New Urbanism comes to Indy (in a City where a $300,000 home is still very expensive.)
"We needed a place that people viewed as their center where they could meet their neighbors, that would be a focus for community events," Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said. "New urbanism and the City Center fit so well because we were trying to create a traditional downtown."
Brainard's suburban Indianapolis community grew in the past three decades from a small bedroom community to a city of nearly 40,000 people -- without a recognizable downtown.
"It became necessary to manufacture one so we would have a town that has the look of having evolved," said Rich Roesch, president of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission."
My comments: the traditional downtowns fail because the average suburbanite knows that he can save money by going to the big box store. Heaven forbid that we be inconvenienced in any way in parking, or we'll drive down the road to the next freeway cluster of the same box stores.
Unless these new downtowns can find a few people to operate hobby businesses, how will these new downtowns be anything but leisure centers with marginal economics?
And, the "manufactured" architecture will almost always look very cheap, made out of modern industrial materials with few details. Maybe they'll slap some fake brick veneer or choose a "country theme" designed by "architectural theming designers" from Chicago or New York. Yippee!
Plus, the entire point of Carmel, Indiana, is exclusivity. I am skeptical that this will be anything more than a niche market. As the article itself made clear: WE DON'T WANT TO LIVE NEAR ANY OF THOSE POOR PEOPLE (i.e., people earning less than $100K household incomes).
Sorry, sick of NIMBYism, sick of suburbia, frankly skeptical of much of modern American culture-particularly the built environment (I am a suburban resident, so sue me).