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GLOSSARY OF TERMS - A through M

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The following list encompasses specialty terms, some obvious but others possibly not so much, relating to our built environment and are given a general definition as intended to be used within the Geosthetics Blog.  Words within the definition that are CAPITALIZED AND UNDERLINED are terms defined elsewhere in the Glossary.

ACCESS WAY:
  A transportation route, either dedicated to a GOVERNMENT entity for PUBLIC use or provided as a private EASEMENT among multiple LOT owners, which is used to access multiple LOTS.

ACTIVE RECREATION:
  Non-work activities that have one of the following characteristics:
  • Individual or group physical activity that requires significant exertion, such as exercise, biking, rollerblading, or skateboarding
  • Physical activity with structured rules, such as individual or groups sports
  • Amusements that involve active participation, such as games or amusement rides
AGRICULTURAL (LAND USE):  A category of LAND USE for growing crops, including food crops such as grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, as well as non-food crops such as cotton and tobacco.  Also included are grazing lands for cattle, sheep and horses, along with lands devoted to raising swine, foul, fish, and other food animals.

AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY:
  A VILLAGE, TOWN, or CITY whose primary economy is based and dependent upon the support of the surrounding AGRICULTURAL area.

AIRPORT COMMUNITY:
  A primarily RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION that is built on the grounds of or adjacent to a general aviation airport, in which many of the homes have their own airplane hangar on their LOT with direct access to taxiways that connect with the airport's runways.

ALLEY:
  A narrow ACCESS WAY, typically unnamed, that is used as a service route for deliveries and trash removal for multiple LOTS.

ARTERIAL STREET:
  A ROADWAY that is established as a primary THROUGH ROUTE within a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY.  An arterial is often wider than LOCAL STREETS or COLLECTOR STREETS, often with more than two lanes of traffic and with signalized intersections at select cross streets (aka "PRIMARY STREET").

ASSOCIATION:
  A private organization comprised of members who own property/properties within a defined area and who collectively own the common elements of the defined area either via a percentage-of-ownership basis or ownership of a given amount of stock that is common to the owners, and that is responsible for the management, maintenance, repair, security and supervision of the common elements.  

ATHENS CHARTER:
  An influential written summary of the fourth CIAM, published by Swiss architect LeCorbusier in 1943, describing modernist thoughts on architecture and URBAN DESIGN.  This charter would significantly influence ZONING, SUBURBAN DEVELOPMENT, and URBAN RENEWAL in 20th Century American cities.

AUTO-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT:
  Patterns of LAND USE that are based upon the use of the automobile as the primary and often sole means of personal transportation, and the truck as the primary and often sole method of shipping and delivering equipment, goods, and materials.  This pattern is denoted by:
  • LOW DENSITY DEVELOPMENT spread across large areas of land
  • The segregation of different LAND USES (RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL/RETAIL/INDUSTRIAL) into single-use districts
  • Individual uses that are located on individual LOTS, with buildings separated from each other and set back from the PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
  • RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT that is focused upon single-family homes sitting upon sizable LOTS
  • RESIDENTIAL STREET patterns that are laid out to reduce or eliminate THROUGH TRAFFIC within a neighborhood
  • Required parking for an individual use being contained within the LOT for that use
  • COMMERCIAL buildings that are typically accessed from parking lots rather than from PUBLIC SIDEWALKS
  • PEDESTRIAN access that is minimized or discouraged due to limited or no SIDEWALKS along STREETS and the separation of buildings and uses across a large area

AUTOMOBILE SUBURB:  A typically POST-WAR COMMUNITY that develops along a major ROADWAY outside of a CITY or its historic SUBURBS, with AUTO-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT as its primary characteristic.  An automobile SUBURB typically does not have direct access to COMMUTER RAIL or RAPID TRANSIT.

AVENUE (ROADWAY):  A broad ROADWAY lined on each side with trees.

BEACH COMMUNITY:
  A SUBDIVISION, TOWN, CITY, or NEIGHBORHOOD that is located adjacent to a beach on an ocean or lake, and whose economy and/or local identity is based upon the beach.

