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Thread: What about Andres Duanyís ideas donít you like?

  1. #26
    "But where does the gas station go??" He was rather offended but it was clear to her that this would mean folks in this nice upscale neighborhood would drive to her lower-class neighborhood to gas up. She described it as "It's like they include a mouth because eating is pleasant but no anus because going to the bathroom isn't so pretty." She didn't seem too impressed with either him or his ideas.
    It's just som much easier to look at some virgin land and dream away, isn't it? What if the focus was on changing some of the existing code, perhaps dropping it. Rebuilding where there's existing infrastructure, I see that as NU.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I have had the...misfortune of working with Duany and his firm on a NU development in NC and he comes off quite snotty down right rude and self righteous. There are NO ways to do anything but his way, if you disagree or see a way to improve an idea you are disagreeing with HIM and therefore a bad planner, a bad person and should be ashamed. he feels his "product" is so superior to anything out there that he should be above regulatory review or control.

    I was greatly disappointed with the projects I have seen from his firm and even more disgusted with the man himself.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  3. #28
         
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    We just recently worked with him on New Town, here in St. Charles, the development itself is turning out quite nicely, it is the first of its kind anywhere around here. However, for someone promoting "urbanism" this development makes me shake my head, it is 900 acres of farmland in the 100 and 500 year flood plains. Ther are so many areas in the St. Louis Metropolitan area that are true "traditional neighborhoods" that only need redevelopment, it appears to me that all that was developed here was a new kind of suburb. Granted, it is pretty with nice building, pretty landscaping and nice lakes but it is noting close to what the old beautiful abandoned brick building in St.Louis could offer. And with regards to Duany, he is arrogant and pompus. It does seem that he did any of the work on the project, more that his desaign team did and the developers architects, apparently the developer just "bought" his code.

  4. #29
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    We just recently worked with him on New Town, here in St. Charles, the development itself is turning out quite nicely...
    Get some photos and post them, if possible. I would love to see how this looks on the ground.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian MitchBaby's avatar
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    Things I hate?

    Too often developed in isolation, and out of context for either the natural surroundings or the existing built environment.

    TOD or TND can be, and often are, distinctly different than Duany's perception of a good planned new urban community.

    The theory is good, his practice, well, Seaside isn't an ideal community that lives up to the ideals of New Urbanism making things affordable etc.

    Its New Urbanism for commercialism, not New Urbanism for actual implementation and design.
    Mitchbaby: Proud to be a :canada: planner and a :canada: surfer

  6. #31
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    In defense of Duany and friends. . .

    While its true that many of these developments are expensive, they offer more of alternatives than the normal suburban development. No brand new development is going to be affordable without public subsidies. In the long run the developments are at least adding something other than large-lot single family homes to the marketplace, re-introducing the "public realm" to the homebuying public, and challenging the status quo of traditional zoning laws.

    I'll take urban redevelopment over NU development anyday though. (I saw Duany speak about downtown redevelopment and thought he was pretty thorough.)

    Its not perfect but the guy and his firm had the cahones to design/build this stuff while no one else did, and changed a lot of the assumptions of the planning profession. That he makes lots of money isn't a bad thing - its incentive for other developers to look at things differently too.

    I definitely agree with whoever said that his glamour shot is one of the most annoying things.


  7. #32
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    OK, they definitely played with colour balance in that photo. His grey hair comes off as having a blue tinge.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    In RI you can't say anything bad about Mashpee Common's developer Buff Chase who has been redeveloping lots of historic buildings in downtown Providence. He is our saviour.
    Oh, sure, Buddy Cianci gets carted off to jail and you just forget all about him!
    And those guys who wrote Dumb and Dumber don't get any credit either?

    I heard Duany likes to go to strip clubs after charrettes. Not that that's a bad thing.

    I wonder if his bull-headed personality is an affectation he developed to get things done, knowing that what ultimately gets built will be compromised more. Frank Lloyd Wright, arguably this country's most revered architect, was known for being difficult, had an affair with the housekeeper that drove the wife crazy so she burned down the house (or was it the other way around?). Anyway, sometimes it is useful to separate the work from the personality.

    Hey Irish One, doesn't San Diego's downtown redevelopment owe a lot to NU principles? I read that someplace.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  9. #34
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boilerplater
    Oh, sure, Buddy Cianci gets carted off to jail and you just forget all about him!
    And those guys who wrote Dumb and Dumber don't get any credit either?

    I heard Duany likes to go to strip clubs after charrettes. Not that that's a bad thing.
    Oh, we haven't forgotten about Buddy. I'm dreading the role he will have in public life when he gets out either in politics or local radio. That's right, I said politics - I wouldn't put it past the voters to elect him again, even if its just representing a ward on the city council.

    The Farrelly Brothers are still local celebrities but they haven't contributed much to downtown redevelopment just yet.


    I haven't figured out how to do that "off topic" yellow box.

  10. #35
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    I haven't figured out how to do that "off topic" yellow box.
    Put [ ot ]text to be boxed[ /ot ] (without spaces) around the entire text you are indicating as "off-topic".
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  11. #36
    Hey Irish One, doesn't San Diego's downtown redevelopment owe a lot to NU principles?
    Maybe, I don't know?? check out cdcc @http://www.ccdc.com/index.cfm/fuseac....redev_defined

  12. #37
         
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Off-topic:

    Get some photos and post them, if possible. I would love to see how this looks on the ground.
    No problem...as soon as I can get out there I will get some shots...it is not near completion but there are a few finished structures and the roads and lakes have started to come together. So I will get some pics in the next few days or so.

  13. #38
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Off-topic:

    Put [ ot ]text to be boxed[ /ot ] (without spaces) around the entire text you are indicating as "off-topic".

