I need to vent about a San Diego TND: Rio Vista West in Mission Valley (actually, it's a transit oriented development on the trolley line).
It is an infill TND - built on a former gravel quarry, about 5 miles outside of downtown San Diego in a region known for its big box malls and parking lots.
An excellent overview of the development can be found here: http://www.tndwest.com/riovistawest.html
I was shocked to find out that this development is an example of "New Urbanism" because it doesn't even resemble a traditional neighborhood. It's surrounded by surface parking lots, 6-lane thoroughfares and even its own new big box mall next door (no grocery store). Developers altered Peter Calthorpe's original plan to include a mall that would serve the major freeways.
The place is not walkable beyond its own 1/8 mile driveways, And even though the surrounding roads include treelined sidewalks, they are not pedestrian friendly because of the traffic load and surrounding parking lots/office parks. This is an area built for cars.
I have several questions:
1) Would it be safe to say that most TND's are master-planned communities built from scratch??
2) Are TND's different from revitalized downtowns?? I'm a little confused about the definition of TND - some of the ones listed at the TND Town Paper site (http://www.tndtownpaper.com/neighborhoods.htm) seem more like revitalized urban neighborhoods to me, which tend to be much more successful than this Disneyfied TND. Rio Vista West is not listed there - I don't think it would meet their standards.
3) Are most TND's walkable? Or are they squeezed into a car-dominated environment?
4) What kind of TND is Rio Vista West? Would this be an example of "New Suburbanism"?
5) Is New Suburbanism essentially huge condo complexes built next to big box malls?
6) Would it be wise to divide NU into two categories: TND's (built on greenfields or infill land) and revitalized downtowns?
I admire the principles of New Urbanism, but wonder how often those principles are realized "on the ground".
Any thoughts, links, resources would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!