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GLOSSARY OF TERMS - N through Z

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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.

NATURAL AREA:  A sizable area of land without AGRICULTURAL or URBAN DEVELOPMENT, and that remains mostly untouched by day-to-day human activities.

NATURE PRESERVE/RESERVE:
  A NATURAL AREA within or adjacent to an URBAN AREA that has been purchased by a PUBLIC entity for perpetuity and the benefit of the PUBLIC, has been set aside for the preservation of OPEN SPACE, and that is limited in its PUBLIC access or use in order to maintain its natural STATE.

NEIGHBORHOOD:
  A RESIDENTIAL or other area within a TOWN, CITY or COUNTY that has one or more of the following characteristics:
  • A specific SOCIAL IDENTITY that is commonly held amongst residents within a defined area, and that is commonly known by the overall residents of the TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY in which it is located
  • A specific aesthetic and/or use identity within a defined area that is commonly known by residents of a TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY
  • A commonly-used name for a defined area within a TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY.
  • An area within an identifiable boundary within a TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY
  • A specific geographic location and its surrounding area within a TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL DISTRICT: 
An area within a NEIGHBORHOOD or adjacent to multiple NEIGHBORHOODS that has a modest or sizable number of stores and businesses that primarily serve the residents of the NEIGHBORHOOD or adjacent NEIGHBORHOODS.

NEIGHBORHOOD PARK:
  A publicly-owned or ASSOCIATION-controlled landscaped property set aside for the purpose of PASSIVE RECREATION and/or ACTIVE RECREATION.

NEW URBANISM:
  An URBAN DESIGN/URBAN PLANNING philosophy and design practice of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries that utilizes PRE-WAR TOWN and CITY form, allowing for PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOODS and COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS, MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT, a variety of housing types, and TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT to decrease automobile dependence and to reduce auto traffic congestion.

NEW URBANIST DEVELOPMENT:
  A GREEN-FIELD DEVELOPMENT, BROWN-FIELD DEVELOPMENT, or INFILL DEVELOPMENT that utilizes NEW URBANISM design.

OFFICE (GENERAL): 
A term used for one or more of the following:
  • A building or a series of rooms within a building devoted to the administrative tasks of a business
  • A building housing businesses that are not involved in retail, warehousing and distribution, or manufacturing uses
  • A business whose workers perform their work primarily at desks
OFFICE (LAND USE):  A land use category devoted primarily to OFFICE use.

OFFICE DISTRICT: 
An area of a TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY that is dominated by OFFICE buildings and GENERAL BUSINESS uses.

OFFICE PARK:
  A sizable property that has been ZONED and subdivided for OFFICE buildings and that typically has planning, architectural, and management controls beyond what is typically required by municipal authorities.

OPEN SPACE:
  A TRACT of land or area dedicated to or purchased by a PUBLIC agency or ASSOCIATION for perpetuity and the benefit of the PUBLIC or ASSOCIATION residents, in which DEVELOPMENT is not allowed other than for recreational purposes.

OVERPASS:
  A ROADWAY, DIRECTIONAL RAMP, or RAILROAD that rises above and across another ROADWAY, DIRECTIONAL RAMP, or RAILROAD.

PARCEL:
  A TRACT of land.

PARK: 
A TRACT of land dedicated to or purchased by a PUBLIC agency or ASSOCIATION for perpetuity and the benefit of the PUBLIC or ASSOCIATION residents and that is landscaped and designed for the purposes of PASSIVE RECREATION and/or ACTIVE RECREATION.

PARKWAY (ROADWAY): 
A landscaped ROADWAY typically running through parkland or a NATURE PRESERVE, or with significantly wide RIGHT-OF-WAY as to allow for a naturalistic landscape to either side of the ROADWAY, intended as an aesthetically pleasing travel route.

PARKWAY (RIGHT-OF-WAY):
  The strip or strips of land within a RIGHT-OF-WAY that lie between the edge of a ROADWAY and the SIDEWALK that runs parallel to the ROADWAY, or between the ROADWAY and the edge of the RIGHT-OF-WAY.This strip of land is often landscaped with grass and other decorative shrubs and plants, and often has trees that line the ROADWAY.

PASSIVE RECREATION:
  Non-work activities that involve minimal physical effort or structured rules, such as sitting, strolling, picnicking, fishing, or watching performances or sport activities.

PEDESTRIAN:
  Relating to walking by an individual or individuals.  Also, a method of transportation that utilizes walking.  

PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY: 
The BUILT ENVIRONMENT that encourages PEDESTRIAN travel within a RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD, from a RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD to a nearby NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL area or RECREATION AREA, along COMMERCIAL CORRIDORS, and within COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS.

PEDESTRIAN MALL:
  A landscaped walkway, typically on a CAMPUS or connecting two or more STREETS within a COMMERCIAL area.  Also, a COMMERCIAL STREET or group of adjacent COMMERCIAL STREETS that have been converted to a PEDESTRIAN STREET.

PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT: 
A group of buildings within a TRACT of land or across multiple BLOCKS that is designed to be PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY.

PEDESTRIAN PATH/PATHWAY:
  A walkway that runs through a CAMPUS, PARK, FOREST PRESERVE, NATURE RESERVE, NATURAL AREA, or OPEN SPACE.  Also, a SIDEWALK.

PEDESTRIAN STREET: 
A STREET in which VEHICLE traffic is not allowed or is restricted and whose RIGHT-OF-WAY is landscaped to encourage walking.

PIECEMEAL DEVELOPMENT: 
The SUBDIVISION of land and construction of buildings over time within a given area that occurs without prior overall planning.  Also, development within an area or region in which TRACTS of land and their uses are developed by individual owners with little regard to adjacent DEVELOPMENTS and uses.

PLANNED COMMUNITY:
  A large SUBDIVISION, VILLAGE, or TOWN in which, prior to its DEVELOPMENT, sizable TRACTS of land were consolidated under single ownership, and a comprehensive plan was established indicating all proposed LAND USES, all STREETS, the SUBDIVISION of LOTS, OPEN SPACES to be preserved, and the location of RECREATION and PUBLIC FACILITIES, as well as documenting any architectural and other aesthetic controls for the COMMUNITY.

PLAT: 
A legal document consisting of a scaled drawing showing the SUBDIVISION of a TRACT or PARCEL of land, indicating boundary lines, STREETS, ALLEYS, EASEMENTS, and LOTS, with associated lengths and directional bearings of same, with each STREET identified by name, each LOT and/or BLOCK identified by a sequential number or letter, and including a legal description for the entire TRACT as well as a statement of dedication for all PUBLIC or ASSOCIATION RIGHTS-OR-WAY and EASEMENTS.

PLATTED:
  The drawing of a PLAT.  Also, the formal establishment of a PLAT through its submittal to and approval by a governing authority.

PLAZA (PUBLIC SPACE):
  An outdoor OPEN SPACE which, in CONTEMPORARY America, is typically a mostly paved space in front of or between buildings, with integrated landscaping, and can be privately or publicly owned.  In Early-American Spanish SETTLEMENTS, a PLAZA is the pre-planned central COMMON around which a COMMUNITY is built.

POST-WAR:
  The era following the end of World War II.

POST-WAR DEVELOPMENT: 
The predominant form of SUBURBAN and URBAN RENEWAL DEVELOPMENT typical of the 20th Century after the end of World War II and into the early 21st Century, which primarily consists of AUTO-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT in SUBURBAN areas, and SUPER BLOCK DEVELOPMENT in URBAN RENEWAL areas.

PRE-WAR:
  The era prior to the end of World War II.

PRE-WAR DEVELOPMENT:
  The predominant form of DEVELOPMENT within VILLAGES, TOWNS and CITIES prior to the end of World War II, which primarily consisted of PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT.

PRIMARY ECONOMIC ORBIT:
  The geographic area that is directly affected by the ECONOMIC INFLUENCE and SOCIAL INFLUENCE of a VILLAGE, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, or METROPOLITAN AREA.  The limits can be defined as that within which a significant percentage of residents of the outlying areas of the orbit travel daily or weekly to the VILLAGE, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, or METROPOLITAN AREA for employment, entertainment, SERVICES, or shopping.

PRIMARY ROADWAY/STREET:
  A ROADWAY that is a significant THROUGH ROUTE within a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, or the developed portion of a COUNTY, and often also acts as a COMMERCIAL STREET or COMMERCIAL CORRIDOR (aka "ARTERIAL STREET").

PUBLIC:
  The citizens of a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, STATE, or nation.  Also, relating to or serving all citizens of a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, STATE, or nation, including all agencies, entities, and institutions of government and the associated buildings, facilities, and lands.

PUBLIC FACILITIES:
  Buildings, lands, and/or structures that are owned, used by, or operated for the benefit of the PUBLIC, but especially those common facilities that the PUBLIC can access for their own use and activities.

PUBLIC MALL (PUBLIC SPACE):
  A MALL owned by and accessible to the PUBLIC, or a privately owned MALL that has no or little restriction to PUBLIC access and use.

PUBLIC PLAZA (PUBLIC SPACE):
  A PLAZA owned by and accessible to the PUBLIC, or a privately owned PLAZA that has no or little restriction to PUBLIC access and use.

PUBLIC SPACE:
  An open area that is accessible to and utilized by the PUBLIC, typically owned by a GOVERNMENT entity, but also sometimes privately owned but accessible to the PUBLIC with no or little restriction to PUBLIC access and use, such as a PLAZA in front of an OFFICE building.

PUBLIC SQUARE:
  An outdoor PUBLIC SPACE, typically rectangular or SQUARE in shape, usually encompassing one BLOCK but can also cover multiple adjacent BLOCKS, and that is most often located in a central location within the historic COMMERCIAL DISTRICT of a VILLAGE, TOWN, or CITY (aka "SQUARE" or "TOWN SQUARE").  A public square can also be used as the location for a prominent public building, such as a courthouse, city hall, or library.

