Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

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 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 74

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

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    10,075
    I've spent a good deal of time in Portland. It is a great city, but I do know what you mean about the downtown. I will walk out of my downtown hotel at night expecting there to be shops open, but even the coffee shops are closed by seven.

    There are some really nice neighborhoods outside of the downtown, and even the strip development is much more compact than you see in our neck of the prairies.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,163
    No....

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    566
    New Urban or Old Urban, anything but CSD. I've had enough of automobile dependence and lawn mowing.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Posts
    4,767
    why the hell not?
    I wouldn't mind living in a NU neighborhood. I don't mind walking to stores or to work or nearby things. heck, when I was in the US I did that...of course I lived in a town and I was near school and shops. And in NJ! and within the NYC metro area(wel a reasonable distance, must have been like 30 miles or something like that...). for the ones interested I lived in Nutley,NJ. It is near Passaic, NJ. by car it was like an hour away from NYC (taking the lincoln tunnel).

  5. #30
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    203
    I don't know about you guys... but I'd rather live in an Old Ubranist neighborhood... i.e... historic neighborhoods which the "New Urbanist" communities take their inspiration (sometimes) from.

  6. #31
    It would depend on the type of NU development, I would not want to live in a 100% residential community.

    Personally I would prefer a new highrise condo, 50-storeys up, near transit, surrounded by retail, cafes, clubs, bars...

    I really hate having to drive everywhere, cutting grass, shovling snow and removing the crap that collects on the roof.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,163
    Originally posted by SkeLeton
    why the hell not?
    I wouldn't mind living in a NU neighborhood. I don't mind walking to stores or to work or nearby things. heck, when I was in the US I did that...of course I lived in a town and I was near school and shops. And in NJ! and within the NYC metro area(wel a reasonable distance, must have been like 30 miles or something like that...). for the ones interested I lived in Nutley,NJ. It is near Passaic, NJ. by car it was like an hour away from NYC (taking the lincoln tunnel).
    I hate to break it to you buddy, but NJ isn't there anymore. We cut all the bridges and let it float away into the Atlantic.

    As for me...I live in "Historic Roxborough/Manayunk" an "old" urbanist neighborhood. I can walk to anything I want, I can take the bus, the train, ride my bike...the Art Museum is a jog away, downtown is a $5.00 cab ride...

    I think you get my drift. No matter how hard you try, you aren't ever going to replicate living in "the city."

  8. #33

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    But I bet, Mike, living in the City you can't live on a street named "Whispering Oaks Lane." Beat That!

  9. #34
    INACTIVE
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Toronto,Ontario
    Posts
    101
    I would consider living in a new urbanist community. But ,as a person who doesn't drive it would have to be one which ignores the planning codes of the last 60-70 years. Many NU developers know better than to fight our planning codes, and those that try can only claim partial success.

    I would like to live in an apartment where my rent doesn't subsidize other people's off street parking spaces. Besides, places with garages or surface lots for every store and apartment have more auto traffic and less pedestrian traffic.

    I would like to live in a neighborhood of mostly thin streets. One with on, not off street parking with it's sidewalk cutouts.
    I would like to live in a place with connected streets (and sidewalks) so that I can walk or bike directly to where I'm going. I don't want to live in a pod surrounded by empty parks, office parks or highways and arterials. It's no fun biking down an arterial, or on a mile detour around some open space or empty industrial zone.

    I would like to live as close as possible to a variety of stores,(small grocer, laundromat, bodega, 99cent store, restaurant, video....) The smaller and closer the local schools the better. It would also be important for me to be located on great transit, not infrequent buses or 1 way expensive commuter trains.

    These conditions abound in pre 1940's New York and Chicago neighborhoods. Unfortunately new developments in these neighborhoods are done according to the new codes and so strip malls , box stores, setbacks, freeways and single zoned areas have been eroding pedestrian friendliness and the vitality of communities. Until we change our codes and spending priorities you can expect public transportation to fail, and NU communities to be auto centric.
    Last edited by green22; 28 Jan 2003 at 10:36 PM.

  10. #35
    Member dbhstockton's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    12
    My town has some nice NU infill developments that I would live in if I could afford it. They're in excellent locations within short walking distance of transit (to NYC), which in my part of the country means they are expensive.

    They're a nice mix of rentals, multi-family, and single family dwellings. My only criticism is aesthetic. They're in the typical red-brick neo-colonial style, complete with cuppolas and non-functional vinyl window shutters. While it's better than what was there before --an abandonned car dealership, derilect industrial/commercial sites, a fire-damaged schoolhouse -- developers need to realize that there is a market for more interesting architecture, especially in the cosmopolitan suburbs of major cities.

