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Thread: The failure of 'new urbanism'

  1. #26
    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Well, why do we HAVE to keep improving our land as huge chunks? Whatever happened to returning to the practice of surveyors subdividing land, laying down right-of-ways on a grid, and developers improving the land one lot at a time or one block at a time? In some ways, new urbanism is just a new window dressing for a different type of large-scale development. We have millions of unused bedrooms across the country. We do not NEED to keep building and expanding. Of course, that would put most of the developer and several branches of planning permanently out of business. This has bothered me for over a decade, and one of the big factors that contributes to planning profession's perpetual instability.
    I absolutely agree. From what I've seen, NU, despite any more noble intentions of founding members (which I'm suspicious of), just turned into another marketing scheme to sell plans to communities who wanted those development fees but needed better justification for approving growth. This, in turn, inspired others to found their marketing campaigns on bastardized versions using similar lingo to promote what is, essentially, the status-quo. How quickly it all descended into the same crap we've seen for decades: give lip service to walkability, throw some "village centers" in (i.e. compact strip malls), and plant a few pocket-parks here and there. Voila!

    There was one Orange County firm that did a pretty big marketing campaign on "New Suburbanism" (I'm sure many here know exactly who I'm talking about)... and if that wasn't a pristine, perfect example of this, I don't know what is.

  2. #27
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    Working in Modesto, where our Village One plan (ca 1991) was nickel-and-dimed to death by city councils that would not hold the line on the initial approval, it appears to me that Visalia is experiencing the same problem, just on a shorter time frame.

    When someone like our colleague "chip" here says "never" this and "always" that, I know that assumptions being made about the future are erroneous.

    Why? Well, let's start with the statement we receive in our prospectuses, "past performance is not a predictor of future results." In other words, don't expect the future to be like the past. Anyone who has visited a city that's been around for more than 75 years or so knows this to be true.

    Who could have imagined what the automobile would do to our civilization? Who could have imagined that development would move from a building-by-building civic endeavor to fractions of a square mile (or multiple square miles) built by carpetbaggers?

    That in mind, I submit that the last 60 years are not likely to resemble the next 60 years. We're running out of money. America--and certainly California--is more impoverished than it has been in a long, time. The difference between rich and poor is growing, the middle class is shrinking. Worldwide petroleum resources are shrinking, so the era of cheap oil--which has driven the development patterns of the last 60 years--is probably drawing to a close.

    How will all this play out? What will future development look like? When will it change? Let me grab my Magic 8 Ball here . . . it says "Ask Again Later."

    Anyone who says he knows what the future will look like is just guessing. My guess is that the future will look different than today looks. A lot different.

  3. #28
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    Joel Kotkin isn't a New Urbanist

    "chip" Are you suggesting that Kotkin's a New Urbanist? He is not. At best, he's a cynic. He opposes New Urbanism and government regulation generally. His paper, "The New Suburbanism," is, in my opinion, simply intellectual plagiarism or worse, lifting the T3 segment out of the transect and claiming it as his own "new" idea. Yes, I read the entire thing. If I'd been Duany, I'd have consulted an attorney.

    Let's stop tiptoeing around.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally posted by cvanempel View post
    "chip" Are you suggesting that Kotkin's a New Urbanist? He is not. At best, he's a cynic. He opposes New Urbanism and government regulation generally. His paper, "The New Suburbanism," is, in my opinion, simply intellectual plagiarism or worse, lifting the T3 segment out of the transect and claiming it as his own "new" idea. Yes, I read the entire thing. If I'd been Duany, I'd have consulted an attorney.

    Let's stop tiptoeing around.
    I am absolutely not suggesting that New Suburbanism was espoused by New Urbanists, that much is fairly obvious. Please read my last post again.

    Also, I thought I was fairly careful about not making sweeping generalizations about New Urbanism. I made it clear that there are successes, and that I am basing my opinions on what I've seen personally. Perhaps a better title for the thread would have been "A Failure of..."