PUBLIC WAY:
  A RIGHT-OF-WAY that is owned by and accessible to the PUBLIC, or an EASEMENT that allows for public access.

RADIAL AVENUE/STREET: 
An AVENUE or STREET that runs centered upon a line emanating from an origin point of an arc or circle or the center of a rectangular PUBLIC SPACE, and typically running at a generally right angle to the tangent of crossing curved STREETS and/or as a DIAGONAL AVENUE/STREET.

RAIL SUBURB:
  A SUBURBAN VILLAGE or TOWN that developed along a COMMUTER RAIL line.

RAILROAD:
  A method of transportation by which specialized vehicles travel on rails within a dedicated RIGHT-OF-WAY.

RAPID TRANSIT:
  A rail-based TRANSIT system within a CITY and/or URBAN area, accessed at numerous stations spaced roughly one-half mile to several miles apart, and can consist of an ELEVATED RAIL system, SUBWAY system, LIGHT RAIL system, or some combination of these systems.

RECREATION (LAND USE):
  A category of LAND USE classification devoted primarily to private or PUBLIC recreation, including PARKS, sports fields, FOREST PRESERVES, NATURE RESERVES, lakes, and beaches

RECREATION (ACTIVITY):  Individual or group activities involving PASSIVE RECREATION or ACTIVE RECREATION experiences for the purpose of relaxation or enjoyment.

RECREATION AREA: 
Land and/or waterways that are set aside for the purpose of PUBLIC RECREATION, including PARKS, sports fields, FOREST PRESERVES, NATURE PRESERVES, lakes, rivers, and beaches.

REGION:
  An area of any size that has common geographical features and/or climate that can be defined by geographic features or climate, and/or that has economic, political, or cultural similarities or connections across multiple VILLAGES, TOWNS, CITIES, COUNTIES, METROPOLITAN AREAS, and/or STATES.

REGIONAL:
  Pertaining to the area within the boundaries of or pertaining to the characteristics of a REGION

REGIONAL AREA: 
The lands by which common geographic features, ECONOMIC INFLUENCES, and/or SOCIAL IDENTITY exist.

REGIONAL PARK: 
A large PUBLIC RECREATION AREA that is designated for and utilized by citizens of a REGION.

REGIONAL SURVEY:
  The initial SURVEY and documentation of and/or SUBDIVISION of significantly large PARCELS of land within a REGION or STATE, for the purposes of land sales and SETTLEMENT.

RESEARCH CENTER:
  A group of buildings, typically on a CAMPUS, or a sizable SUBDIVISION dedicated to housing collegiate, corporate, INSTITUTIONAL, or PUBLIC research groups.

RESIDENTIAL (LAND USE):
  A category of LAND USE classification devoted primarily to single-family houses, townhouses, and/or apartments.

RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT:
  An area of a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY dominated by RESIDENTIAL LAND USE.

RESORT COMMUNITY:
  A SUBDIVISION, VILLAGE, or TOWN whose primary economic activity is based upon vacation travel, seasonal use, amusement, and/or recreational activities.

RETAIL:
  The sale of products to customers, whose price includes all associated material, manufacturing, distribution, and overhead costs, plus profit.

RETAIL (LAND USE):
  A category of LAND USE classification devoted primarily to businesses that sell merchandise and/or personal SERVICES to the PUBLIC.

RETIREMENT COMMUNITY:
  A SUBDIVISION, VILLAGE, or TOWN that is developed for or whose economy and population are dominated by individuals who are retired.

RIGHT-OF-WAY/RIGHTS-OF-WAY:
  Property that is owned by the PUBLIC or by a private entity and that is designated for access by or the transportation of people, the transportation of goods, the installation of and access to UTILITIES, and/or for the access of LOTS or TRACTS of land.  Typically, a RIGHT-OF-WAY is a relatively narrow strip of land that runs for a significant distance, containing a ROADWAY, RAILROAD, and/or UTILITIY line that runs either above-ground or below-ground.

ROADWAY:
  A paved or un-paved transportation path within a RIGHT-OF-WAY or EASEMENT of sufficient width to allow for the use of vehicles.

RURAL (LAND USE):
  A category of LAND USE classification devoted primarily to AGRICULTURAL use and/or NATURAL AREAS.  Also, the characteristics of AGRICULTURAL and NATURAL AREAS.

RURAL (POPULATION):
  The people who live in AGRICULTURAL and NATURAL AREAS, including those who live in VILLAGES or small TOWNS within such areas.  Also, the social characteristics of people who live in rural areas.

RURAL COMMUNITY: 
A VILLAGE or small TOWN that is located within an AGRICULTURAL and/or NATURAL AREA, which is typically an AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY, and that generally does not act as a primary ECONOMIC INFLUENCE within a REGION.  Some rural communities can also have economies that are based upon localized industry, mining, or tourism.

