Urban planning community

Poll results: Would you live in a new urbanist neighborhood?

Voters
101. You may not vote on this poll
  • Absolutely!

    19 18.81%
  • Yes, but only if I can paint my garage neon orange

    11 10.89%
  • Yes, but only if it was more affordable

    22 21.78%
  • Yes, but only if it was an infill development

    26 25.74%
  • No way! New urbanism... it's not new and it's not urban!

    23 22.77%
Closed thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 74

Thread: Would you want to live in an new urbanist neighborhood?

  1. #1
    BANNED
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    European Union
    Posts
    22

    Would you want to live in an new urbanist neighborhood?

    This is a test. I see that there is a "polling" function and I'm going to see if I can set up a poll here in Cyburbia. I've never done this. So, if this thread gets all screwed up, I apologize in advance. Thanks!

    If it does get screwed up, then how about answering this thread anyway? If it was me, I might live in a new urbanist neighborhood, as long as it had a mix of incomes. I wouldn't want to be around a bunch of sameness, but I guess that's the irony, given that most of these places have strict architectural codes.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    No fair!! I wanted to vote more than once. I wouldn't want to live in a contrived environment and that's the impression I get from new urbanism. It has its merits but I think I'll pass on this one.

  3. #3

    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    somewhere cold
    Posts
    201
    No way! All the new urbanist communities I know of are auto oriented, except for a small shopping district. I hate driving. I don't want to live anywhere where I have to drive to work. Anybody know of a new urbanist community in which a planning department has located? I sold my car last year and hope to never need to buy a new one.

  4. #4
          Downtown's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Under a pile of back issue Plannings
    Posts
    3,174
    I visited Orlando with my husband's family this summer, and we went to see Celebration. My husband (who is a planner) and I both were very intrigued by alot of the different things they had going on there, but my father in law, who isn't always the most erudite, described the place as a "Cult". but then, he was really bent out of shape that the town didn't have a catholic church. Celebration was pretty, but also pretty sterile.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    441

    Pros & Cons

    I think a major downfall to much of neo-classical or New Urbanism developments are their cost. And usually uncalled for in my opinion, its supply & demand. The developer gets more for selling less in most cases.

    A well thought out New Urb / Mixed Use area has a lot of positives that attract me. Areas that are pedestrian friendly are great, but don't forget the auto. I really like the Doughnut designs in mixed uses area, with some parking inside or in the center hiding the autos and keeping the place pedestrian friendly.

    What I don't like is the (I restate!)cost. Secondly, many of the environments are sterile with too much concrete and not enough small localized commons...

  6. #6
    i live in southwest england. around here, first-time buyers and local people are getting priced out of the market by second-home owners from the city buying up the old village houses.

    developments on the scale to include new urbanist ideas in my region are forced to include a proportion of affordable housing. they also do not appeal to many of the holidaymakers who want 'traditional' village life. as such, they contain a broader spectrum of society and foster greater community spirit.

    i wouldn't choose to live in any that i have seen, but i would definately choose them over the other, purely profit-driven developments i see around the place.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Posts
    5
    I find the concept of New Urbanism rather intriguing. However, I find it difficult to reconcile the similarity that the movement draws between "place" and "community." I don't believe that values such as community or oneness come from the setting in which we place ourselves.

    I'm most fearful that the New Urbanist centers of today will be the ghettos of tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,662

    New Urbanism

    I think it's a good idea, but the cost is what gets me. The City I work for just went in on a beautiful transit village, but I wouldn't move in just because they want $900/month for an apartment half the size of where I currently live. It's cheaper for me to live 10 minutes away than across the street from my job because you can't really get around without a car in North Dallas.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    441

    Texasplanner? What development?

    Just curious what development you're speaking of. I have visited a number of the New Urban Developments down there like Legacy Trail, State of Thomas, Addison Circle, etc... My favorite I would have to say would be State of Thomas, I think RTKL did some of the design and development work there... ALL ARE WAY OVER PRICED!!! Only upper class living for the most part... Just my 2 cents, nice but higer priced.

    What development are you talking about?