  5. #30
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    My community adopted a SmartCode over its historic center (really, the entire original town plat), and thus far it has served very well to preserve and promote the mixed use and building form. New Urbanism doesn't always involve new periphery developments. This might be an example of what Dan noted about granular development, only in this case it's granular redevelopment.
    I'm thinking about granularity within a project. For example, I wouldn't consider a lifestyle center that incorporates residential units as "new urbanism", because it was developed as a large superblock. I'm thinking about NU projects where commercial development isn't in a superblock form, but rather commercial areas are subdivided just like residential districts, and built up gradually, much in the same way a traditional neighborhood or village Main Street would have developed,
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #31
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I'm thinking about granularity within a project. For example, I wouldn't consider a lifestyle center that incorporates residential units as "new urbanism", because it was developed as a large superblock. I'm thinking about NU projects where commercial development isn't in a superblock form, but rather commercial areas are subdivided just like residential districts, and built up gradually, much in the same way a traditional neighborhood or village Main Street would have developed,
    And i think that's much more in line with the original ideas of Chris Alexander, and would lead to a more authentic progression of development. I just haven't seen many real world examples of that.

  7. #32
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    Kotkin, Visalia, etc

    I read your post and it seemed somewhat ambiguous, so I meant to draw a crystal-clear distinction between Kotkin and NU. Kotkin seems to have wanted to blur the line.

    I don't consider Paul a starry-eyed idealist (I don't mean to put words in your mouth here). And I've seen positive examples of New Urbanism even in California, which is a very late arrival on the scene (Hercules, Chico, Ventura).

    First: authenticity. "Authenticity" comes with time. New subdivisions are authentically themselves, even the stuff I wouldn't pay a nickel for. In 20 years, their authentic value is amply demonstrated--just look at 20-year-old developments. Very often, authentically yucky. To be more generous, not to my taste.

    Second: you're referring to architectural style, not to New Urbanism as a conceptual development framework--which is independent of architectural style. Since New Urbanism can in fact embrace well-designed modernism (yes, there is some), I'm going to set that aside and consider the conceptual framework.

    I consider much of the actual New Urbanism we see today to be prototype work. Why? Because the larger development community hasn't bothered to crunch the numbers. The larger development community doesn't do much homework, but essentially copies and enlarges its past successes. Evidence: foreclosure/financial disaster.

    Once again: past performance is not a predictor of future results.

    The world is changing. I imagine that, as lending stays tight, developers will be looking to smaller developments with smaller margins (not the obscene 100%-plus "margins" of the aughts) if they wish to keep working. As gas prices rise, the land rent structure will change, and rents will rise nearer transportation and rise even more nearer non-automobile transportation.

  8. #33
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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  9. #34
    Quote Originally posted by cvanempel View post
    I read your post and it seemed somewhat ambiguous, so I meant to draw a crystal-clear distinction between Kotkin and NU. Kotkin seems to have wanted to blur the line.
    The connection I was trying to make was that NU seems more of a marketing scheme than anything else, and that this has worked its way down with other firms trying to capitalize on its salience and create their own "brands" of development product types.... Thus you get absurdities like New Suburbanism.

  10. #35
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    Dat aint your papa's NU

    It's probably too late in the thread to change any minds here, but based on the original post and the subsequent "me toos," I can't figure out what is understood to be NU and therefore the objections.

    The characterizations of what NU is about don't make any sense to me as actually NU, and mostly read like straw-man arguments rather than thoughtful critiques. If this is a "confessions of a disgruntled new urbanist" dis (which sounds juicy) ... let's be sure we get the NU part right.

  11. #36
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    Visalia fallout

    Sorry, let me be clear.

    As reported in the local paper, Visalia City Council just dumped the NU plan it has been working on for the last maybe three or four years. I recall someone from M-P at the Pasadena Congress mentioning that they were working on a plan there. This event seems to be the catalyst for this thread.

    Or non-event. Most of you are probably not from the San Joaquin Valley and are rather unfamiliar with the politics hereabouts. I was more surprised that Visalia decided to undertake this project than I was disappointed that they abandoned it.

    This start-and-stop with a new planning paradigm is understandable and utterly predictable. Until either (1) the public demands better or (2) it's virtually impossible to continue making the same mistakes of the post-War period, this will continue.

    If, instead of viewing this as some sort of "failure," you view it as multiple test-runs or prototypes, when a project is abandoned or undermined or not adopted, or if it somehow otherwise doesn't live up to its potential, you can consider it a type of experiment. No one likes change. Any change. Is it realistic to expect that the entire country is going to change wholesale, overnight?

