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Thread: Disappointed in new urbanism

  1. #1

    Disappointed in new urbanism

    So far, local development proposals submitted as neo-traditional developments have been very disappointing. The layout, design and land uses lack the characteristics of our older community. The "new urbanism" tag seems to be an excuse for high denisty housing without local style or characteristics. New Urbanism should support the sense of place rather than introduce developments which are out of character to our community. Designers should start with discussions with local people before pen is put to paper. LOcal forms of land use should be identified by people of the community. By the way, what is the meaning of the latest term "Rural Urbanism" used to support new urbanism? New bit of double talk.

  2. #2

    disappointed in New Urbanism

    It seems to me that there are two issues here--one the local character that we don't often see reflected in the cookie cutter designs that even NU seems to be creating. I think that in some cases, there really is no local character- most greenfield development takes place far enough from existing urban centers that Farm is the only real character of the moment. Or Existing Suburbia--equally indistinctive. Tied to this though, is the idea of sustainable design--and using the local (or as local as possible) materials to build with. I would like to see NU neighborhoods that reflect the land and the ecosystem into which they are being built. Adobe in the hot dry south, Hay bale in the stormy midwest, wood in the forested lands, stone in the stonier places, etc. These would reflect appropriatly the Real character of the place. Haciendas made of adobe in the Northwest look stupid, as do log homes in the desert SW. Building styles themselves can be appropriate designed to live with the weather and the environment, rather than the automobile. I'd also like to see these communities of homes built on a small scale, NU style, affordable to the less affluent. It really doesn;t make sense to keep going back to the "glory days" for design when they designed for endless abundance, out of ignorance often, and in an age of expansion. Homes today should be like nice tidy little Sport Utility Trucks, instead of those big winged caddys of yesteryear. Nuff said.

  3. #3

    disappointed in New Urbanism

    I would argue that even in the older urban core there often are no local design characteristics. Go to any city and find a good "urban" neighborhood. Much of the arch. is the same from city to city. There are some variations brown stone in one city and grey in another. More brick in the uper midwest and wood in the south. But, the forms are the same. There are some jems out there though that have spiced up the standard design. Orenco Station outside Portland and Middleton HIlls outside Madison are two prime examples. I have no idea what "Rural Urbanism" is suposed to be.

    Keep up the good dialoge on this very important issue!!

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