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Delmarva
    Posts
    123

    ambivilent

    I liked some of the features of my old urban neighborhoods that inspire new urbanists -- walkability, front porches, detached garages. Then again I see some features that are considered blighting influences in my current job -- small lots, alleys, multiple uses, etc. I grew up with all this and more in inner city neighborhoods and it's comfortable to me.
    The difference I see is that new urbanist settlements are for another class of people. I don't see much mention of affordable housing or accomodations for cultural differences. What happens when the kids in these neighborhoods plug in their guitars or pull out their skateboards? Where are there allowances for groups of unrelated individuals like students or even cooperative households? Didn't people start gravitating to large lots so they wouldn't have to put up with noisy neighbors and their cars parked all over the place?
    Maybe I'm wrong about this. And I certainly like seeing a return to relatively traditional housing styles and layouts -- even though it will take 50 years for the trees to grow up and the areas to develop some character and individualuty. Would I live in such a development? Could I afford it? I don't know.
    Last edited by adaptor; 20 Feb 2002 at 3:33 PM.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,662

    Answer

    East Side VIllage in Plano is a new one, right on the DART track. There is also a very expensive (but very nice) complex in Las Colinas on Lake Caroline.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  12. #12
    Member Mary's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    outerspace
    Posts
    127
    Much of my problem with new urban developments is that the houses lots etc. all look the same. A real traditional area has style and the new residential developments, of all kinds, apear to be built to remove all individuality.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,979

    New Urban Living

    Only if I could have a 1-5 acre lot, three car garage and no sidewalks to shovel.

    OK, seriously, if I were to live in a city, yes, definitely New Urban or one of the original neighborhoods they are based upon. Still, I would have to have a second home out in the country where I could garden, feed birds, see the stars, shoot at cats, and get away from the crowds.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Delmarva
    Posts
    123

    you can have it all

    RE:"Still, I would have to have a second home out in the country where I could garden, feed birds, see the stars, shoot at cats, and get away from the crowds."

    We have most of this on our 50 x 180 central city lot. Increasing areas of lawn are replaced with gardens and wildlife habitat every year. My wife feeds the birds and was recently rewarded with the sighting of a Cooper's Hawk attempting to feed on the birds. There are scads of stray cats and occasional gunfire (though I'm not sure the two are related). I'm sure I can't imagine the stars you can see out in your dairy air but we've got large uncrowded parks just a short drive away.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,979
    50' x 180' lot - my driveway is 500' long! My vegetable garden is 50' x 70', and I have a prairie about the same size. Add in the flower gardens, woodland garden, fruit trees and shrubs, and about a half acre of heavily shaded, occassionally mowed lawn. I have three acres of pines to the north, maybe 40 acres of hay field behind the barns, and a quarter mile of soybeans between me and the nearest subdivision.Several types of hawks and owls are among the more than 60 bird species that visit my yard, including two threatened ones. Then there are the dozen or so different kinds of frogs I have to move out of the way when I do mow the lawn, raccoons, oppossum, deer, skunks, chipmunks.... The yard is turning into a wildlife sanctuary.

    There's nothing wrong with traditional neighborhoods. They are the best form of urban development as I see it. But they don't meet everyone's needs. For now, I choose the country. (Not sprawl, though. The house is 130 years old - almost as old as the oak in the front yard.)

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Delmarva
    Posts
    123
    So do you have a spare room for visitors?

    It sounds great. Real Aldo Leopold stuff. But I'd hate to have to clear the snow from that drive!

  17. #17

    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    13
    I live in what you might call a New Urbanist community. It's an infill development designed using some of the principles of NU (front porches, back alley garages, small lots), but it lacks any mixed uses. It's 100% residential with some parkland set aside. Then again, since it's an infill development, the other amenities alredy exist in the surrounding neighborhood.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,979
    How many planners out there are seeing 'New Urban' neighborhoods built without commercial or public uses? I think this a real trend, and would actually push for it. Here in Wisconsin, we have mostly small communities - under 15,000 people. It is possible to build new residential neighborhoods within walking distance of the downtown. Should these be typical suburban neighborhoods, or incorporate New Urban concepts that really make them an extension of existing development?

    Even where the downtown is a bit far (though still possible) to walk, there is usually an insufficient market to support additional commercial retail or services, if it would be built into a new development. We are not talking about large subdivisions here. We tend to think anything over 100 homes is big for most communities. In this context, it makes sense to me to construct a purely residential neighborhood with New Urban forms. An agglomeration of these neighborhoods may be built by several developers, over years, tied to an existing downtown or eventual commercial core.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    West Valley, AZ
    Posts
    3,895
    Michael Stumpf wrote:
    How many planners out there are seeing 'New Urban' neighborhoods built without commercial or public uses? I think this a real trend, and would actually push for it. Here in Wisconsin, we have mostly small communities - under 15,000 people. It is possible to build new residential neighborhoods within walking distance of the downtown. Should these be typical suburban neighborhoods, or incorporate New Urban concepts that really make them an extension of existing development?

    Even where the downtown is a bit far (though still possible) to walk, there is usually an insufficient market to support additional commercial retail or services, if it would be built into a new development. We are not talking about large subdivisions here. We tend to think anything over 100 homes is big for most communities. In this context, it makes sense to me to construct a purely residential neighborhood with New Urban forms. An agglomeration of these neighborhoods may be built by several developers, over years, tied to an existing downtown or eventual commercial core.
    you have to think of a city on the terms of a pedistrian level, rather than a car level.