BEDROOM COMMUNITY:
  A VILLAGE, TOWN, or EXURBAN COMMUNITY that is primarily of RESIDENTIAL LAND USE and whose residents are typically employed in a larger adjacent or nearby TOWN or CITY.

BIG BOX RETAIL:
  A type of RETAIL store that is distinguished by sizable buildings carrying a very large quantity of products within a specialty niche (a "category killer") or across a broad spectrum of products (a "discount store" or "super store"), typically at lower prices than is available at smaller retailer stores.

BLOCK (CITY AND TOWN):  A group of PLATTED LOTS typically surrounded by STREETS on each side of the group.  Also, the stretch of a STREET between two cross STREETS, or if a CUL-DE-SAC or DEAD-END STREET, the stretch of STREET from the single cross STREET to the opposite end of the STREET (STREET-BLOCK).

BLOCK (REGIONAL SURVEYS):
  A large, named and/or numbered area of land with defined boundaries, and that is surveyed and subdivided into SECTIONS or other large PARCELS of land for the purpose of TRACT identification and REGIONAL land sales.  Blocks can include the British, French, or Spanish lands encompassing such areas as settlement colonies, land grants, parishes, plantations, missions, pueblos, ranchos and other grants established via royal decree or colonial authorities during the Colonial Era along with their subsequent large-scale subdivisions.  Also included are lands identified by the American Congress to compensate soldiers and militias of the American Revolution or to pay off the Revolutionary debt, lands given to railroad companies by the Federal Government or the states for the purposes of surveying unsettled lands and building rail lines, and other unsettled lands given by governments to schools, institutions, benefactors, and other assorted groups.

BOULEVARD (ROADWAY):  A broad ROADWAY with a landscaped MEDIAN running down the center of the road.

BRIDGE:
  A structure of a ROADWAY or RAILROAD that spans a waterway.

BROWN-FIELD DEVELOPMENT:
  A property or groups of properties, often formerly INDUSTRIAL, that are redeveloped for new uses.

BUFFER:
  An area of land that is set aside from DEVELOPMENT to act as a visual and environmental separation between differing LAND USES or for the purpose of isolating noise-generating uses from the surrounding area.

BUILT ENVIRONMENT: 
All buildings, STREETS, transportation systems, UTILITIES, and PUBLIC SPACES within a VILLAGE, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA, or METROPOLITAN GROUP.

BURNHAM PLAN:
  An influential document outlining concepts for the redevelopment and growth of Chicago, Illinois and its surrounding REGION, and a landmark design representing the best ideas of the City Beautiful Movement.  The plan was initiated by both the Merchants Club and the Commercial Club of Chicago, developed by architects Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett, and published in 1909.

CAMPUS: 
A large PARCEL of land under single ownership, typically with no or minimal THROUGH STREETS, with multiple buildings spread across landscaped grounds.

CIAM:
  The French acronym for the "International Congresses of Modern Architecture", a European organization of early modernist architects founded in 1928.  This group was influential in the establishment of POST-WAR architecture and URBAN PLANNING principals, some of which was documented in the ATHENS CHARTER.

CITY: 
A very large COMMUNITY that is the home to sizable and typically varied groups of people, with strong ECONOMIC INFLUENCE and SOCIAL INFLUENCE over a large REGION of a STATE, multiple STATES, a nation or multiple nations.

CITY BEAUTIFUL MOVEMENT:  An URBAN aesthetic and social movement of the late 1800's/early 1900's by which architects and planners attempted to recreate and extend portions of cities in a grand, formal fashion in order to both beautify the city and to evoke positive social advancement of its citizens.  Design elements of the movement typically utilized an overlay of formal elements upon other existing forms, such as the grid form, creating dynamic landscaped boulevards that connect CIVIC BUILDINGS, grand PUBLIC PLAZAS surrounded by formal CIVIC BUILDINGS (CIVIC CENTER), and both formal and naturalist PARKS within and on the edges of cities.

CIVIC BUILDING(S): 
A building or group of buildings used for PUBLIC events and/or to house PUBLIC agencies and institutions.