RURAL ROAD:
  A ROADWAY, paved or unpaved, that runs within a RURAL area.

RURAL SUBDIVISION:
  A subdivision located within a predominantly agricultural or natural area, typically within the PRIMARY ECONOMIC ORBIT of a TOWN, CITY, or METROPOLITAN AREA.

SEASONAL COMMUNITY:
  A VILLAGE or TOWN whose economy and population fluctuates with the seasons related to travel to and RECREATION within its REGION.

SECONDARY ECONOMIC ORBIT:
  The geographic area that lies beyond the PRIMARY ECONOMIC ORBIT of a TOWN, CITY, or METROPOLITAN AREA, yet retains economic and social connection with the primary TOWN, CITY, or METROPOLITAN AREA.  The limits can be defined as that within which a significant percentage of residents travel weekly, monthly, several times a year, or annually to the TOWN, CITY or METROPOLITAN AREA for entertainment, SERVICES, or shopping.  A small percentage of residents might travel to the TOWN, CITY or METROPOLITAN AREA for employment.

SECTION (LAND):
  The primary subdivision of land within a REGIONAL SURVEY and/or BLOCK survey, as well as within a TOWNSHIP of the TOWNSHIP AND RANGE SURVEY.  Sections are most commonly PLATTED as a square of land one mile to each side and 640 acres in size, though rectangular and irregular boundaries and other acreage sizes are also used in some areas and for certain geographic conditions.

SECTION LINE:
  The boundary line of a SECTION of land.

SECTION LINE ROAD:
  A RIGHT-OF-WAY with ROADWAY that is centered upon or runs along a SECTION LINE.

SEGREGATION OF USES:
  The separation of LAND USE categories by type, such that only a particular category can be built and used/operated within a given area of a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY.

SENSE OF PLACE:
  The innate common emotional and visual connection of a NATURAL AREA or AGRICULTURAL area, or a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, COUNTY or their NEIGHBORHOODS or PUBLIC SPACES, based upon the aesthetic, spatial and emotional characteristics of the place, and their popularity.

SERVICE BUSINESS: 
A non-RETAIL business establishment that provides for a fee necessary, selective, and/or beneficial assistance to or maintenance of other businesses, residences, or individuals.

SERVICE STREET:
  A transportation route, typically an ALLEY, which acts primarily as a means of accessing businesses or residences for the purposes of the delivery or shipping of goods, or for trash removal, and is typically located at the rear or side of a LOT.

SERVICES (COMMERCIAL): 
The assistance or maintenance provided by a business or institution to other businesses, residences, or individuals.

SERVICES (GOVERNMENT):
  The benefits provided to citizens by governments and their employees.

SERVICES (UTILITIES):
  The products delivered by UTILITIES.

SETTLEMENT:  The initial HABITATION of a VILLAGE or REGION by a group of people.  Also, the BUILT ENVIRONMENT of a village, or the village itself.

SHOPPING CENTER: 
A building or group of buildings under single ownership and management that is subdivided into multiple tenant spaces for lease by retailers, and that typically contains customer parking on its site or adjacent to its site.

SIDEWALK:
  The typically paved PEDESTRIAN path within a RIGHT-OF-WAY that runs parallel to a ROADWAY.

SIDEWALK-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT: 
A building on a LOT built adjacent to a PUBLIC SIDEWALK and close to or adjacent to another building, or multiple buildings on a group of LOTS or across multiple BLOCKS and that are built close together or adjacent to each other with their fronts built along a PUBLIC SIDEWALK or close to a PUBLIC SIDEWALK, such that PEDESTRIANS can easily access multiple buildings.

SINGLE-FAMILY LOT:
  A LOT within a RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION in which a single home is allowed to be built for the purpose of housing an individual family or HOUSEHOLD.

SOCIAL IDENTITY:
  The cultural and/or emotional connections commonly held among a group of people.

SOCIAL INFLUENCE:
  The capacity of a VILLAGE, TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA or METROPOLITAN GROUP to imbue a sense of interconnectedness and identity amongst its residents and visitors within its local, STATE, or geographic REGION, and potentially within its nation or other nations.

SPRAWL:
  The spread of non-AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT across an extensive area within a COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA or REGION, especially that characterized by LEAP-FROG DEVELOPMENT and LOW DENSITY DEVELOPMENT.

SQUARE:
  An outdoor PUBLIC SPACE, typically rectangular or square in shape, typically encompassing one BLOCK but can also cover multiple adjacent BLOCKS, and that is most often located in a central location within the historic COMMERCIAL DISTRICT of a VILLAGE, TOWN, or CITY (aka "PUBLIC SQUARE" or "TOWN SQUARE").

STATE:
  The primary land and government unit of the United States of America, whose government operates under a publicly-ratified constitution.  Within each state are state-defined sub-units, such as COUNTIES, TOWNSHIPS, CITIES, TOWNS, and VILLAGES, with each state defining the specific units and the government services to be provided (if any) by each unit.

