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Thread: From a blog: suburban zoning is the first thing that has to go

  1. #1
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
    Aug 2001
    SERA Architects-Portland

    From a blog: suburban zoning is the first thing that has to go

    Good stuff!

    Low hanging fruits are increased density, mixed use, outbuildings, accessory rental units. Suburban zoning is the first thing that has to go.


  2. #2
    Jul 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Yes, this is good stuff. Increasing density and intensity, while narrowing streets and connecting up a grid, can make the predictable old strip malls into something far more interesting.

    My only worry about all this is whether cities and developers will exercise enough imagination. I thought the best suggestion in the whole piece was to have cities assemble land, make sure that the lots are relatively small and then sell them to individual business owners who may use sweat equity to develop.

    And because they are only going to do this once in a lifetime, well, maybe twice if we're lucky, each entrepreneur will put his or her own spin on the building. As long as the code is wise but form-based, we shouldn't stray too far from future marketability.

    Developers had become fundamentally lazy because they understood how to work the system. (And who could blame them?) So I don't think we can count on most of them for the imagination element that will make each sprawl repair unique and intriguing. And it's so tough to educate city officials before their term is over.

    We in the planning profession really need to collect and disseminate the successful examples of sprawl solutions as fast as possible, and pointedly attempt to provide diverse examples. If anyone decides they have the "formula" for redeveloping the second and third tier suburbs, we'll likely be in trouble all over again in a few decades as the formula deteriorates into sameness.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Upper left edge
    Really good stuff.

    And they do link to Cyburbia

  4. #4
    Jul 2009
    Colo Front Range
    Yes, that's the basic template. The hard part is the 'will' and 'implementation' parts.

    That is: we know how to do it - why don't we? Until we honestly answer that question and change that paradigm, we will be stuck in the same ol' same ol' until forced by nature and/or external forces to change.

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    Really good stuff.

    And they do link to Cyburbia
    Whoops! Just saw it.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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