    There are many, many reasons that NU is taking time to catch on and reach full flower, not least of which is federal (and state) transportation policy. Is it reasonable to expect a couple of planning firms in California to beat that Goliath? There have been such significant structural changes in this country since WWII, it seems more than a little unrealistic to expect substantial change even in 20 years.

    And, as I've noted, NU and architectural style are not the same thing. Conflating the two is a mistake. Dan Solomon waxed eloquent (90 min) in Providence on this very issue. He is a modernist architect who is also a New Urbanist.

    Wingnut, you are spot-on. It sounds to me like we're not all discussing the same apples and oranges.

    As for anonymity, I presume that it's just us girls, just as with other planning forums in which we may participate. Public employees don't enjoy the First Amendment rights taken for granted by others, so I hope that my confidence in the discretion of others here isn’t misplaced—or is it?

  12. #37
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cvanempel View post
    Public employees don't enjoy the First Amendment rights taken for granted by others, so I hope that my confidence in the discretion of others here isn’t misplaced—or is it?
    Seeing where your from and the possibility that you may be a client or potential client i will no longer respond to this interesting discussion. And i had a good response too. oh well.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  13. #38
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    I guess my confidence IS misplaced.

    Please don't edit yourself, I won't continue my participation. And I only read when I plan to participate.

    Final post.

  14. #39
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    Valley Fog

    ... well folks if you keep the discussion on point no feelings or employment should be harmed ... and it'd be much more interesting than "good responses" not made.

    I read "chip" to say the project he was mentioning, and others, fail because it was too NU and NU wasn't right, and "cvanempel" replied to the effect that local goverment in the central valley he knows dinked the NU out of a good NU project he knew about.

    Where's the intrigue in that line of argument (said the I-know-nothing on the coast)?

  15. #40
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    I didn't know i was dancing around a larger problem. Please enlighten me. .
    NU doesn’t adequately recognize the economic (read commercial) realities of US development (though it tries) hence it has a problem integrating the day to day retail that is necessary to make it work like the plan wants to, it should also be noted that most commercial/retail interests can’t make heads or tails of it and wind up creating lifestyle centers instead. You reference this you just never made the point.

    I
    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    see these projects failing right before my eyes. I perform the environmental review, so I think I have a pretty good vantage point, since this is the "last stop" before approval and permitting. As I brought out, we do have some experience with this, at least in California. .
    New Town St. Charles was the best selling development in all of MO prior to the residential crash, there numerous other sucesses and yes failures. Maybe what you are witnessing is the failure of California, or maybe California’s dominate development culture strangling its growth; a tiger does not change its stripes



    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    When I talk about "way of life" I'm referring to just about everything that makes people unique: where they live, work, how they work, how they go about their day, the pace of life, the foods they eat, how they eat, how they gather, what they do when they gather, etc.

    I don't really understand your question... could you expand?.
    What will do you find in NU that you do not find much of in Europe.....


    Alleys! Very rare in most of Europe, alleys with garages? Almost unheard of. The question was more of a challenge to understanding of both European development and NU doctrine, which is pretty alley heavy.

    Now here is a real cultural mismatch for you, when Prince Charles developed “Poundbury” in the UK they included a lot of NU doctrine from the US including the use of alleys which are foreign in single family, or most multifamily, development in the UK. The result is that people had no idea where the entry was, front entries often has furniture put in front of them. The reason, culturally England relies on one public entry that is also used by the inhabitants, “back doors” traditionally exited only to your garden, not your car.




    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    So does NU attempt to replicate the slow, organic aspects of European cities, or the large tract development you say has been around for millenia? I get one implication from Dan, another from you. .

    My point earlier is there is no one way European cities developed, Craig laid out New Town Edinburgh in the mid 1700's it was fully planned with streets parks commercial areas and was built (first portion) in about 30 years, record time considering the construction limitations of the day, we have Caterpillars and marketing campaigns, so we move faster, even though we still must measure sucess in decades not years.