CIVIC CENTER:
  A group of CIVIC BUILDINGS in close proximity to each other, which are often located within a SUPERBLOCK, along a PUBLIC MALL, or around a PUBLIC PLAZA, and often of similar design and/or scale.

CODE (GOVERNMENT):
  An individual or group of published requirements established by a GOVERNMENT authority relating to how DEVELOPMENT is to occur or how buildings are to be built.

COLLECTOR STREET: 
A PUBLIC ROADWAY that connects multiple LOCAL STREETS with ARTERIAL STREETS.  A collector STREET often acts as the local THROUGH STREET in a NEIGHBORHOOD.

COMMERCIAL (LAND USE):
  A category of LAND USE classification devoted primarily to RETAIL and GENERAL BUSINESS uses.

COMMERCIAL CORRIDOR: 
A ROADWAY and adjacent BLOCKS that are dominated by RETAIL, OFFICE, and GENERAL BUSINESS uses.

COMMERCIAL DISTRICT:
  A sizable area of a NEIGHBORHOOD, VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY, encompassing many BLOCKS or LOTS, and that is dominated by RETAIL, OFFICE, and GENERAL BUSINESS uses.

COMMERCIAL STREET:
  A STREET lined with COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT.

COMMON (PUBLIC SPACE):
  A landscaped PARK that was set aside as OPEN SPACE and pasturage by a COMMUNITY at its SETTLEMENT or in its early history (aka "GREEN"), typically found in communities of the Northeastern STATES.

COMMUNITY:
  A group of individuals and families and their associated DEVELOPMENTS and institutions, living in close proximity within a definable geographic area, with that area given a common name for the purpose of identification.

COMMUTER:
  Relating to travel to or from employment.

COMMUTER ORBIT: 
The REGIONAL area surrounding a sizable TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY or METROPOLITAN AREA in which a significant portion of the adult population travel to the predominant DEVELOPED AREA of that TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, or METROPOLITAN AREA for their primary employment.

COMMUTER RAIL/RAILROAD: 
A REGIONAL passenger rail system, with passenger stations located several miles apart at numerous COMMUNITIES and NEIGHBORHOODS.  The primary business of the railroad is the daily delivery of passengers within the outer portions of a CITY or within SUBURBS into a central CITY area in the morning for their employment purposes, and returning those passengers to their COMMUNITIES and NEIGHBORHOODS in the evening.  Early commuter rail systems developed as part of private RAILROAD systems.  Today, COMMUTER RAIL systems tend to be PUBLIC entities, supported by both passenger fairs and by taxes across the REGION served by the commuter rail system.

COMMUTER SUBURB:
  A primarily RESIDENTIAL TOWN or primarily RESIDENTIAL portion of the developed area of a COUNTY, with a significant portion of its residents traveling significant distances to a DEVELOPED AREA, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, or METROPOLITAN AREA within its REGION for their primary employment.

COMPLEX:
  A large group of interconnected buildings, or a group of buildings in close proximity under single ownership and/or management.

CONTEMPORARY (DEVELOPMENT): 
A pattern of DEVELOPMENT that is typical of the current era.

CONTIGUOUS COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT:
  A PEDESTRIAN-oriented pattern of DEVELOPMENT in which COMMERCIAL buildings are built contiguously next to each other with their entrances at the PUBLIC SIDEWALK (CONTIGUOUS STREET FRONT), with the building group typically extending for the full length of and along each side of a STREET-BLOCK, and typically continuing for multiple BLOCKS along a STREET or across a group of BLOCKS.

CONTIGUOUS STREET FRONT:
  A portion of a STREET RIGHT-OF-WAY along which COMMERCIAL or RESIDENTIAL buildings are built contiguously next to each other with their entrances at the PUBLIC SIDEWALK.

CONTROLLED-ACCESS HIGHWAY:
  A typically DIVIDED HIGHWAY, though occasionally also an undivided HIGHWAY, for which all crossing roadways are separated above or below the HIGHWAY via OVERPASSES, UNDERPASSES or VIADUCTS, with all access via INTERCHANGES at select locations.