STREET: 
An ACCESS WAY bounded by a RIGHT-OF-WAY and typically containing a ROADWAY, often having SIDEWALKS paralleling on each side of the ROADWAY, and which provides a transportation route within a NEIGHBORHOOD or through a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, or METROPOLITAN AREA, and that is most often used as the primary access to a group of LOTS within a NEIGHBORHOOD.

STREET-BLOCK: 
The stretch of a STREET between two intersecting STREETS, or, if a CUL-DE-SAC or DEAD-END STREET, the stretch of STREET from the single intersecting STREET to the closed end of the STREET.  

STREET CAR: 
A form of TRANSIT utilizing rail-based self-propelled vehicles, whose tracks typically run at grade within a ROADWAY or dedicated RIGHT-OF-WAY.

STREET CAR COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT:
  Pre-World War II era PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY COMMERCIAL areas that developed along the routes of STREET CAR lines.  Also, CONTEMPORARY PEDESTRIAN-oriented COMMERCIAL areas that are developed along LIGHT RAIL or STREET CAR lines.

STREET CAR SUBURB:
  A pre-World War II era PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY SUBDIVISION or SUBURB that developed along a STREET CAR line.

STREET GRID:
  A system of STREETS within a given area that run in two directions, where the STREETS running in the same direction are parallel, and forming rectangular, square, or parallelogram BLOCKS.

STREET WEB (TOWN):
  The overall pattern/system of STREETS within a NEIGHBORHOOD, VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, or METROPOLITAN AREA, regardless of pattern or orientation.

STREET WEB (URBAN DESIGN):
  A pattern of STREETS within a NEIGHBORHOOD and groups of NEIGHBORHOODS that allows for easy movement of vehicles and/or pedestrians in multiple directions.  A web that is beneficial to the URBAN environment is one in which STREETS at the perimeter of one NEIGHBORHOOD integrate with STREETS of its adjoining NEIGHBORHOODS allowing for easy access between NEIGHBORHOODS, and whose STREETS and PEDESTRIAN PATHS do not utilize overly circuitous routing.

STREET HIERARCHY: 
The segregation of STREETS by anticipated traffic loads, traffic routing, and traffic types, such as by LOCAL STREETS, COLLECTOR STREETS, and ARTERIAL STREETS, or by RESIDENTIAL STREETS and COMMERCIAL STREETS.  In the POST-WAR era, segregation was typically planned by minimizing THROUGH TRAFFIC within a neighborhood by using a non-uniform and/or circuitous STREET layout, the use of CUL-DE-SACS and/or LOOP STREETS for LOCAL STREETS, collecting local traffic onto wider COLLECTOR STREETS that run through a NEIGHBORHOOD, and dispersing collector traffic onto even wider ARTERIAL STREETS which connect multiple NEIGHBORHOODS and carry TRHOUGH TRAFFIC across a TOWN, CITY, COUNTY or METROPOLITAN AREA.

STRIP CENTER:
  A linear building acting as a SHOPPING CENTER set back from a STREET, with continuous parking contained within its LOT or TRACT in front of the building and which is subdivided into tenant lease spaces for RETAIL and SERVICE businesses.  A strip center can be a single long building, a building laid out in an "L", "U", or other shape, or it can be a group of such buildings on a single TRACT of land.

STRIP COMMERCIAL:
  AUTO-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT (POST-WAR suburban strip commercial) or PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT (PRE-WAR/urban/historic strip commercial) consisting of COMMERICAL LAND USE along a PRIMARY STREET.

SUBDIVISION (PLANNING/SURVEYING):
  The dividing of a large TRACT of land into multiple smaller LOTS, often including the establishment of STREETS, ALLEYS, and EASEMENTS for the purpose of accessing and servicing those LOTS, and formally documenting this division via a PLAT.

SUBDIVISION (NEIGHBORHOOD):
  A definable collection of LOTS and associated STREETS, ALLEYS, and EASEMENTS that were subdivided and PLATTED from a larger TRACT, and that is named to establish its identity and, thereby, its location.

SUBLOT:
  The smaller portions of an initial LOT that has been SUBDIVIDED into two or more PARCELS for the purpose of separate sale and DEVELOPMENT.

SUBURB:
  A COMMUNITY located in close proximity to a large TOWN or a CITY, often as one of a group of such communities, and whose economy and SOCIAL IDENTITY is directly tied to the economy and SOCIAL IDENTITY of the larger TOWN or CITY.

SUBURBAN (ENVIRONMENT):
  The type of DEVELOPMENT typical of SUBURBS, especially SUBURBS of the POST-WAR era, which are noted for LOW DENSITY AUTO-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT.

SUBURBAN (SOCIETY):
  Relating to a SUBURB or SUBURBS in general, and/or the lifestyle of the residents of SUBURBS.

