Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 26 to 37 of 37

Thread: Failure of New Urbanism

  1. #26
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    427
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    "New Urbanism" is parasitic to sprawl the same way sprawl is parasitic to cities. It's really just a rehash of the old railroad suburbs. Those old suburbs surrounded themselves with farmland and protected themselves from real urbanism and diversity with a commuter train fare.
    Fortunately for the 'old suburbs' - over time they became absorbed into the urban fabric. Perhaps not as highly dense as traditional urban neighborhoods, but due to apartment conversions & other mixed uses in conjunction with the streets actually intersecting with neighboring streets. Otherwise I do agree with you, they are sprawl with just a different hat. But the new subdivisions look nicer on a postcard.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,235
    Not nearly all of the old suburbs. The ones furthest away from the city ended up surrounded by sprawl. Now, appearently, those old suburbs real close to the train stations with their picturesque main streets are getting popular, so people are buying the old ranches and whatnot in them as teardowns.

    The "new urbanist" suburbs are guarenteed to never be part of a larger urbanism because they're already surrounded by sprawl, and that's their appeal. Otherwise, why not put them in Garfield Park or downtown Detroit where there already is some sembelence of urbanity yet plenty of developable land?

  3. #28

    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The foggy isle of Vinalhaven
    Posts
    196
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    The "new urbanist" suburbs are guarenteed to never be part of a larger urbanism because they're already surrounded by sprawl, and that's their appeal. Otherwise, why not put them in Garfield Park or downtown Detroit where there already is some sembelence of urbanity yet plenty of developable land?
    Because the prettiness that these developments always include costs too high for anyone willing to live in an area like downtown detroit. That is, anyone who has enough money to live in a New Urbanist development (at least one with architectural detail, good materials and public amenities) is quite unlikely to live in a place surrounded by burned-out buildings and bums.

    Otherwise, I agree with you completely.

  4. #29
         
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    McDonough, Georgia
    Posts
    83

    The Greenhorn's two cents

    I'm new to planning. I don't have the jargon down. But New Urbanism...good god! Who was that guy with the crazy sounding name? Andres Duany!! I watched a video about his ideas for New Urbanism and boy...He doesn't seem to be thinking clearly. One of his big ideas was that these communities would be diverse. So the video showed a black family, a white family, an asian family and a latino family all sitting on a porch talking about how diverse and great their neighborhood is. From a sociological standpoint, that's utter crap! Just because our melanin is in varying shades does not mean our neighborhood is diverse! One big giveaway at the false diversity on that porch--all the men were wearing khakis.

    Where I live, they've tried that N.U. crap. There's a subdivision that has alleys and a daycare center. But the nearest strip mall..oh yeah, strip mall...however in walking distance cannot be reached because--what's this?--no sidewalks!!! Wouldn't one of the first things to be installed in a New Urbanism "community" be sidewalks so people can take advantage of the "pedestrian" atmosphere? Since I am so new, could someone tell me if I'm the crazy one?

    Someone in Henry County did take this New Urbanism idea and put it too good use. There is a street just outside (two street away) from the town square that has an alley, bungalow-esque houses and narrow streets. It's rather cute, but only because once you turn left or right off this street, there are sidewalks, cafes, stores, and municipal buildings in walking distance.

    Isn't it that 80% of the U.S. population lives on 20% of the land? How feasible is it to link that 20% together enough so people can walk everywhere? Not to sound too cynical--N.U. won't work. If it did, it would take a long time. I know things don't progress overnight. The U.S. highway system (funny I mention this in a thread on New Urbanism) progressed in only 50 or so years. N.U. I think will take twice as long because people do not correlate driving their cars with suburban sprawl. Until that connection is made, our feet to the concrete will not.

    Thanks Eisenhower!!

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Intervention
    Posts
    4,475
    Quote Originally posted by ebeech121
    Thanks Eisenhower!!
    Why not give a shout out to Robert Moses as well. For some reason this reminds me of a song.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  6. #31

    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The foggy isle of Vinalhaven
    Posts
    196
    Quote Originally posted by ebeech121
    Just because our melanin is in varying shades does not mean our neighborhood is diverse! One big giveaway at the false diversity on that porch--all the men were wearing khakis.

    Where I live, they've tried that N.U. crap. There's a subdivision that has alleys and a daycare center. But the nearest strip mall..oh yeah, strip mall...however in walking distance cannot be reached because--what's this?--no sidewalks!!!
    You've hit the nail on the head - that is exactly the major criticism of New Urbanism, that it is only for the upper / upper middle class. When a NU 'community' comes in with home prices starting about 500k, and the businesses in said new community pay minimum wage and are chain stores anyway, well there's a huge disconnect. People have to leave to get to their jobs, and people who work in this community have to come in from outside, so you still get just as much commuting... if not more.