CONVENTION CENTER:
  A large building or groups of buildings under single ownership and management designed and operated for the staging of large-scale events, including product shows, conferences, art displays, and PUBLIC events.

COUNTY:
  The primary land and government subdivision of a STATE and within which a local government operates under STATE charter.  The state of Louisiana utilizes the term "Parish" in lieu of "County".  Alaska's primary subdivision is the "Borough"; many of Alaska's boroughs do not have a government structure due to their sparse population, but are used for geographic definition.

COURTHOUSE SQUARE:  A PUBLIC SPACE set aside in an initial TOWN PLAT that is utilized for the location of a prominent courthouse building, often surrounded by landscaping.

CUL-DE-SAC:
  A ROADWAY or portion of a ROADWAY with one of the following characteristics:
  • A STREET that has a single point of access from another STREET, and that has at its opposite end a round or rectangular area of pavement wider than the ROADWAY that allows for a driver to reverse direction with continuous movement without having to stop the vehicle
  • The round or rectangular pavement at the end of a ROADWAY that is wider than the ROADWAY allowing for a driver to reverse direction with continuous movement without having to stop the vehicle
  • A rounded or rectangular paved area that bulges away from a ROADWAY at a right-angle or dog-leg turn of a STREET, allowing for access to fan-shaped LOTS at the turn
  • A rounded or rectangular paved area that bulges away from the ROADWAY at an intermediate location within a STREET-BLOCK, allowing for access to fan-shaped LOTS within the block

DEAD-END STREET: 
A STREET that has a single point of access from another STREET, and that stops at the opposite end such that a vehicle must stop and back-up in order to change direction.  In some instances, a short paved area might extend at a right angle on one or both sides of a dead end (an "EL" or "TEE") to allow for a vehicle to turn into the paved area, then back up to then reverse direction.

DENSITY:
  The amount of DEVELOPMENT within a given area.  Density can be measured in a number of ways, including number of RESIDENTIAL units per acre, average building area per LOT, or number of residents per acre.  Density can be any quantity of measure, from extremely low (such as an area of RURAL desert) to extremely high (such as densities found in large older cities, such as found in the borough of Manhattan in New York City).

DEVELOPED AREA:  The cumulative BUILT ENVIRONMENT of a NEIGHBORHOOD, VILLAGE, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA, or METROPOLITAN GROUP.

DEVELOPMENT:
  The modification of an environment categorized by one or more of the following:
  • The conversion of NATURAL AREAS into AGRICULTURAL or non-AGRICULTURAL uses
  • The conversion of AGRICULTURAL land into non-AGRICULTURAL uses.
  • The proposed or existing BUILT ENVIRONMENT of a piece of property, such as buildings, drives, parking areas, water retention ponds, landscaping, UTILITIES, etc.
  • The cumulative BUILT ENVIRONMENT of a given area, existing or proposed
  • The patterns of the BUILT ENVIRONMENT
  • The proposed or expected patterns of the future BUILT ENVIRONMENT 
DEVELOPMENT TRACT:  A piece of property that is to be reworked for the purpose of SUBDIVISION and sale of LOTS, or for the construction of a specific building or group of buildings.

DIAGONAL AVENUE/ BOULEVARD/STREET:
  A PUBLIC ROADWAY that runs at an angle to the predominant STREET pattern.

DIRECTIONAL RAMP: 
A ROADWAY that is part of an INTERCHANGE and on which traffic flows in one direction allowing for connection between two ROADWAYS and allowing for deceleration of speed when exiting and acceleration when entering EXPRESSWAY or FREEWAY traffic.

DISTRIBUTION CENTER: 
A building or group of buildings to which manufactured products are brought for short-term or long-term storage, then shipped to retailers and/or end users within a given REGION.

DIVIDED HIGHWAY:
  A PRIMARY ROADWAY in which opposing traffic is separated by a raised paved MEDIAN or a wide unpaved MEDIAN strip.

DOWNTOWN:
  The historic COMMERCIAL area of a VILLAGE, TOWN or CITY, today typically used to denote the central COMMERCIAL area as it was located at the end of World War II.

