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Thread: New Urbanism theory in small cities

  1. #1
    setf
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    New Urbanism theory in small cities

    I am looking for examples of sustainable, semi-high density within small towns; meaning a population of 50,000 or less.
    The goal is to filter out what does and does not work when creating economic redevelopment, along with infill projects. Since I am working in Israel, what is considered rural here is a different standard then most US cities. Also, density is going to continue to be necessary due to the severe lack of land.

    There are two different focuses within our research:
    The first being, how to add higher density, mix use, and neighborhood stores into preexisting suburban areas.
    The second focus is on trying to create a sense of community within rural, commuter towns.

    So far I have already looked at Petaluma's Theater District - California, Prairie Crossing, and Buena Vista - Colorado.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by setf View post
    I am looking for examples of sustainable, semi-high density within small towns; meaning a population of 50,000 or less.
    The goal is to filter out what does and does not work when creating economic redevelopment, along with infill projects. Since I am working in Israel, what is considered rural here is a different standard then most US cities. Also, density is going to continue to be necessary due to the severe lack of land.

    There are two different focuses within our research:
    The first being, how to add higher density, mix use, and neighborhood stores into preexisting suburban areas.
    The second focus is on trying to create a sense of community within rural, commuter towns.

    So far I have already looked at Petaluma's Theater District - California, Prairie Crossing, and Buena Vista - Colorado.
    "sustainable" rural commuter town, eh? What are you presuming "sustainable" means?
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by setf View post
    I am looking for examples of sustainable, semi-high density within small towns; meaning a population of 50,000 or less.
    The goal is to filter out what does and does not work when creating economic redevelopment, along with infill projects. Since I am working in Israel, what is considered rural here is a different standard then most US cities. Also, density is going to continue to be necessary due to the severe lack of land.

    There are two different focuses within our research:
    The first being, how to add higher density, mix use, and neighborhood stores into preexisting suburban areas.
    The second focus is on trying to create a sense of community within rural, commuter towns.

    So far I have already looked at Petaluma's Theater District - California, Prairie Crossing, and Buena Vista - Colorado.
    See Burlington, Vermont (population 38,000); Portsmouth, NH (population 23,000); or Bath, ME (population 10,000). All of these cities are small by global standards, yet all have relatively high density in their cores and therefore have a sense of community as well. The tiny towns of the Kennebunks in Maine (Kennebunkport and Kennebunk) have a sense of community, too, and are very near commuting areas for greater Portland (Maine) and Boston, Massachusetts. Good luck. (commuter towns can, by the way, be sustainable, depending on how the commutes take place.....subway, light rail, biking, walking, running, parasailing, rocket-shipping etc.....everything depends!)

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    Cyburbian
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    See also, Retrofitting Suburbia, a popular book on precisely the sort of objective you've espoused.

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    There is a difference between a suburb and a stand alone micropolitan area. Our area is about 40,000 people total, but it vastly different from a suburb.

    Dubuque Iowa(60,000) is a good city to look at. Very progressive on sustainability issues. Its tough for most towns and small regions like ours. Its sort of a Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and we are not at self actualization. We are fighting for survival in the long run.

  7. #7
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    A suggestion for your second focus - sense of community

    You mentioned, "The second focus is on trying to create a sense of community within rural, commuter towns." We wrote a book about how communities can use local values, natural and cultural heritage and sustainable principles to achieve specific objectives. It includes nineteen case studies from around the world. Put the Heart Back In Your Community is available as a Kindle book from Amazon or as a print book.

  8. #8
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by setf View post
    I am looking for examples of sustainable, semi-high density within small towns; meaning a population of 50,000 or less.
    The goal is to filter out what does and does not work when creating economic redevelopment, along with infill projects. Since I am working in Israel, what is considered rural here is a different standard then most US cities. Also, density is going to continue to be necessary due to the severe lack of land.
    How about the Collegetown area in Ithaca, New York? (Population 30,000) There's already been qiuite a bit of research done on the development of the area; see http://www.adphicornell.org/120-adph...ternityRow.pdf and http://courses.cit.cornell.edu/crp52...es_housing.pdf. The population density of Collegetown is the highest in New York state outside of New York City, and it's denser than Buffalo's Allentown, Elmwood Village and Delaware District neighborhoods.

    Collegetown isn't a very diverse neighborhood, though. It exists because Cornell University, one of the two large universities in Ithaca, provides relatively little on-campus housing. Ithaca-area residents tend to have strong environmentalist leanings, and in the past have stopped attempts to increase density elsewhere in the city and surrounding town. There's still the mindset that low density development is "greener". Opportunities for infill elsewhere in the city are limited because of zoning, off-street parking requirements, and fiercely protected garden parcels, among many other reasons. The City of Ithaca attempted to adopt a form-based code in Collegetown, but were met with resistance by a small group of year-round residents.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    I don't know how the OP got deleted. Working on fixing it. If you're still around, please re-register, and we'll associate the post with your account.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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