SUBURBAN DEVELOPMENT:
  The type of DEVELOPMENT within or around a large TOWN or CITY, especially the DEVELOPMENT associated with the POST-WAR era.

SUBWAY:
  A form of RAPID TRANSIT transportation utilizing rail-based self-propelled vehicles that run on tracks located within tunnels beneath a CITY or URBAN AREA, accessed by stations at closely-spaced intervals.

SUPER-BLOCK:
  Any one of the following:
  • A significantly large TRACT or group of LOTS, surrounded by STREETS on all sides, that is intended for DEVELOPMENT
  • A group of smaller BLOCKS and associated STREETS within an established URBAN AREA that have been consolidated into a larger single BLOCK for the purpose of URBAN-renewal or other large-scale DEVELOPMENT
  • An overly large block utilized within the initial PLAT of a TOWN, typically more than roughly 400 feet of length minimum on any given side
  • An overly large block utilized within the initial PLAT of a TOWN that often contains LOTS that have been subdivided into SUBLOTS, that has groups of SUBLOTS accessed by DEAD-END STREETS, and/or that has been further subdivided into smaller BLOCKS utilizing STREETS that run across the initial BLOCK
SUPER-BLOCK DEVELOPMENT:  The building or buildings proposed for or built on a SUPER-BLOCK.

SUPPLY HOUSES:
  COMMERCIAL establishments that purchase and store non-RETAIL products for sale and distribution to other businesses or specialty customers.

SURVEY (MAPPING):
  One or more of the following:
  • The act of determining the actual location and direction of the boundaries of STATES, COUNTIES or other government entities, PARCELS, TRACTS or LOTS, and accurately documenting those locations and features upon a drawing at a scale by which distances can be measured and physical relationships discerned
  • The act of determining the geographic qualities of all geographic features within a given area, and accurately documenting those locations and features upon a drawing at a scale by which distances can be measured and physical relationships discerned
  • The placement of physical markers within or around a PARCEL of land and located via surveying instruments based upon a drawn SURVEY document, establishing upon the ground all of the boundary corners, boundary lines, LOT locations, RIGHTS-OF-WAYS, EASEMENTS, ROADWAYS, and land modifications

SURVEY (DOCUMENT):
  A graphic document drawn to a scale by which distances can be measured and physical relationships discerned that shows all existing or proposed boundaries, LOTS, RIGHTS-OF-WAYS, EASEMENTS, and ROADWAYS, and/or that represents the geographic qualities and features, within a given area.

THROUGH STREET:
  A street used by or designated for THROUGH TRAFFIC.Also, a STREET that is not a CUL-DE-SAC or a DEAD-END STREET.

THROUGH ROUTE:
  A PRIMARY STREET within a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, COUNTY or METROPOLITAN AREA that travels across a significant portion of the DEVELOPED AREA and that carries a significant quantity of THROUGH TRAFFIC.

THROUGH TRAFFIC:
  Vehicular traffic that has one or more of the following characteristics:
  • Traffic that travels or intends to travel a significant distance on an EXPRESSWAY, FREEWAY, or HIGHWAY
  • Traffic that travels a significant distance within or across a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, or METROPOLITAN AREA
  • Traffic that initiates in one NEIGHBORHOOD and has a destination in another NEIGHBORHOOD, often traveling through or around one or more other NEIGHBORHOODS
  • Traffic that travels through a NEIGHBORHOOD
  • Traffic that travels on a BLOCK or STREET that does not initiate on or have a destination on that BLOCK or STREET 
TOLLWAY/TURNPIKE:  A CONTROLLED-ACCESS HIGHWAY for which payment must be made for a vehicle to access and use.

TOURIST COMMUNITY:
  A VILLAGE, TOWN, or CITY whose economy is based primarily upon short-term housing of and/or entertainment of travelers and/or visitors (aka "VACATION COMMUNITY").

TOWN (COMMUNITY):
  A COMMUNITY that is larger than a VILLAGE but smaller than a CITY, and whose economy and SOCIAL INFLUENCE impact a relatively small area of a REGION or STATE.  Also, a general term for a COMMUNITY or its BUILT ENVIRONMENT.

TOWN (NEW ENGLAND):
  The principal subdivision of a COUNTY commonly used in the New England states.  The TOWN in New England typically covers a large area of both RURAL and DEVELOPED areas, and typically encompasses all COMMUNITIES located within its boundaries.  The TOWN GOVERNMENT typically provides many, most, or all services typically associated with the municipal, TOWNSHIP, and COUNTY GOVERNMENTS in non-New England states.  VILLAGES and larger COMMUNITIES in New England are typically only named locations of DEVELOPED areas, and tend to have no or little independent authority or municipal services of their own.  The larger CITIES in New England tended to have been TOWNS that grew in population such that they had to change GOVERNMENT structure from the simpler open town meeting structure to a more typical structure led by a mayor or city manager in conjunction with a city council, and are often coextensive to the historic boundaries of their town.  However, a few CITIES in New England have separated from and have become separate GOVERNMENT and physical entities from their surrounding/adjacent TOWN.  

