets in your design and show a possible sewer layout in the sewered area (probably as an overlay to your plan). Fold plans, etc. to fit in an 8 1/2" x 11" format.

You should explain the reasons for your design in a written report, usually five pages or more. The report should describe goals, discuss how the design developed (alternatives), discuss the final design and make recommendations. Use headings in your report.

Keep a copy of your report and final plan for yourself as you will need them for the next assignment.