    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Regardless of the pace of development NU is supposed to replicate, it often fails in execution. One of my primary contentions is that through the very act of replication it fails. Because it is often not authentic; not borne out of the community itself, from its own people, culture, and environments. .
    It has problems (big problems) with authenticity, but this is what makes it annoying failure is due to the economic conditions I stated earlier.


    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    However, I cannot subscribe to the notion that it constitutes a singular "viable option", as if it can be applied in a packaged format, or that it in anyway represents the best paradigm to use, or that it even deserves to be thought of in terms of paradigms. To make it work in existing communities, you have to end up picking and choosing which ideas you'll work with, and at that point, you're not doing anything different than applying some of the same good planning principles that have been around for decades longer than DPZ, Calthorpe, M&P, et al. slapped a name on it, published books in praise of themselves, and founded CNU to give it some sort of imaginary legitimacy. A certain prominent, NU-founding firm that shall remain nameless uses blatant, one-size fits-all templates for applying NU to communities all over California. We have been privy to the vastly impractical, hasty, irresponsible, and slap-dash approach... and the result is as I've explained in the OP.
    The reason that it is the "viable option" is because they are the only ones doing it. It is a slick packaged reconstitution of a lot of 19th century ideas from America and Europe mixed with some dogma and a bit of fantasy, but it is tackling (and the only defined school of thought attempting to do so) the random and sometimes chaotic approach to development that has defined the later half of the American century, it may just be ordered, nostalgic sprawl, but at least it is ordered, there is an attempt to apply a method to the madness.

    Remember it is developing school of thought (though there are a few who believed they have arrived) It is growing and changing, as time moves forward and new ideas are interjected into the canon it will adapt to its surroundings. It’s the perfection of the idea, the crucible of time. Like I said its just too soon to tell.
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  16. #41
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    Exactly which N. U. efforts in California are we talking about?

    S. B. 375 is forcing all the State's municipalities to adopt some principles of New Urbanism. And, I think one of the most interesting expressions of the movement is currently taking place in San Bernardino. But, it's interesting to note that the Vision & Action Plan for the city center there specifically rejected a proposed single-developer redevelopment of a 40-acre site that contains a dead mall in favor of a more "authentic" redevelopment of the site that is heavy on the civic buildings and on the inclusion of half a dozen or so developers who specialize in adaptive reuse, student housing, T.O.D., etc.

    It also helps that San Bernardino was originally built around passenger rail with three transcontinental lines, a circle-eight regional line, and one of the two nexuses of the Pacific Electric Red Cars. So, restoring this transportation infrastructure, through high-speed rail, light rail, and B.R.T. is a natural extension of the city's original planning.

    Some people continue to question investing in transit and T.O.D. in the United States, but car sharing (subscription-based car rentals) can easily make transit and T.O.D. work where we have all this sprawl. The trickier question is how to activate the ground floors of buildings when big-box retailers and Internet retailers may be able to operate with higher profit margins than competing outlets.

    I still haven't quite cracked that nut.

  17. #42
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    We learned about this in my urban scene class. We watched a video about a city that had a loss of tax revenue and thus no money for infrustructure because of people moving out of old suburban homes to newer homes in another nearby city. The problem is people move out of old suburban homes to new suburban homes, and the old suburban city dies and people in the old homes lose jobs as there is no people to support businesses. Cities to need to figure out to keep people in areas by creating enough jobs, and developers need to stop building when not everyone can afford to live in new homes or make sure they build in one area, and build less new homes in a nearby city.

  18. #43
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    Serenbe

    I don't know how helpful this may be, but have you looked at Serenbe? It is a 900acre new urban development that within 5 years had gone from an idea to residents moving in. Steve Nygren, the founder of the project was a guest speaker at my school (CU Boulder) the other day and seems to have a successful system. Might be worth checking out or maybe contacting him. Here is the website:
    http://www.serenbecommunity.com/home.html.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally posted by jcd View post
    I don't know how helpful this may be, but have you looked at Serenbe? It is a 900acre new urban development that within 5 years had gone from an idea to residents moving in. Steve Nygren, the founder of the project was a guest speaker at my school (CU Boulder) the other day and seems to have a successful system. Might be worth checking out or maybe contacting him. Here is the website:
    http://www.serenbecommunity.com/home.html.
    Serenbe (a highbred between serenity and well being is very nice, but it is more of an enclave for the wealthy not functioning NU, I would say that it is pretty much an unworkable concept for those in the sub six figure range.