EASEMENT: 
A designated RIGHT-OF-WAY within a privately-owned or publicly-owned LOT, multiple LOTS, or a TRACT of land that allows for use by non-owners of the property/properties to access adjacent property or properties, or that allows a PUBLIC or private utility to utilize a designated portion of the property/properties for the purpose of installing and maintaining their UTILITIES.

ECONOMIC INFLUENCE:
  The cumulative ability of the businesses, residents, and institutions of a VILLAGE, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA, METROPOLITAN GROUP, or REGION to have an economic impact on the citizens within the local area, REGION, other REGIONS, STATE, nation, or nations.

ECONOMIC ORBIT:
  The cumulative area in which a VILLAGE, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, METROPOLITAN AREA, or METROPOLITAN GROUP has an ECONOMIC INFLUENCE.

ELEVATED FREEWAY:  A FREEWAY that is raised above grade via a superstructure for a significant distance in order to run above roadways, railways, and/or special land forms.

ELEVATED RAIL:  A RAILROAD that runs above surrounding grade level for a significant distance to allow for the free flow of vehicular and PEDESTRIAN traffic below it.  The RAILROAD is typically raised via a steel and/or concrete structure, or on a raised embankment with intermediate steel and/or concrete structures above the cross streets.

ESTATE DEVELOPMENT:
  A RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION in which LOTS are of significantly larger size than what is found in typical single-family SUBDIVISIONS within a region, but that are smaller than typical small farms of the region, and whose residents work primarily in non-AGRICULTURAL employment.

ESTATE LOT:
  A RESIDENTIAL LOT that is of significantly larger size than what is found in typical single-family SUBDIVISIONS within a region, but are smaller than typical small farms of the region.

EXPRESSWAY:
  A DIVIDED HIGHWAY or undivided HIGHWAY in which some or most crossing roadways are separated above or below the HIGHWAY, with INTERCHANGES at select locations.

EXURBAN COMMUNITY: 
A small RURAL SUBDIVISION or RURAL COMMUNITY that is separated from the contiguous DEVELOPED AREA of a large TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, or METROPOLITAN AREA, but that is within the COMMUTER ORBIT and ECONOMIC ORBIT of the large TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, or METROPOLITAN AREA.

FOREST PRESERVE/RESERVE:
  A sizable area of woodlands within an URBAN or METROPOLITAN AREA that is dedicated to or purchased by a PUBLIC agency for perpetuity and the benefit of the PUBLIC for the purpose of maintaining natural features, OPEN SPACE, and PUBLIC RECREATION AREAS.

FREEWAY:  A CONTROLLED-ACCESS HIGHWAY for which there is no payment required for a vehicle to access or use.

FRONT/FRONTAGE: 
The portion of a LOT and/or building that faces or abuts the PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY of a ROADWAY, and which is intended as the formal entrance to or the address of the property and/or building.

FRONT STREET:
  A COMMERCIAL STREET within a VILLAGE, TOWN or CITY that runs parallel to and alongside a body of water, river, canal, or RAILROAD, and that initially acted as the primary COMMERCIAL focus for the COMMUNITY.

FRONTAGE ROAD:
  A ROADWAY that parallels and runs adjacent to an EXPRESSWAY , FREEWAY, or TOLLWAY/TURNPIKE.

GATED COMMUNITY:
  A primarily RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION, VILLAGE, or TOWN in which access to its roadways and buildings is controlled via security gates or control points, with access limited to the community's citizens and approved visitors.Access occurs at select locations which are controlled by security personnel or keyed or electronic access controls.

GENERAL BUSINESS (LAND USE): 
A category of LAND USE classification devoted primarily to non-RETAIL and non-INDUSTRIAL business uses.  Such uses might include business-to-business SERVICES, small-scale and/or large-scale OFFICE uses, and other SERVICE BUSINESSES.

GOLF COMMUNITY: 
A RESIDENTIAL PLANNED COMMUNITY, SUBDIVISION, VILLAGE, or TOWN that is built around or within a single golf course or multiple golf courses, with a sizable quantity of homes having LOTS that face upon the golf course fairways, and in which membership to the golf club is typically provided to a resident and HOUSEHOLD upon their purchase of a home within the COMMUNITY.