TOWN GROUP:
  Two or more VILLAGES, TOWNS, or combination thereof in close proximity to each other, such that their daily ECONOMIC INFLUENCE and SOCIAL INFLUENCE are intertwined.

TOWN PLAN:
  The predetermined layout of a TOWN.Also, the initial PLAT of a TOWN.

TOWN SQUARE:
  An outdoor PUBLIC SPACE, typically rectangular or SQUARE in shape, typically encompassing one BLOCK but can also cover multiple adjacent BLOCKS, and that is most often located in a central location within the historic COMMERCIAL DISTRICT of a VILLAGE, TOWN, or CITY (aka "PUBLIC SQUARE" or "SQUARE").

TOWNSHIP:
  A defined and named area established under STATE charter and/or the TOWNSHIP & RANGE SURVEY that defines a geographic SUBDIVISION within a COUNTY, and that in many STATES has an organized GOVERNMENT that provides limited SERVICES to the citizens of the TOWNSHIP.  Also, the primary subdivision of the TOWNSHIP AND RANGE SURVEY.

TOWNSHIP AND RANGE SURVEY:
  The SURVEY of the Public Land Survey System, initiated by the Federal Government in the late 18th Century and applied to most of the post-colonial STATES of the United States.  The SURVEY established numerous east-west base lines, along with numerous north-south meridians, throughout the PUBLIC lands of the various territories of the post-revolutionary period.  From these baselines and meridians the lands were surveyed and subdivided into TOWNSHIPS, defined as a square REGION of six SECTIONS running east-west and six SECTIONS running north-south, and containing 36 SECTIONS of land.  Each TOWNSHIP was given a number sequence defined by the number of TOWNSHIPS north or south of a given baseline, and the number of ranges east or west of a given meridian (e.g. T2N, R8W).  The SECTIONS within each TOWNSHIP were then numbered sequentially, starting with Section 1.  Many of these TOWNSHIPS were subsequently given specific names for day-to-day and formal identity, especially once a TOWNSHIP had been populated enough to warrant establishment of a TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENT.  This system allowed for simplified selection and documentation of properties during the HOMESTEADING and SETTLEMENT of the vast lands obtained by the United States after the Revolution.

TRACT:
  Land that has specific and legally-described boundaries (aka "PARCEL").

TRADITIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
  The type of DEVELOPMENT generally found in areas established during the PRE-WAR Era and typically based upon PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY patterns.

TRANSIT:
  A system of transporting people in groups utilizing vehicles that pick up and drop off passengers at predetermined locations on established routes.  Transit vehicles can be small or large passenger buses, passenger vans, or passenger rail cars.

TRANSIT CENTER:
  A station that serves multiple TRANSIT routes and often multiple TRANSIT systems (e.g. bus and rail) for the purpose of passenger transfer between TRANSIT routes.

TRANSITWAY:  
A RIGHT-OF-WAY that is dedicated solely to TRANSIT service.  Also, a ROADWAY in which VEHICULAR traffic is restricted or eliminated for the purpose of running TRANSIT routes.

TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT:
  PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT located adjacent to or within walking distance of a rail TRANSIT station, or along a bus TRANSIT route.

TRANSPORTATION SEGREGATION:
  The separation of traffic types into distinct RIGHTS-OF-WAY, routes, or structures.  Such segregation might encompass PEDESTRIAN PATHWAYS that run throughout a NEIGHBORHOOD via interconnected OPEN SPACES and running such PATHWAYS above or below a ROADWAY when they cross, or it might encompass multi-level ROADWAYS to separate truck traffic from automobile traffic in URBAN AREAS or within a COMPLEX, or the use of elevated PEDESTRIAN PLAZAS and PATHWAYS or subterranean PATHWAYS within a large COMPLEX of buildings or across several BLOCKS within a CITY to segregate PEDESTRIAN traffic from vehicular traffic.

TUNNEL:
  A structure, built underground or through a raised geographic feature, for an aqueduct, canal, ROADWAY, RAILROAD, SUBWAY, UTILITY or other similar system that runs through a hill, mountain or similar geographic feature, beneath a waterway, beneath a PARCEL or several PARCELS of land, and/or beneath an area of existing DEVELOPMENT.  

UNDERPASS:
  A ROADWAY or RAILROAD which is cut into the land such that it can pass beneath another ROADWAY or RAILROAD that runs at or near grade level.

UNINCORPORATED (VILLAGE/TOWN):
  A COMMUNITY that does not have its own municipal GOVERNMENT, and is not included within the boundaries of an INCORPORATED VILLAGE, TOWN, or CITY.  Government SERVICES for such a COMMUNITY are typically provided by the TOWNSHIP and/or COUNTY within which the COMMUNITY is located.