    It also has a cheesy name
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  20. #45
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    If the New Urbanism has a bad reputation among some people, I'm inclined to think the movement has made such an impression through the co-opting of the term by developers who have built environments that really do not express all the principles Duany has espoused, at least.

    Also, the New Urbanism isn't going to help ugly and creepy buildings, and there have been plenty built within the framework of N. U. principles.

  21. #46
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    I guess the failures of NU that I see are (1) that the CNU is a bit of a cult that (2) has done a poor job on lobbying the regulatory/financial end of things. This is where these projects fail.

    I have my own disagreements with some of their basic premises and others might expect more from NU than what it really is but in terms of what they espouse, they're not too far off from what they've managed to accomplish.

    I've always seen NU projects as sorts of "demo" projects to show that, 'this is how we should be building suburban infill and yes, you can make money doing it'. Again, I think their approach is only half-right but that's a different argument.

    The problems i've seen with NU projects around here are that they are tortured by 1000 revisions made by politicians, underwriters and community groups so that they often don't resemble the original plans. The biggest issue (here) is that the housing component usually gets scaled way back so that there aren't enough neighborhood residents to support the businesses or it's the opposite so it winds up being a lifestyle center with a few condos on the edge . . . and people around here have some of the oldest neighborhoods in the country that they could be hanging out in. Regardless of how cute a developer tries to make it look everyone is still gonna know that they're hanging out in what should be the parking lot of a strip mall and it's going to make them uncomfortable.
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  22. #47
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    My question is, Are great places made or do they just happen? Or is it a bit of both?

    My basic problem with NU is that the whole premise seems to be that here is this "great" place that we made for you - instant community, just add people. I have the uneasy feeling that it just doesn't work that way. Perhaps we, as planners, need to concentrate less on making great places and more on allowing great places to occur.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally posted by Tobinn View post
    My question is, Are great places made or do they just happen? Or is it a bit of both?

    My basic problem with NU is that the whole premise seems to be that here is this "great" place that we made for you - instant community, just add people. I have the uneasy feeling that it just doesn't work that way. Perhaps we, as planners, need to concentrate less on making great places and more on allowing great places to occur.
    It is both. A great community cannot be created in a building and streets sense. A community is the people who are part of that construct. Planner's have the ability to direct better community character, create niches, and help push along community development - but they cannot create a community. Even if you had unlimited funds to build your utopia, the concept of NU seems to exclude the most important element which people wanting to live and work there.
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  24. #49
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    I agree with many here, in that NU has indeed not lived up to its promise of utterly remaking suburbia, and with it, the preferences, lifestyles, habits, etc. of its residents. NU developments (when not outright failing as the thread's author pointed out), are expensive (to prospective residents), often poorly connected/integrated with established vicinity communities, and more often than not - and despite numerous design facets designed to encourage otherwise - woefully auto-dependent.

    That all said, it is my observation that despite the middling success at best of “pure” NU, the movement’s specific design facets and general focus on encouraging pedestrian activity, neighbor interaction, and a general sense-of-place have had a clear influence on modern suburban subdivisions – and it is this influence and the specific improvements it has brought, that makes NU a laudable success.

    As a child of the 1980's and 90's, I spent all of my formative years in the built suburbia of the 70's. From (The City of) Long Beach (LB) to Orange County, CA, every home my family lived in was a detached, single-family residence built between 1960-something and the late 80's, and each stood as a veritable tribute to Levittown-style tract development. The derivative architectural styles, sizes and eras may have varied between each, but consistent throughout was a facade dominated by a garage door, general uniformity of architecture and a sterile, monotonous green-lawn in the front yard. While our non-HOA neighborhood in LB showcased an occasional spruced-up front with a garden or more "adventurous" cropping of trees, our (HOA-restricted) South OC neighborhood worshipped suburban conformity, with relentless (manicured) lawns, uniform façade treatments, setbacks, etc. In short, there was little baked into any of these neighborhoods that would at all encourage pedestrian activity, and certainly nothing that would identify the tract as a unique “place.”