GOVERNMENT:
  The political institutions and agencies of a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, TOWNSHIP, COUNTY, STATE or nation.

GOVERNMENTAL:  Relating to a GOVERNMENT.

GREEN (PUBLIC SPACE):
  A landscaped PARK that was set aside as OPEN SPACE and pasturage by a COMMUNITY at its SETTLEMENT or in its early history (aka "COMMON"), typically found in communities of the Northeastern STATES.

GREENBELT:
  A sizable area of PUBLIC lands within or around an URBAN AREA that has been set aside land restricted from DEVELOPMENT for the purposes of the preservation of OPEN SPACE and for PUBLIC RECREATION , and/or as a BUFFER between differing LAND USES.A greenbelt, despite its color reference, can consist of wooded and non-wooded areas, including desert or semi-arid areas.

GREEN-FIELD DEVELOPMENT:  The modification of NATURAL or AGRICULTURAL land for the purpose of SUBDIVISION and sale of LOTS, or for the construction of specific buildings.

HABITATION: 
The purchasing or HOMESTEADING of land for the purpose of creating a livelihood.

HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT: 
Buildings within a given area that generally contain one or more of the following characteristics:
  •  Are built close together or contiguously, allowing for PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOODS
  • Are of a size significantly larger than their LOT size
  • Are tall compared to buildings in the surrounding areas 
HIGH-RISE DEVELOPMENT:  A building or groups of buildings that are significantly tall and contain a large number of floors, typically more than seven floors (seven stories being the typical maximum height that can be reached by fire rescue ladders, and the typical maximum height that hydraulic elevators can service).

HIGHWAY:
  A COUNTY, REGIONAL, STATE, or multi-STATE numbered and/or named ROADWAY that runs within its own RIGHT-OF-WAY and that connects multiple VILLAGES, TOWNS, or CITIES or other destinations such as airports, water ports, or REGIONAL, STATE, or national forests, parks and beaches.

HISTORIC SUBURANIZATION: 
The DEVELOPMENT of SUBDIVISIONS and TOWNS around a CITY prior to World War II, and that were often formed along COMMUTER RAILROADS or STREETCAR lines in larger TOWNS, CITIES, and METROPOLITAN AREAS.

HOMESTEADING:
  The claiming and settlement of lands under the Homestead Act of 1862, by which settlers could obtain by registration without payment the western PUBLIC lands typically identified by way of the TOWNSHIP AND RANGE SURVEY as long as the settlers established a home and established a working farm within a given time frame.

HOUSEHOLD: 
The person or persons who live within a single housing unit.

HOUSING COMPLEX:
  A group of RESIDENTIAL buildings on a single piece of property or across multiple adjacent properties and/or BLOCKS, and which are under single ownership or management, built either privately or by a PUBLIC agency.

INCORPORATED (CITY/TOWN):  A VILLAGE, TOWN, or CITY that has a municipal GOVERNMENT formed under STATE charter, and that has a defined boundary for the purposes of property taxation, application of municipal ordinances and laws, and for the delivery of municipal SERVICES.

INDUSTRIAL (LAND USE):
  A category of LAND USE classification devoted primarily to heavy, moderate, or light manufacturing activities, warehousing and distribution SERVICES, and other related business activities.

 INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT:  An area within a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY in which INDUSTRIAL LAND USES are prominent.

INDUSTRIAL PARK:
  A sizable property that has been ZONED and SUBDIVIDED for the purposes of INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT, and that typically has planning, architectural, and management controls beyond what is typically required by municipal authorities.

INFILL DEVELOPMENT:  Property or properties and/or a building or buildings within an established area that is/are refurbished, rebuilt, or re-purposed for new uses.

INFRASTRUCTURE:  The cumulative common transportation and utility structures and systems of a COMMUNITY, SUBDIVISION, VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA, STATE, or nation.

INSTITUTIONAL (LAND USE):  A category of LAND USE classification devoted to PUBLIC or educational facilities, PUBLIC agencies, philanthropic or not-for-profit organizations, or medical facilities, or religious institutions.