    That's my main problem with new urbanism in general (aside from the fact that it's not new at all). Too often, it's a blueprint for theme park architecture. Towns like mine, which have plenty of "old urbanism," as somebody put it, can absorb NU development and still have some character. For those communities with no urbanist heritage, New Urbanism has little to offer aesthetically.

  11. #36

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Hey, dbh: Have you seen anything about a development outside Denver called Prospect (in Longmont, Colorado). Kiki Wallace did just what you suggested: some pretty outrageous houses on a New Urbanist grid. Doesn't have the full complement of transit or other desirable New Urbanist features, but pretty interesting.

  12. #37
    Member dbhstockton's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    12
    BKM,

    Thanks, I found its website: http://www.prospectnewtown.com/. Very interesting, your choice from three centuries of American domestic architecture. It will be very nice when the trees grow in.

  13. #38
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Somewhere between the mountains and the ocean.
    Posts
    18,454

    If done right, why not

    If a new urbanist community is done right, it should have a little of everything with in walking distance, or access to public transportaion to get to where you need to go. So there should be no need for a car, and the interaction with other people is what will make it great.

  14. #39
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    I would rather live in an "old urbanist" community - more or less like the victorian era railroad suburb i grew up in.

    I've seen these "NU" communities with nothing but housing - but guess what? They're not New Urbanist. They have a few TND conceits but other than that don't amount to much. I think as long as you have the same developers going back and forth between subdivisions and these places you are going to wind up with crap. NU is great as long as it is infill or will be big enough to be relatively self contained. Daniel's Island in Charleston, SC impressed me.

    As far as them being too expensive - i think that is more a product of demand. When more developers get in on the act I think the prices will come down and the quality of the design will go up.

  15. #40
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Paris of Appalachia
    Posts
    3,902
    Originally posted by jresta
    Daniel's Island in Charleston, SC impressed me.
    I received my undergrad in Charleston and Daniel Island was studied in minutia,(I even did a killer GIS project on native displacement there). and one thing that would prevent me from living there, or any simular NU community , is the loss of idividual control. The neighborhod design guideline handbook is about 3" thick and restricts every detail of life there, including which style of mailbox you could buy (from a short and EXPENSIVE list) to not allowing basketball goals in driveways. I live in a beautiful very Old Urbanist neighborhood and there are basketball goals all over the place.

    Daniel Island is better than 99.9% of other suburbs in Charleston, but it has that ridiculous level of control found in other sub-divisions that prohibits the individual character that traditionally defines urban areas.

  16. #41
    Member Wulf9's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Near the Geysers
    Posts
    922
    What's the proposed jobs housing balance in Prospect? One problem with new urbanist projects is that they often won't support commercial development. Alternatively, they are based near (or create as a part of the development) a large job creator which creates a lot of commuting from outside the area..

  17. #42
         
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    340
    I agree with biscuit's comment. Too many restrictions in a community that prevent individuality are loathesome. Why can't my grass be taller than 4 inches?! Why can't I decorate my yard with pink flamingos (not that I would)?!? Why can't I work on a messy project outside on my own property?!? These restrictions are all over the suburbs....making them more unappealing than ever.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    2
    I would definitely consider living in a New Urbanist neighborhood - if I could afford it. But most examples of NU development that I've seen are so expensive that it's not an option for middle class (or even upper middle class) individuals/families to consider. If there's a way to apply similar principles (scale, design, walkabilty, mixed-use, etc.) to developments that are more affordable, I think many would be interested.

  19. #44
    Member green lizard's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    My own private Idaho (FL)
    Posts
    133
    If you read all the posts in this thread what you
    find is that....

    My college proffesors were wrong! Not everyone wants
    to live downtown in a New Urbanist infill development!

    Suprise Suprise!

    No, it is about choice. If we all wanted the same thing then
    life would be boring. But that leaves us with the real problem
    of some groups who want to limit choice. They use
    environmental causes to justify their passion and their vision
    of changing development. Are these groups a market balance
    or do they do more damage to good ideas by stuffing them
    down developers throats?

  20. #45
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    Originally posted by green lizard
    If you read all the posts in this thread what you
    find is that....

    My college proffesors were wrong! Not everyone wants
    to live downtown in a New Urbanist infill development!

    Suprise Suprise!

    No, it is about choice. If we all wanted the same thing then
    life would be boring. But that leaves us with the real problem
    of some groups who want to limit choice. They use
    environmental causes to justify their passion and their vision
    of changing development. Are these groups a market balance
    or do they do more damage to good ideas by stuffing them
    down developers throats?
    that's not really what i found at all. It seems to me that most people who don't prefer rural living either want to live in an old town or a new town (NU) but find the implementation of NU developments not to their liking.

    It doesn't mean they don't like the idea of NU it means they either think it's too expensive (probably having to do with the limited supply), the architecture is too cheesy (again, it's a relatively new phenom and maybe it will improve with practice), or the rules are too strict.

