Should I be using Building Types or Place Types?

The primary difference between Building Types and Place Types is that Place Types include specifications for right-of-way areas. By default, parcel-resolution Base Canvases use Building Types, while block-resolution canvases use Place Types. As you create scenarios, though, you can be more flexible in using Building or Place Types to accommodate your needs in representing new development.

For example, you could use a custom Place Type to depict development on a large parcel or group of parcels representing a major redevelopment site. In this manner, you could specify a specific mix of Building Types, along with internal right-of-way areas, to represent planned development or roughly projected capacity for housing and employment.

You could also formulate a Place Type to specify a mix of Building Types without including right-of-way areas. This could be useful for painting development on a number of parcels for which you don’t want to be very specific in painting individual Building Types on a parcel-by-parcel basis. For example, you could paint parcels within a transit-oriented development (TOD) area, along a corridor, or for areas that share the same zoning codes to reflect a projected mix of development. In these cases, you would be allocating development to meet average densities and FAR characteristics. As such, development at the individual parcel scale would be generalized. For the purposes of gauging development capacity, using Place Types might be appropriate. Depending on the scale of your project and the areas to which you are allocating development, using Place Types to represent development over groups of parcels, rather than individual Building Types painted at a finer grain, may or may not have a significant bearing on analysis module results.

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