INTERCHANGE:
  The movement of traffic via DIRECTIONAL RAMPS between an EXPRESSWAY or FREEWAY and a STREET and/or other EXPRESSWAY or FREEWAY, with all cross traffic separated vertically via OVERPASSES, UNDERPASSES, and/or VIADUCTS.

LAKE COMMUNITY:
  A SUBDIVISION, VILLAGE or TOWN that is built upon or around a lake, and that is noted for its water-oriented lifestyle, such as fishing, boating, and swimming.

LAND SUBDIVISION:
The division of a TRACT of land under single ownership into multiple LOTS to be sold to others, along with the establishment of EASEMENTS for UTILITIES and STREETS to be dedicated to a local GOVERNMENT entity or ASSOCIATION for the purpose of accessing the LOTS.

LAND USE: 
The specific category of allowed DEVELOPMENT assigned to a specific TRACT of land or within a defined area of a community by a local GOVERNMENT, categorized into the larger uses of AGRICULTURAL, COMMERCIAL (business), INDUSTRIAL, INSTITUTIONAL, RECREATION, RESIDENTIAL and/or RETAIL.

LEAP-FROG DEVELOPMENT:  The non-uniform extension of non-AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT around a VILLAGE, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, or within a COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA, or METROPOLITAN GROUP, characterized by the patchwork SUBDIVISION of isolated TRACTS over a given RURAL or semi-RURAL area.

LIFESTYLE CENTER: 
A large-scale retail COMPLEX of the MILLENNIAL Era characterized by individually-accessed stores, restaurants, and occasionally movie theaters within architecturally-enhanced and thematically-designed buildings along with landscaped exterior walkways, with a mixture of well-known and different-sized retailers that target upper-middle-class or high-end customers.  Such a center often has one large PLAZA or a series of landscaped PLAZAS that function as PUBLIC gathering spaces for passive activities and various events.

LIGHT INDUSTRY: 
A category of manufacturing which is of minimal immediate environmental impact to the surrounding area (such as noise and air pollution).

LIGHT RAIL:
  PUBLIC transportation utilizing rail cars that run on tracks that are located primarily at grade, either within a ROADWAY or along a separate dedicated RIGHT-OF-WAY.

LOCAL STREET:
  A non-primary ROADWAY within a NEIGHBORHOOD, or a non-primary ROADWAY that runs off of a primary ROADWAY to access local LOTS, and that is characterized by often narrower width and lower speeds than primary ROADWAYS, and with traffic controls and/or layouts to minimize or remove THROUGH TRAFFIC within a neighborhood.

LOOP (HIGHWAY):
  A highway connecting two or multiple highways emanating from a VILLAGE, TOWN or CITY, and that generally creates an arcing or looping path around the VILLAGE, TOWN or CITY.  

LOOP STREET:  A ROADWAY within a neighborhood that has one of the following characteristics:
  • A STREET that runs roughly perpendicularly from a cross STREET, then turns multiple times or in a single arc to return to the initial cross STREET creating a second intersection (aka "horseshoe street")
  • A STREET that runs roughly perpendicularly from a cross STREET, then turns multiple times or in a single arc to return to the initial run, creating an intermediate intersection between the initial cross STREET and the initial turn (aka "lasso street")
  • A STREET that runs roughly perpendicularly from a cross STREET, then turns direction one or multiple times or via a single arc to intersect with a second cross STREET that runs in a different direction from the initial cross STREET (aka "crescent street")
  • A COLLECTOR STREET within a neighborhood that runs roughly perpendicularly from an ARTERIAL STREET, then turns multiple times or in a single arc to return to the initial cross ARTERIAL STREET creating a second intersection, or a COLLECTOR STREET that runs roughly perpendicularly from an ARTERIAL STREET, then turns direction one or multiple times or via a single arc to intersect with a second ARTERIAL STREET that runs in a different direction from the initial cross STREET
LOT:  A defined piece of property within a larger SUBDIVISION of land typically identified by an assigned number and/or letter, accessed by a STREET or HIGHWAY, and upon which is intended to be built or placed a building or multiple buildings.

