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Thread: New Urbanism

  1. #1
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    New Urbanism

    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    This is a great idea!
    Hi-- I'm replying to your remark on the thread about the new forum, Citizen Planner, because you mentioned new urbanism as a "cult." I want to hear more-- new urbanism has become the word weapon of choice in our neck of the woods by developers hoping to maximize profits at the expense of existing neighborhoods, and because of the "progressive" cachet of the word, elected officials have often been quick to jump on the bandwagon. For endangered semi-rural neighborhoods like ours, traversed by urban comuter and industrial traffic, "new urbanism" simply means more environmental degradation, more threats to our several-hundred-years-old small community, more strain on already overstressed infrastructure and services in our low-income part of the community. I'd love to hear a planner (or Anti-planner) talk about the new urbanism from your perspective. I figure it probably makes sense some places, but it doesn't at all in a place struggling to retain rural qualities. I should make this a new thread, but don't see yet how to do it.

    Quijote

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    If I were to recommend an important first step to a Citizen Planner that wanted to know if a dense, compact, neo-traditional development that has the potential to use land more efficiently than its suburban counterpart, I would suggest a quick reading of the town's zoning ordinance. What are the minimum lot sizes allowed by right in residential districts? What are the required setbacks? How likely is a PUD? What about special uses allowed by permit only?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    new urbanist neighborhoods, in their true sense, should not be juxtaposed to rural development. They should be integrated into the community to become seemless in terms of density, setbacks, and form.

    true new urbanist developments should foster multi-modal transportation. there should be a neighborhood commercial/office/mixed use component if the development is of an appropriate size.

    Just because the houses borrow design elements found on traditional housing and are on smaller lots does not make them new urbanist. Integration and inter--connectiveness, I believe, is key.

    You should know what your community is; what your communities vision and goals are; and determine if the proposed development fit the requirements of the plan. If the effort is to preserve rural qualities, ensure the development meets that criteria or vision.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    new urbanist neighborhoods, in their true sense, should not be juxtaposed to rural development. They should be integrated into the community to become seemless in terms of density, setbacks, and form.

    true new urbanist developments should foster multi-modal transportation. there should be a neighborhood commercial/office/mixed use component if the development is of an appropriate size.

    Just because the houses borrow design elements found on traditional housing and are on smaller lots does not make them new urbanist. Integration and inter--connectiveness, I believe, is key.

    You should know what your community is; what your communities vision and goals are; and determine if the proposed development fit the requirements of the plan. If the effort is to preserve rural qualities, ensure the development meets that criteria or vision.
    I could not agree more with you. I have been trying for a few years (after being fed a steady diet of Suburban Nation by our city planner) to find a good example of affordable New Urbanism that is infill into an already existing community. And if they have, generally they are disconnected from the community at large.

    I tried, for a number of months, to get the city to incorporate some of the concepts like Transit Oriented Development.... the planner, was horrified.. LOL Gee. First you pump SN down our throat, then when we want to actually DO something about it, pull the rug out.

    I'd actually like to see something TND happen here, more retail, retail serving what already IS a TND city, but without the newness.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I suspect that he dug the stuff but knew it was politically unworkable in your town.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    I suspect that he dug the stuff but knew it was politically unworkable in your town.
    Maybe it was unworkable at the time, possibly not now. seems as if the planner has been eliminated from the budget, and is relegated to contract work from home now, such as comments about planning cases, etc. Pretty much just the planning commission and the city manager now.

    I really don't anticipate the ordinances being changed either, but if we can do it cheaply, perhaps. BTW, every zoning district has the option of a PUD. Is that where TND could fit into the scene?

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