    We have a NU community like what you describe coming to the dreaded TOWN NEXT DOOR, which is a rapidly growing 'exurb' of Portland. Its being plopped down at the end of a 2 mile long cul-de-sac alongside a golf course. 3 or 4 shorter cul-de-sacs branch off at the end, so there are no connecting streets withn it nor any other connections to the outside. You access this cul-de sac via a road that is probably the ugliest and sprawliest road in the region. It is WAY out at the edge of town, not walkable to anything but a used car lot and the fairgrounds. Home prices are far beyond the reach of most Mainers. The only businesses that are included in the development are a few undeveloped commercial lots on the sprawl road (remember, 2 miles from the center of the neighborhood), which will undoubtedly look just like the rest of the auto-oriented crap on the rest of the road. Really, nothing about this is NU - it just happens to feature smaller lots than the surrounding zoning would normally allow, and is on a parcel large enough to cross zoning districts, so they can call it "mixed use". Really its just a cluster development with some strip commercial at the front.

    The problem is that the guys who build this stuff aren't planners and have little background in planning aside from the usual plan review process - they're developers. And in stead of going to a university for years to study this kind of stuff, they read a magazine article about it one time, hop on the internet for ten minutes, and think they've got it down. And a lot of these guys don't see anything past the bottom line and the earliest completion date. Not true for all, but certainly true for many - its apparent by what is continually built in this country.

    Sorry to rant, but as you can see, you're not alone down in Georgia. This stuff is being done wrong everywhere. But, as has been said on this forum already, I think these developments are at least steps in the right direction...(most at least feature small lots, mixed use, porches, and sidewalks and alleys). Change is incremental. Lets just hope the concept isn't completely discredited before it starts being done the right way (with a good mix of businesses and services and jobs, inclusion of affordable housing, and good design).

  7. #32
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    When you see an ad for "the world's best pizza" do you believe it?

    Remember the old East Germany?
    They called themselves the "German Democratic Republic"
    we all know they were neither a republic nor democratic.

    Just because a developer advertises his new subdivision as NU doesn't mean it is.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  8. #33
    Member Hipockethipy's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2004
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Posts
    15
    [QUOTE=MaineMan]Change is incremental. Lets just hope the concept isn't completely discredited before it starts being done the right way [QUOTE]

    Indeed...like the Radburn layout was. Not that it doesn't deserve some of the critism. But it worked in the original (Randburn N.J.) (mind you there was also the lack of social diversity there too) and seems to have been a success for the "Village Homes" development in Davis, Ca (see "Designing Sustainable Communities" by Corbett and Corbett, pub by Island Press).

    However over here in Oz they used the radburn layout for 'State Housing', and it was a complete social disaster...attributable to a combination of concentrating social disadvantage, poor translation of the original design concepts and the design being inappropriate to the particular social needs of the community (again with the concentrated social disadvantage).

    While the radburn layout as a design concept may have it's deficiencies, and is definitely not suitable to all (eevn many) situations, I would posit that it was rejected wholesale because of poor execution, much like what seems to be happening with Nurbism at the moment. I suppose it is a matter of separating the wheat from the chaff (or the bull from the bull$hit).

    Well, that's my rant.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    It's a matter convenience. We are convenience driven. If driving isn't a big hassle, we'll do it. If walking around is easier than driving, we do that. If taking a train is quicker and easier than driving, we do that.

    Is it easier to drive-thru and get your food or park, get out, get in, get the food, etc?

    If there was no parking or drive-thru what is more convenient, walking to the restaurant or driving there?

    We're only married to our cars because we've done so much to let us use them conveniently.

    As has been pointed out many many times, we made owning an auto convenient in almost all the new development since 1950...or maybe even the 40s.

    For example, my communities downtown has become a drive to and park downtown. There is so much parking that you can't give good reasons to people to walk. They're biggest grip is "Pay Parking" *GASP*. Recognizing this parking glut, we no longer have min parking req's in our CBD. It has spawned a number of loft-to-condo and office-to-condo/apt conversions.
    Well Boiker, in my opinion you've nailed it. Why do we have such strict requirements for parking? Why do we not require contributions for public transport or safe cycle facilities from developers rather than pandering to the unsustainable motor vehicle? Surely in the crumbling environment that we've created planning must be about sustainable futures - we all love our individual vehicles but in the long run it just can't work.

  10. #35
    Member gdrien's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Too far inside my own head!
    Posts
    1

    Perhaps a chance to do it right. . .