LOW DENSITY DEVELOPMENT:
  Buildings on a TRACT of land or within a given area that generally contain one or more of the following characteristics:
  • Are spaced apart, such that PEDESTRIAN travel is discouraged
  • Are of a size significantly smaller than their LOT size
  • Are of a low number of floors, typically one or two stories, and usually no more than three stories
  •  Are segregated by different LAND USES that are located apart at such distances that the automobile is the only viable means of access. 
LOW-RISE DEVELOPMENT:  A building or group of buildings with a low number of floors, typically one or two stories, and usually no more than three stories.

MALL (PUBLIC SPACE): 
A landscaped area, typically rectangular and/or linear in shape, that runs uninterrupted or that is composed of a series of landscaped spaces across several BLOCKS, and that is lined with buildings that open onto the mall on each side.  A mall can be either privately or publicly owned.

MALL (SHOPPING CENTER):
  A large-scale shopping COMPLEX of the Post World War II Era characterized by groups of RETAIL stores that are oriented toward and accessed by a defined linear or rectangular common space that is either open-air and landscaped or fully-enclosed, and that is composed of one or multiple wings with each wing being anchored at one or both ends by large-scale department stores or specialized retailers.

MAP:
  A graphic representation of a geographical area that is drawn to a specific scale representing actual distances.

MEDIAN:
  A physical division within a ROADWAY between traffic that typically flows in opposite directions.

MEDICAL CENTER:
  A group of buildings dedicated to health care SERVICES.

MEGABUILDING:
  An extremely large low-rise building of the Post World War II Era designed to house all spaces and facilities that would typically be found within multiple buildings.  Megabuildings can be found in use by institutions such as a college or university in lieu of a traditional campus, by corporations for their headquarters, operations and/or research facilities, or for large-scale complex manufacturing, with all such spaces and facilities being accessed from common corridors.  Enclosed shopping malls, convention centers, and medical centers can also be encompassed within this category due to their scale and complexity of uses.

METROPOLITAN AREA: 
A large geographic area typically defined by one COUNTY or multiple adjacent COUNTIES, that encompasses the continuous BUILT ENVIRONMENT of a primary CITY or adjacent primary CITIES, their SUBURBS, RURAL SUBDIVISIONS and surrounding VILLAGES and TOWNS along with the surrounding AGRICULTURAL and RURAL areas that are immediately adjacent to or between the COMMUNITIES that are within the Metropolitan Area boundaries, and that encompasses the area of primary ECONOMIC INFLUENCE of the primary CITY or CITIES and associated SUBURBS.

METROPOLITAN GROUP:
  A large geographic area that encompasses the continuous and mostly uninterrupted BUILT ENVIRONMENTS of multiple adjacent METROPOLITAN AREAS (aka "megalopolis").

MID-RISE DEVELOPMENT:
  A building or group of buildings with a moderate number of floors, typically four to seven stories (seven stories being the typical maximum height that can be reached by fire rescue ladders, and the typical maximum height that hydraulic elevators can service).

MILLENNIAL: 
Relating to the time period spanning the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century, generally encompassing the decade of the 1990's and the first decade of the 21st Century (the 00's or "aughts").

MIXED-DENSITY DEVELOPMENT:
  Buildings on a TRACT of land or within a given area that contain a variety of densities.

MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT: 
A TRACT of land and/or a building that is planned for or houses multiple and varying uses.

MODERATE DENSITY DEVELOPMENT: 
A property or area which contains buildings of sizes and densities larger and denser than LOW DENSITY DEVELOPMENTS, but smaller and less dense than HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT.  Such a DEVELOPMENT might contain a significant amount of MID-RISE DEVELOPMENT mixed with closely-spaced low-rise housing such as townhouses or apartment buildings.

MODERN SUBURBANIZATION:  The SUBDIVISIONS and SUBURBAN TOWNS built after World War II within and around PRE-WAR TOWNS or CITIES or within the associated COUNTY or surrounding COUNTIES, typically with SUBURBAN POST-WAR DEVELOPMENT patterns and predominantly located along HIGHWAYS and major roads.

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