Ultra Low Emission Vehicle

A vehicle producing 50 percent less pollutants than an average gasoline-powered vehicle for the year of manufacture.


A drainage structure buried to the subgrade level along the edge of the roadway. Underdrain components usually include geotextiles, uniform coarse stone (free draining material), and a pipe. The underdrain works by providing an opportunity for excess water in the adjacent subgrade layer to drain away, while keeping the soil particles in place. Underdrains can be used under or near drainage ditches on almost any cut slope sections, especially where water seeps to the surface or other evidence of excess water is present.

Unified Development Bylaws

The integration of two or more Bylaws authorized by Chapter 117 into a single bylaw to consolidate the development review and permit process. See 24 VSA 4419.

United States Department of Agriculture

Formed in 1862, the USDA is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and abroad.

United States Department of Housing & Urban Development

U.S. Housing & Urban Development

United States Department of Transportation

A federal department of the United States government overseeing transportation, established by Congress in 1966.

United We Ride

Federal initiative created by Executive Order #13330 intended to break down the barriers among Federal programs as they relate to transportation to ensure that transportation services are seamless, comprehensive and accessible. Specifically, UWR is tasked with seeking ways to simplify access to transportation services for persons with disabilities, persons with lower incomes, and older adults.

Unlinked Passenger Trips

Total number of passengers who board public transportation vehicles. It should be noted that passengers are counted each time they board vehicles no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination

Urban Blight (Urban Decay)

Urban decay (or urban rot) is the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude. It may feature deindustrialization, depopulation or changing population, economic restructuring, abandoned buildings, high local unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and a desolate, inhospitable city landscape. For a Vermont Legal definition of the term “blight”, please click the linked term for this entry.

Urban Design

The intentional design of structures, neighborhoods, and entire cities to improve their function and to make them more beautiful.

Urban Development

Land Development that has the Land Uses, Improvements, Scales, and Densities that are typical of cities.

Urban Growth Boundary

A regional boundary, which is created to efficiently utilise land and regulate urban/sub-urban development into agricultural, forest lands, and other natural areas. By zoning high density development within the UGB, there is greater leverage to encourage the continual redevelopment of land and buildings within urban cores (thereby keeping “downtowns” active), as opposed to unabated land consumption encroaching into natural areas. UGBs can further reduce infrastructure and transportation expenses by maintaining a local compact development strategy.

Urban Municipality

According to 24 VSA 4303 (31), an Urban municipality is a city, incorporated village, or any town that is not a Rural Town.

Urban Renewal

A federal program during the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s that attempted to pro-mote the Redevelopment of urban areas by acquiring many private properties in an area (sometimes using Eminent Domain), demolishing buildings, and consolidating the lots into larger parcels.

Urban Traffic Management System

ITS applications focused on traffic efficiency improvements in an urban area.

Urbanized Area

First delineated in the 1950 Census, urbanized areas are densely settled territory, which the U.S. Census Bureau defined from 1950 to 1990 as having a population of 1,000,000 or more. Since the 2000 Census, Urbanized Areas are defined as: Core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile, and a total population of 50,000 or greater. Areas of the same population density, but having a total population ranging from 2,500 to 50,000 are defined in the 2000 Census as an “Urban Cluster” (UC).

Urban/Sub-Urban Sprawl

A scattered, untimely, and poorly planned urban or sub-urban development occurring in urban/sub-urban fringe, as well as rural areas. It is an inefficient policy and planning practice, which consumes land necessary for agricultural or natural resource protection. “Sprawl” typically manifests in the form of; “Leapfrog” development, “Strip-mall” or “Ribbon” development, and large-lot single family units. A term describing the antithesis is known as “Smart-Growth”.


See ‘Land Use’