    Quote Originally posted by MaineMan
    The problem is that the guys who build this stuff aren't planners and have little background in planning aside from the usual plan review process - they're developers.
    I was initially disappointed when that Scarborough project failed, but upon further analysis I realized that it was quite flawed. It failed, however, for the wrong reasons. Most people, including the voters in Scarborough, "freak out" when they hear "high density". I saw it as a member of my town's planning board when a group of "old timers" from the rapidly growing west side of town presented us with a petition that raised the minimum lot size in the village residential zone (a designated growth area) from 20k to 30k square feet. In one town meeting vote we lost 50% of our growth area in that part of town. They mistake density for sprawl and unknowingly make it worse, and explaining this seems to backfire.

    Now to address the title of my post. . .
    The town of Arundel, Maine has recently voted to establish a "town center." This would, IMHO, be a great place for some WELL PLANNED neotraditional development. What is needed is someone to spearhead an education campaign, but not be seen as a stakeholder. The president of Hancock Land Company, Matt Hancock, has been a high-profile spokesman in the conservation movement, and has been instrumental in developing and implementing some innovative programs. He is vocal in his concern over sprawl, and well known throughout Maine. I've been thinking of contacting him about this, to see if he'd get involved.

    My question for this forum is how would one introduce a concept such as this to a development-wary populace without getting the proverbial door slammed right away?

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Providence, RI
    Posts
    3

    May 5th Panel: New Urbanism in New England

    I thought I would plug an opportunity to discuss these issues in person. [Although I certainly have some opinions on the discussion at hand. I think that it's important to note that New Urbanism can be done poorly or well, just like any other type of design idea; and that, in response to JordanB's thoughts, downtown Detroit would be as appropriate a place to consider mixed-use developments as greenfields. Better, actually, since there is some precedent in the urban form.]

    Anyway, in New England, we've had very little success getting people to agree to create developments of any density, new town centers, etc., despite the fact that it's the design pattern we associate with ourselves. In that spirit, we bring you The Inaugural Event of the CNU New England:

    New Urbanism in New England:
    Revisiting Traditional Neighborhood Design


    A panel discussion featuring:
    Buff Chace, Developer and Town Founder, Mashpee Commons
    Evan Richert, Director, GrowSmart Maine
    Donald Powers, President/Principal, Donald Powers Architects
    Alex Krieger, Chairman, Department of Planning and Urban Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design

    Moderated by:
    Harriet Tregoning, Executive Director, Smart Growth Leadership Institute

    ***Questions by the audience are welcome***

    ***This program satisfies 1.5 AIA/CES Learning Unit Hours***


    Wednesday, May 5, 2004
    5:30pm registration | 6:00pm panel discussion
    cocktail reception to follow

    Ned Devine's
    250 Quincy Market Building
    Fanueil Hall, Boston

    $20 general admission; $15 for students/CNU members
    (payment received at the door)
    Admission includes appetizers and 1 drink coupon

    To register, send an email to mail@cnunewengland.org with your name, address and phone number

    For more information, visit www.cnunewengland.org.

  12. #37
    Cyburbian Doitnow!!'s avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    India
    Posts
    499

    Observing the high pitch

    I find the debates on this 'New Urbanism' quite energetic therefore assume that it's a contentious issue for you all. Although this might be a termed phenomenon( or maybe a prevalent market force) what kind of communities are you talking about.

    Assuming again that these are greenfield projects a little far away from the core of the city:

    1. What would be the average size of such neighbourhoods/projects in land area and in population size?
    2. Are these communities planned to create employment for atleast some people who also reside within the residential area within that neighbourhood.? Talking about work-home relations do these residents still travel into the city CBD to work and come back in the late evenings? If this is so isn't this kind of planning model disjointed?

    3.
    The problem is that the guys who build this stuff aren't planners and have little background in planning aside from the usual plan review process - they're developers
    IF the developers estimate a market demand and taste success after success, then don't they hire planning professionals to work out the social mix, the planning and design standards? Wouldn't a professional planner propose sidewalks to the developer even if they cost a bit more. Can't a predominantly Car oriented community still have a pedestrian friendly Right of Way?

    4. Is this NU also about decongestion or it is just about new Image ?

    It would be very useful for me to be enlightened on this extremely interesting issue which is also very contentious for planners out here.

    PS
    I find MaineMan and Hipockethipy's comments pretty interesting. IS the NU one of those grandiose obejctives ( surely set by some experienced planners) but something which is not being translated into ground. An idea/effort which should have been seen from many more angles before it left the drawing boards??
    "I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them".
    -Isaac Asimov

+ Reply to thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

More at Cyburbia

  1. The failure of 'new urbanism'
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 54
    Last post: 24 Aug 2015, 10:41 AM
  2. What are my options? (Failure to Launch)
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 21 Nov 2013, 3:20 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last post: 11 Aug 2005, 8:38 AM