UNINCORPORATED (COUNTY):
  The areas of a COUNTY that are not included within the INCORPORATED boundaries of the VILLAGES, TOWNS, or CITIES within the COUNTY.  Such areas can be either RURAL or DEVELOPED AREAS.

URBAN (LAND USE):  Relating to one of the following:
  • The overall contiguous BUILT ENVIRONMENT of a sizable TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA, or METROPOLITAN GROUP
  • A type of BUILT ENVIRONMENT in which buildings are closely spaced, allowing for PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY environments
  • A type of BUILT ENVIRONMENT in which a sizable quantity of buildings are MID-RISE DEVELOPMENTS and/or HIGH-RISE DEVELOPMENT

URBAN (POPULATION):
  The people who live in CITIES and/or METROPOLITAN AREAS.Also, the social characteristics of people who live in URBAN areas.

URBAN AREA (LAND USE):
  The overall non-AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPED AREA of a TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA, or METROPOLITAN GROUP or any combination thereof.

URBAN AREA (DEVELOPMENT):
  The portions of a large TOWN, CITY, COUNTY, or METROPOLITAN AREA that consist of primarily MODERATE DENSITY DEVELOPMENT and/or HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT, with a predominance of PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOODS.

URBAN DECAY:
  The detrimental physical and/or social effects of significant population loss, low-income or poverty concentration, and/or abandonment of homes, businesses, industries, services, and institutions within an established DEVELOPED AREA.

URBAN DESIGN:
  The practice of conceiving plans and codifications (CODES) for the betterment of COMMUNITIES, VILLAGES, TOWNS, and CITIES.

URBAN IDENTITY:
  The aesthetic, cultural, social and/or emotional connections commonly held among a group of people regarding a large TOWN, TOWN GROUP, CITY, COUNTY, METROPOLITAN AREA, or METROPOLITAN GROUP.

URBAN NEIGHBORHOOD:
  A NEIGHBORHOOD within a CITY.  Also, a NEIGHBORHOOD whose BUILT ENVIRONMENT is URBAN.

URBAN PARK:
  A PUBLIC OPEN SPACE within an URBAN environment within a CITY, typically with significant paving and integrated landscaping, and including a variety of passive and active uses, often with sculpture, fountains, performance venues, eating establishments, gardens, lawns and other components and activities that together create a dynamic aesthetic and social experience, and that typically has a strong emotional connection for the people living in and visitors to the CITY.

URBAN PLANNING:
  An aspect of URBAN DESIGN that generally encompasses determining the location of LAND USES, OPEN SPACES, and INSTITUTIONAL uses, and determining aesthetic and functional criteria by which URBAN DEVELOPMENT is to occur.

URBAN RENEWAL:
  The refurbishment or re-building of decayed buildings, NEIGHBORHOODS, TOWNS, and CITIES, with the goal and/or effect of aesthetic, economic and social improvement.  Also, the positive effects on a COMMUNITY and its BUILT ENVIRONMENT brought about by economic and social improvements within an area of URBAN DECAY.

UTILITIES:
  The common SERVICES such as water, sewer, gas, electricity, telephone, and cable provided to HOUSEHOLDS and businesses for necessity, comfort and reliability, with delivery into buildings via underground piping or above ground or underground wiring running within RIGHTS-OF-WAY and EASEMENTS, and that are common to most or all residents and/or businesses.  Such SERVICES can also include such specialties as steam and/or refrigerated water generated from localized generation facilities and distributed for the heating and cooling of buildings within a defined area.

UTOPIAN COMMUNITY:
  A COMMUNITY founded by a leader of a religious or social group, or by the collective leadership of a religious or social group, for the purpose of living an idealized life based upon a unifying set of group beliefs or a particular life philosophy.

VACATION COMMUNITY:
  A VILLAGE, TOWN, or CITY whose economy is based primarily upon short-term housing of and/or entertainment of visitors (aka "TOURIST COMMUNITY").

VIADUCT:
  A ROADWAY and/or RAILROAD that is elevated on a structure that runs for a significant distance above a body of water, a chasm or valley, a RAILROAD or RAILROADS, ROADWAY or ROADWAYS, or any combination thereof.

VILLAGE: 
A small SETTLEMENT or COMMUNITY whose ECONOMIC INFLUENCE and SOCIAL INFLUENCE impact a minimal area of a REGION.

WAREHOUSE DISTRICT:
  A sizable area of a TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY encompassing many LOTS or BLOCKS and that is dominated by warehousing and distribution business uses.

ZONE:
  A definable area within which a LAND USE has been assigned by a GOVERNMENT entity.

ZONED:
  A particular LAND USE having been assigned by a GOVERNMENT entity to a TRACT, PARCEL, or group of LOTS and/or BLOCKS.

ZONING:
  The cumulative categories of LAND USES or a specific category of LAND USE established and governed by a PUBLIC entity, and that are restricted by category to defined areas (zones) within a VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY, or COUNTY, with each category limited by CODE to only the permitted uses within that category.  Also, the act of establishing a zoning category within a given area.

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