Researchers for the Urban Land Institute are wrapping up a study of two District of Columbia suburbs with sprawl and traffic problems, and they say Orange County could be next on their list.
One of the areas under study, Tysons Corner in northern Virginia, closely resembles Orange County, said senior research associate Michael Beyard.
It sprouted from empty fields to become the 15th-largest concentration of offices in the country.
The institute is looking at ways to create denser urban-type clusters of offices, shops and housing at Tysons Corner and Bethesda, Md., an older suburb that somewhat resembles Pasadena in the Los Angeles area.
That would mean people could shop and work closer to their homes, cutting down on traffic and sprawl, Beyard said.
But redeveloping the mess at Tysons Corner in Fairfax County could be tough, Beyard acknowledges, because the original buildings "were poorly thought out, conceived of as single entities, which doesn't work when you string them out for 20 or 30 miles."