    Off-topic:
    Off topic: It is raining today, I want to splash in the puddles. Thank you.

  14. #39
    Cyburbian
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    To sum up

    So from what I've gathered from the posts, it seems like people don't really have big problems with the ideas of New Urbanism, but with the way Duany in particular implements them, and that his ideas don't match up with his practices in some cases. He's too profit-minded.

    It makes sense to me that New Urbanism and profit don't necessarily mix. Duany seems to be all about building new neighborhoods with a particular design...but the concept of a brand-new neighborhood seems against the ideals of New Urbanism, because it requires new land. It seems like we should be more concerned with improving what is already there, rather than constructing new towns and neighborhoods...but I guess there isn't big bucks in that.

    I'm reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs and I'm really impressed. I would recommend it to anyone who liked any of Duany's books (as I did). I would be interested to see what people think of her ideas compared to his....since she predated him by about 30 years I'm sure he was influenced by her (as maybe all of urban planning was).

  15. #40

    Rock Star

    Sarasota hired rock star Andres Duany ... and we got a really good plan PDF's that may slowly be implemented. Several ideas were very contraversial such as "round about's" and a square on the bayfront but overall it was well received and I personally liked most of it... but he is a trip to deal with.


    Sarasota Livin'

  16. #41
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    He has not found SW Indiana
    or
    Is it SW Indiana has not found him.

    I have not read much if anything by him,
    except about him through this thread.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  17. #42
    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    She described it as "It's like they include a mouth because eating is pleasant but no anus because going to the bathroom isn't so pretty."
    That is probably one of the best quotes I have ever heard to describe the failings of the New Urbanism movement.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    he comes off quite snotty down right rude and self righteous. There are NO ways to do anything but his way
    I contacted the DPZ office about a relatively small infill project and got blown off pretty summarily, which didn't leave a good impression. Calthorpe Associates was much more accommodating. I second the idea that the snotty attitude might be a "will to power" thing that helps get things done, but I have no basis for knowing if its a rhetorical strategy or a reflection of his/his firm's true character. Probably a little of both.

    As a wanna-be developer, I kind of assumed that if I had a Duany or Calthorpe on my side, I might get a better reception from the local planning department or city council. I believe Calthorpe actually insists on only doing projects that are consistent with their NU ideals so they can maintain credibility. Am I wrong to assume that NU star-power can help get what might otherwise be a controversial project accepted?

  19. #44
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    I'm just wondering about the homeowners in these New Urbanist communities; do they choose to live in one for it's "traditional neighbourhood" lifestyle, or do they see pretty houses and a pretty neighbourhood and continue a suburban way of life?

  20. #45
         
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    Quote Originally posted by gkmo62u
    Duany's press releases always contain what clearly is a studio produced "glamor photo" of himself.

    That is funny...I do think he is in love with himself. He does have some interesting concepts though.

  21. #46
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wlsmithjr
    ...As a wanna-be developer, I kind of assumed that if I had a Duany or Calthorpe on my side, I might get a better reception from the local planning department or city council. I believe Calthorpe actually insists on only doing projects that are consistent with their NU ideals so they can maintain credibility. Am I wrong to assume that NU star-power can help get what might otherwise be a controversial project accepted?
    You are certainly on the right track. A well-known and respected planner is going to sway people. If s/he is respected enough, the commissioners may be inclined to defer to his/her judgement that a project will look good and be beneficial to the community. The other spect to consider is that someone like Calthorpe truly is very good, and can find creative ways to develop difficult sites. I agree with your assessment of Calthorpe, by the way. He does excellent work and does not seem to have the same ego problems as Duany and some others.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  22. #47
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Whoa there nellies!!

    I suppose the very nature of this thread is going to result in a lot of bile and opprobrium and yet...

    I doubt anyone thinks Duany is God and probably he does not either (well...uhm...he IS an architect...). A lot of the criticism in these posts, however, is pathetically petty.

    You canít compare DPZ or NU in general to the theory, just to the alternative practice. Regardless of what some people dream about, new neighborhoods WILL continue to be built in the US. I would rather they worked, looked and were planned like a DPZ unit than the typical one.

    Someone commented about the 'gas station'. I'm sure that anyone that planned a whole town would include gas stations but AFAIK, few developers include these in a plan for a new development? Yes, NU properties seem pretty upscale. We live in a capitalist society and that means that 'good' things come to the rich first and then, hopefully, trickle down to the rest of you (I mean us, eh eh eh).

    Having read 'suburban nation' I too would have some differences of opinion. So what? Better a Krier or a Duany, egotistic though they may be (I don't personally know them) than the mental inadequates that are obviously in charge of 99.9% of the built space, right?

  23. #48
    Cyburbian urbanchik's avatar
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    I like many of the concepts of New Urbanism and I think it has done a lot to change the perception of high density and mixed use development from negative to positive and to help planners and the general public realize that not everyone wants to live in a conventional subdivision and that different housing alternatives need to be provided for .

    But I do not like the hipocrasy of the proponents of NU. First of all, when a firm promotes a code or pattern of development that is to be used everywhere, that produces generic neighborhoods, the very thing we planners don't want. We want our neighborhoods to reflect our cities, not someone else's. Every area or region is different, and the natural environment, living preferences, and yes, even the market needs to be taken into consideration. What works in the northeast and southeast, for example, just wont work here in Michigan, which is why I do know of any DPZ projects here that have been approved.

    In my opinion, NU is like a runway fashion show. The ideas are cool, eye catching, and often regurgitated from the past. Most people don't want to wear exactly what the models are wearing, but the ideas inspire fashions that the rest of us actually can and want to wear around town. A neighborhood doesn't have to be a DPZ design to be considered successful in our field. It only has to addess the basic elements of NU/TND that are relevant and desired in that locale.
    urbanchik

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