    However, since the construction of those 50’s – 80’s era subdivisions, NU-mantra has of course oozed its way into the lexicon of suburban development, and accordingly its influence can be readily seen in newer, late 90's - present subdivisions constructed further into the OC hinterlands. While none of these developments could ever, ever be described as true examples of NU, TND, etc., their design "quality" as compared to the subdivisions of mid to late century are indeed stark. Porches have replaced front-loaded garages; where four or five subtly different architectural “styles” would have been considered incredible in the 80's, many modern subdivisions now boast dozens. And where those older buildings would be laughingly marketed as "Spanish Mediterranean" (or some other historic theme) simply by virtue of their tile rooftops and vestigial period lamps bolted to their pink stucco’d facades, contemporary architecture boast (even mandate) "real" details as prescribed by actual architecture/design literature. Even the site planning itself is vastly improved, as setbacks are often staggered on adjacent lots, pockets parks dot individual neighborhoods and small, neighborhood-scale retail exist within a "reasonable" walking distance of most homes.

    Now, that all said, do most of these subdivisions contain places of professional work within a 1/4 mile walking distance? Nope. Easy access to mass transit? Nosir. Inter-mixing of a wide number of uses, scales, price-points...a general integration of myriad forms and uses within close proximity (ala a form-based code)? Nope, nope and nope. They are still, at their core, auto-oriented suburban sprawl, BUT (and here is my winded point), it's sprawl with a quality face and development that present options for pedestrian movement and neighbor interaction - facets that give the development a definitive sense-of-place that was utterly absent from much of post-war suburbia. This improved architectural and site quality is arguably progress (if slow) in a wholly positive direction, and a laudable sign that acceptance of TND (and perhaps one day, even true urbanism) is en route, and coming soon to a neighborhood to a neighborhood near you.

  25. #50
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    About the Instant Community of NU

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    the concept of NU seems to exclude the most important element which people wanting to live and work there.
    I'm not sure that the concepts of NU exclude the people who want to live and work in NU communities. In fact, they are banking on them.

    These communities will attract a certain type of character, just like any neighborhood really. That doesn't mean that they are all going to be nice, charming, wonderful neighbors to have (just like any neighborhood), but I think more "instant community" is achieved through NU developments than through creation of standard status quo suburban development because the people who buy homes or open businesses in NU developments are more likely to feel that they are participating in something civic in nature. This provides some social capital on which to build a relationship, a community.

    Nevermind how any one of us feels about NU developments. The fact is that people who seek out purchasing a home in a NU development are probably doing so because they have heard about the principles of NU somewhere, it struck a cord with them, and they decided to invest in the community, to live there, raise kids, breed dogs, mow grass, etc. For whatever reason, or combinations of reasons, they thought it sounded like relief... which is what NU is truly marketing.

    It isn't just about instant community, it is about escaping some of the nasty elements of our modern society too. The fact that we really don't know our neighbors, the cars that race down the street because at some point it became socially acceptable for drivers to feel that their ability to get from point A to point B a few seconds faster is more important than the safety of our public spaces, the 1+ 2+ 3+ hours per day of commuting. NU sells the hope of relief from all or some of that. Maybe it doesn't always follow through on those promises, but the fact that there is a growing market for these developments certainly says something.

    Side note:
    The reality of the commercial element, however, is unfortunately biased toward the small affluent business owner or specialty shop. This makes the "live near where you work" ideal an impossible reality for the laborers among us (which is overwhelmingly most of us).

    Back on track:
    Regardless, has anyone moved into an older neighborhood and put some sweat equity into rehabilitating a house? Hammered nails into old floors or walls and listened to the sound of a neighbor doing the same thing? This effort makes an instant connection, an instant community, because no matter how different I am from that neighbor, we now have common ground, something to talk about, something to share. We can comfortably see each other in the front yard and exchange conversation that isn't as shallow as the normal "how are you?" "fine" exchange of strangers.

    I suspect the same thing happens in NU developments. All these people who chose to relocate their lives to this NU development now have common ground. "We did this together. We chose to support these principles of development. We want to know our neighbors. We want safe streets", etc. That, to me, may not be instant community, but it is certainly a healthy dose of a starting grounds.

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