Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 26 to 35 of 35

Thread: A radical proposal: ban the word "sprawl"

  1. #26

    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,548
    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    I think it would be both refreshing and enlightening to see if it is possible to address the issues and tools without constant reference to an overused and pejorative, but ill-defined buzzword that stimulates debate in which there is often heat, but seldom light, and which defines us in opposition to something (even though we struggle constantly to define what it is we oppose) rather than as supporters of something.
    Lee, if what you mean is that we should begin to articulate what we want rather than admonish what we don't, I offer you two recent examples of that -- "smart growth" and "New Urbanism". Neither seems to have completely captured the nation's fancy, even though there are supporters.

    I think anyone who pays attention to planners and planning knows generally what we are for. What they don't know is that we often see the consequences and effects from what we are against. Example -- the recent mudslides in California. It was certainly a tragedy resulting from tons of rain in a part of the world ill-equipped to handle it. But we know there are mudslides in California every winter. Why were homes built just feet from steep hills?

    Planners may always sound like naysayers, but we still need to point out the consequences of our development actions. And if our "sprawling" actions lead to bad consequences, we need to say it.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Downtown Atlanta
    Posts
    894
    What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.


    Sprawl by any other name is still sprawl.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  3. #28
    Quote Originally posted by boilerplater
    That is my problem with the way most land development ordinances are written. They are heavy on the language of negation, but offer little in the way of a clear vision of what they'd like their town to look like. Planning boards often respond to situations that they did not like, rather than developing ideas of what they are for. .
    Yeah, I think you have really hit the nail on the head here: the deficiency of euclidean zoning standards (and corresponding design projects) is that they are formulated to establish MINIMUM standards, and not performance based standards. I face the situation regularly, even with a form-based zoning ordinance, when a developer proposes a certain design, we suggest a more sensitive design approach, and the developer refuses to consider b/c what they have already proposed "satisfies" the ordinance.

    Jeez, its like pulling teeth to get good design!
    So...Maybe not using the word "Spr-wl" will help folks pinpoint the component issues and elements instead of using the catch-all (as has been noted), thereby helping us all understand the defining characterisitcs that may be altered to create more "livable" places. (Another ubiquitous buzzword. Hah!)

  4. #29
    Another thought: With regard to the term, how would one classify the example of a "good New Urban" project, developed on the fringe of a metro area on a greenfield site? Even with all the mixed use, variety of housing types, etc, etc, I would argue that this is sp___ type development. So, I would argue that any development that is not mixed use, pedestrian/mass transit friendly, infill development may be categorized as sp____.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    Posts
    916
    Yeah, I think you have really hit the nail on the head here: the deficiency of euclidean zoning standards (and corresponding design projects) is that they are formulated to establish MINIMUM standards, and not performance based standards. I face the situation regularly, even with a form-based zoning ordinance, when a developer proposes a certain design, we suggest a more sensitive design approach, and the developer refuses to consider b/c what they have already proposed "satisfies" the ordinance.
    Thanks. I like hitting the head, vs. my thumb or index finger, which I occasionally do. When they write these minimum standards and then expect the developer to offer more, its almost like they've forgotten that we live in a capitalist country and that the developer is expected by his investors to produce the maximum return. There is no incentive to produce a house that lasts longer than the life of a home loan. In some small towns, the naivete of planning boards is almost adorable. Most economic analyses of building projects do not take into account how much a town or neighborhood may like it, or how happy the building's occupants are. One could argue that by creating a more pleasant environment, the developer could charge more rent or sell the units at higher prices, but that doesn't seem to enter the equation. Its always FARMAX. The law says you have to satisfy the ordinance. They are not in the charity business. Why expect more?
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  6. #31
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Posts
    4,767
    Oh... this can be done quite easily.. just put spawl in the word filter list and make it replace it with something incoherent, so all of the people that whine about it look like retards or if you want to avoid the last, just make the word filter change it for ******

  7. #32
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137

    nice word.

    I wouldn't dare jump into this conversation, ignoramus that I am here, except to say that it's a shame such a lovely, onomatopoetic word has been drained of some of its usefulness. Darn.

  8. #33

    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Blue County in a Red State
    Posts
    117
    Part of what makes playing SimCity so frustrating is that there is no mixed-use/MUDD zoning. One is forced to separate housing, commerical and industrial uses. Even our computer games encourage the "s" word.

    I have worked with many developers who want to do good (read: "thoughtful, pays attention to detail, ties into current infrastructure and offers connectivity to adjacent uses") projects. On more than a few occasions what they wanted to do was illegal. On other occasions, adjacent property owners (nimby's) wanted nothing to do with anything that increased density; subsequently, they fought tooth and nail for the staus quo. Communities must change their zoning laws to allow greater flexibility for a variety of land use developments in one location, shared parking, multiple uses in a single building, that create an attractive, pedestrian-friendly public realm. Untill that happens and antiquated Euclidian zoning is replaced with ideas like "design districts", the overused word has to stay in our lexicon. There's really not much to replace it with. Besides, "place-making" is a far worse term.

  9. #34
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Posts
    4,767
    Quote Originally posted by Pride of Place
    Part of what makes playing SimCity so frustrating is that there is no mixed-use/MUDD zoning. One is forced to separate housing, commerical and industrial uses. Even our computer games encourage the "s" word.
    What I do to get as close as it can be to mixed use.. is do half a block with commercial and another half of residential and add little commercial areas around residential areas; way more realistic than making a CBD and surrounding it with residential areas without any commercial areas.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Quote Originally posted by Pride of Place
    Part of what makes playing SimCity so frustrating is that there is no mixed-use/MUDD zoning. One is forced to separate housing, commerical and industrial uses. Even our computer games encourage the "s" word.
    That's because "simple" is always easier to understand and implement, no matter how bad the result -- thus "simple" solutions are modeled in a computer game and simple solutions end up in zoning codes too. We could talk about how mind's work and how our current education system generally sucks. But that might be (seen as) OT.

+ Reply to thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 6
    Last post: 25 Oct 2013, 12:59 AM
  2. Replies: 11
    Last post: 16 Dec 2008, 5:34 PM
  3. The Word "Walk" discriminatory????
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 24
    Last post: 06 Jul 2005, 11:30 PM
  4. Replies: 8
    Last post: 12 Nov 2003, 11:02 AM