    Neighborhood centers, nice stuff.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  20. #20
    Mary wrote:
    Much of my problem with new urban developments is that the houses lots etc. all look the same. A real traditional area has style and the new residential developments, of all kinds, apear to be built to remove all individuality.
    I have a similar problem with housing estates/developments. I grew up in a house in the North Lincolnshire countryside that was a hundred odd years old and holidayed in a similar (but hillier) place in France every summer. I still get a mild culture shock when I walk out of my front door and realise I live in a house virtually identical to all the surrounding houses and their all right on top of each other (so to speak).

    Anyhoo, England's latest answer to (sub?)urban development is Beddington Zero (Fossil) Energy Development, where you can still live in a box identical to your neighbours but you can feel smug because you know you're (allegedly) contributing to sustainable development.
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  21. #21
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,586
    Blog entries
    3
    Journeymouse wrote:
    Anyhoo, England's latest answer to (sub?)urban development is Beddington Zero (Fossil) Energy Development, where you can still live in a box identical to your neighbours but you can feel smug because you know you're (allegedly) contributing to sustainable development.
    I'm looking at that one bedroom flat ... my gawd, I've got two bedrooms in my house that are larger than that entire flat! I've taken tours of government-built maquiladora worker housing in Juarez, where there was far more living space provided than in Beddington Zero. Yes, I would rather live in a high-quality small house than a generic large house, but I still need a bit of room to stretch, to play with the dog, to hold a party. I know land costs in London are expensive, but what about overall construction costs? Would I break the bank if I were to buy a 1,500 square foot house out past Milton Keynes?

    As far as New Urbanism goes ... yeah, I'll take it over the cul-de-sac that my house sits on now. I'm in loop n' lollypop land, more than a mile from any commercial uses. However, I live in the sprawl not by choice, but out of necessity -- I can't afford any of the New Urbanist developments around here, and besides, they're all too far from work. The only "old urban" area within a reasonable commuting distance of my job is rather run-down, and dominated by residents of a Caucasian rural Southern cultural orientation. I'd prefer not to live next door to someone with a collection of "project cars" on their lawn, or with a big "3" painted on their garage door.

    (The view from my cul-de-sac ...)
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  22. #22

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468

    New Urbanism

    Hey, Dan, at least Florida development has not been completely designed by the engineers! Your street looks downright quaint compared to the "It has to be wide enough to drive three full-size fire trucks parallel during an earthquake" lovelies we see out here in "pave it all" California God, I hate our residential street standards!

    These streets just bake during the summer.

  23. #23

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Oh, and while I don't live in one of those subdivisions, my "mixed" income neighborhood has one lovely property that has featured:

    *a large "backyard wrestling" ring (in the front yard, of course.)

    *completely diassembled vehicles

    * a dog kept in a chain link kennel (that loves to bark at my dogs.)

    * The latest joy: a nine-foot tall plywood "wall" spray-painted with "Keep Out" behind which lies an amazing accumulation of junked auto parts and assorted detritus.

    They are actually kinda nice folks (the kid is just enough, though, that I expect to see the police cruisers parked in fromt more regularly during the next couple years)

    Oh well, still prefer it to some manicured subdivision where busybody neighbors walk around measuring the height of the grass

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    566
    BKM,
    I thought of this web site about the neighbor from hell after reading your last post:

    http://www.knology.net/~carlos/redneck.htm
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
    _____________________________
    WWJJD
    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  25. #25
    jzt83's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Pasadena, CA
    Posts
    21
    I currently live in a NU area of Portland, OR called the Pearl District, which is adjacent to Downtown. There are both afforadable and market priced apartments, but the majority of the units are expensive. It looks nice, but just a little too sterile for my tastes. All the shops are overpeiced boutique and furniture stores with nothing I would buy. And the grocery stores are the healthy and organic types. It's just too expensive for me. The nearest regular grocery store is a mile away. In fact, I find myself driving to the suburbs to buy my goods, as I can find better deals there. I never ever do my shopping in this area. I can see why people would want to live in a NU environment, but as for myself, I prefer a long established neighborhood that has been built gradually instead of a very short period of time. I guess NU neighborhoods are geared more towards the upper-middle-class.

    I am semi-impressed with downtown Portland. It is small and compact. But theres just something missing. I can't put my finger on it. I think it's the density. There are pockets of people here and there, but it's very sparse. I don't know, you'll have to visit to know what I mean.

Closed thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 19
    Last post: 26 Feb 2011, 3:28 PM
  2. Replies: 14
    Last post: 04 Nov 2008, 6:18 PM
  3. Replies: 35
    Last post: 16 Apr 2008, 12:35 PM