    These are all things that can be ironed out and are not by any means fatal flaws in the concept.

    Personally I have a wealth of urban and victorian environments from which to choose and I like old houses so it's what i look for.

  21. #46
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    Originally posted by ricjer
    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.

    From my own experiences I couldn't disagree with this more. I've lived in a lot of different types of places and i've seen the impact design has on how often neighbors interact.

    When i first moved to the Philly area I took the first apartment I could find that was near the train. It wound up being at the Ashland PATCO stop in Voorhees, NJ. (12 miles southeast of Philly City Hall) The station was surrounded by Johnson era suburban development. My girlfriend and I were a one car household and after a year I was bored out of my mind. I had to get out. The only thing to do on foot was walk to Dunkin' Donuts or get on the train and go to Center City. Everything else required a 10 minute drive. The only neighbors i had any interaction with were those that i shared the stoop with.

    I wound up buying a place 7 miles closer in and a world away. Collingswood, NJ. I bought a brick twin built in 1927. It was in the middle of a block of nearly identical twins and behind us were more of the same. Across the street were much larger victorians. My front porch was 15 ft. from the sidewalk and I could see anyone up and down the street who happened to be sitting on the porch. By the end of the summer I knew everyone on the block.

    I was 1/2 a block from the Main St. where I could walk to almost anything I needed and going to the bakery often wound up becoming a one hour trip because all of the people i bumped into along the way.

    I understand that some people enjoy their privacy and that's fine - but the kind of interaction that occurs on the sidewalk just doesn't happen in a car.

    Without informal meetings like that and informal discussions about what's going on in the town that anyone within earshot can feel free to join in on you don't have a "community" you have an "interest group."
    Last edited by jresta; 21 May 2003 at 4:07 PM.

  22. #47

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    I would add to jresta's remarks that post-war ("Johnson era") suburban development doesn't seem to have very much long term viability. The design quality (poor), lack of variety, and commuter orientation are leading to premature decay. I mean-20 years in some cases! There don't seem to be many attachments to these suburban developments-they seem to be consider disposable consumer goods. There are subdivisions in Fairfield built during the 1980s that are already decaying.

    Not to deny that older mixed use city neighborhoods don't decay as well-but what, other than cheap pricing, is to bring people back to a Kauffman and Broad 1983 special? They don't even have the quirky charm of an Eichler house (sorry for the West Coast references )

    I really think the redevelopment of older subdivisions will be a big issue.

  23. #48
    Member green lizard's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    My own private Idaho (FL)
    Posts
    133
    I would love to agree... however I can not.

    I belive that the market trends STILL show a
    significant number of folks want to live on a
    cul-de-sac. It is about choice. If you work in the
    city and enjoy that, great. If you are more rural
    and enjoy that, be happy.

    We all have read Jane J. and understand some
    sustainability concepts.... but the market (what people
    wil pay for) still supports both NU developments,
    traditional developments and subdivisions (sprawl?).

    NU developments are selling like crazy in South Florida.
    But large homes in gated subdivisions are selling
    even BETTER.

    Sorry

  24. #49
    Member japrovo's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    103
    Originally posted by green lizard


    NU developments are selling like crazy in South Florida.
    But large homes in gated subdivisions are selling
    even BETTER.

    Sorry
    For the record I'm a life long city dweller and a fan of old houses. I wouldn't live in either a traditional suburb or a new urbanist development if you paid me. But that's fine, go build what you want as long as you leave a few old houses in the cities for me and mine to recycle.

    I don't doubt that your assessment of market trends in FL has some validity there and elsewhere. But can we be intellectually honest if we don't think about the generation or more of infrastructure subsidies and code writing favoring certain design types and its influence on the existing market conditions?

    So what are all these planners up to? Notwithstanding anything said by proponents or opponents I don't think anyone realistically expects to wipe out the traditional subdivision with new urbanism. Even here in the Portland region it is about choice, offering a diverse range of housing options across the breadth of the regional housing market. The options are there for people who want to or need to make certain housing choices that just don't exist in other regions. And as the boomers start to downsize with age I think the regions without those options are going to have some problems.

  25. #50
    Member green lizard's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    My own private Idaho (FL)
    Posts
    133
    Mumford also said , "Our national flower is the
    concrete cloverleaf interchange"

    How about, "The truth is more important than the facts."
    Frank Loyd Wright

    I like this (form the father of the automobile)
    "An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous."

    - Henry Ford

    Quotes are cool.

Closed thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 19
    Last post: 26 Feb 2011, 2:28 PM
  2. Replies: 14
    Last post: 04 Nov 2008, 5:18 PM
  3. Replies: 35
    Last post: 16 Apr 2008, 11:35 AM