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Poll results: What is your position on traditional style planning/development?

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Thread: "New Urbanism", Traditional Neighborhood Development, Smart Growth etc...

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TradArch12 View post
    James Howard Kunstler said in one of his podcasts that while we can try to retrofit and fix existing suburbs, there are still a lot of them that are just going to have to rot and disappear.
    James Howard Kunstler is an idiot. He doesn't know jack about infrastructure planning. Any savy developer can take a "rot" and disappear suburb, retrofit the existing infrastructure and turn it into a place versus the cost of putting new infrastructure in. If you are listening to this man change your dial to reality and ground your ideas into how the real world works.
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  2. #27
    Cyburbian
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    And that's the problem with new urbanism. They have lots of ideas except they have yet to implement many of them anywhere.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
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    What if a development was proposed at a higher density than what is allowed by code, infill (maybe even brownfield rehab), along a major thoroughfare that should or will one day have light rail, and included a mix of uses? Said development also received a Gold LEED-ND rating, specifically having a mix of residential properties at a variety of price points, parks, and was within walking distance of some major employers and a school or two? But, like I said, a higher density than allowed by code and they also wanted to skinny up the streets by 4-6 feet, reduce the setbacks (particularly in the front), and around a public plaza they want some live/work spaces.

    New Urbanist or just good design? Is this what your code and Master Plan encourage?

    Who cares what you call it...but until that is the "new norm" you have to call it something so that people can A) discuss it and B) have something to argue against.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian
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    I would like to be a fly on the wall when some of the staunch adherents hold their first public meeting and insist these things need to be done or all of society will die.

    I might even pay to see that, especially if the first job is not in some large, dense urban area.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    James Howard Kunstler is an idiot. He doesn't know jack about infrastructure planning. Any savy developer can take a "rot" and disappear suburb, retrofit the existing infrastructure and turn it into a place versus the cost of putting new infrastructure in. If you are listening to this man change your dial to reality and ground your ideas into how the real world works.
    How dare you disparage the Grand Poobah of Futurist Crapology!!! This is the asshat that claimed the electrical grid would fail at midnight on 1/1/2000. That never happened because computer programmers aren't nearly as stupid as Kunstler, so no power generating plant controller was ever dependent upon a specific calendar date! DOH.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian
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    Transect-regulating plans are the defining feature of the New Urbanism in my view.

    N.U. really is a methodology and not just an urban-design movement. The transect is everything. Without a clear sense of a center or a core for a community, people literally go crazy, and social and economic dysfunction ensues.
    Last edited by Pragmatic Idealist; 01 Jun 2011 at 4:15 PM.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    I would like to be a fly on the wall when some of the staunch adherents hold their first public meeting and insist these things need to be done or all of society will die.

    I might even pay to see that, especially if the first job is not in some large, dense urban area.
    Some of the ideas behind these design principles make sense - in context. However, exaggerating the cause and effects does nothing to gain public support. It alienates people. It creates resistance. Telling someone that has a home that they adore in the suburbs, which they have lived in happily for X years, that they are an illness in our society and are single-handedly responsible for our financial and environmental woes is beyond ridiculous. This kind of sentiment pushes even supporters of the movement away.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall of a university when planning schools finally start teaching students that there is no single answer that can solve all problems. Context and variety are important. Letting people be is important too. Even a relatively light skim of any history book could tell you that forcing your beliefs on other people never ends well.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    Some of the ideas behind these design principles make sense - in context. However, exaggerating the cause and effects does nothing to gain public support. It alienates people. It creates resistance. Telling someone that has a home that they adore in the suburbs, which they have lived in happily for X years, that they are an illness in our society and are single-handedly responsible for our financial and environmental woes is beyond ridiculous. This kind of sentiment pushes even supporters of the movement away.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall of a university when planning schools finally start teaching students that there is no single answer that can solve all problems. Context and variety are important. Letting people be is important too. Even a relatively light skim of any history book could tell you that forcing your beliefs on other people never ends well.
    So we should just adopt a free for all, live and let live attitude that says there is no such thing as objective truth or there is no right and wrong?
    Man, we are in trouble if everyone in the world adopts such an attitude...

  9. #34
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TradArch12 View post
    So we should just adopt a free for all, live and let live attitude that says there is no such thing as objective truth or there is no right and wrong?
    Man, we are in trouble if everyone in the world adopts such an attitude...
    No, you concentrate on education, community development, and improving existing communities -- respecting their rights and their dignity -- rather than forcing them to change without their consent or, at least, their buy-in and voice.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TradArch12 View post
    So we should just adopt a free for all, live and let live attitude that says there is no such thing as objective truth or there is no right and wrong?
    Man, we are in trouble if everyone in the world adopts such an attitude...
    I don't think TS is advocating, in any way, a live and let free, but again, we go back to choices. This isn't "do what we say" this is about freedom of choices. I am not saying TOD/NU blah blah is bad, trust me, it is not if done in the right context, for the right buyers, in the right place and utilizing methods like a transect to determine where these types of developments should and feasibly be located. We live in a relatively free market society, where the market drives development type. Until the market is adjusted, then really we must meet the demand of choice.
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  11. #36
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    No, you concentrate on education, community development, and improving existing communities -- respecting their rights and their dignity -- rather than forcing them to change without their consent or, at least, their buy-in and voice.
    A community is comprised of individuals with multiple voices. Are they all being represented? Are they all well-informed?

  12. #37
    Cyburbian
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    I have also been involved in two community projects, one involved architects, developers and planners which came up with a Plan for an urban area in a city where it was based on form based code and New Urbanist ideas. This was for a major city in Missouri.

    I also was involved with coming up with a plan for a rural community of about 800 people. They were very open and supportive of "New Urbanist" ideas (though we called it Smart Growth so it didn't seem too "urban"). This was because many of them were old enough to remember when their town was like that. They really liked the principles behind it and weren't offended when we told them it is something they must do for their town's survival.

    I guess the other problem is I'm not supportive of a free market economy, so my solutions are based upon a different sort of economy and not a free market one.

  13. #38
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    One can be objectively certain that Euclidian zoning, New Urbanist design, or "Insert Next Model" doesn't work in a one size fits all mentality.

    I think this is more of a communication issue than a difference of ideals. What TS and company are saying makes sense. Just because New Urbanism is an attempt to address the problems created by sprawl does not guaruntee it is the best option for a particular community or that it will come without it's own set of problems. I think this is why the word context is being stressed so much. Do I find a lot of the goals expressed in New Urbanism amicable? Sure. But if I started pushing this agenda on people within my own muni (which is a suburb), I don't think the results would be pretty.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  14. #39
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Pragmatic Idealist View post
    A community is comprised of individuals with multiple voices. Are they all being represented? Are they all well-informed?
    Doing our utmost to keep these individuals well-informed, represented, heard, and (if at all possible) involved was part of what I was getting at.

  15. #40
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TradArch12 View post
    So we should just adopt a free for all, live and let live attitude that says there is no such thing as objective truth or there is no right and wrong?
    Man, we are in trouble if everyone in the world adopts such an attitude...
    Ewwps! Strawman. No need to resort to logical fallacies or mischaracterization if the assertion isn't withstanding scrutiny. Frreals. No need. None.

    Quote Originally posted by Pragmatic Idealist View post
    A community is comprised of individuals with multiple voices. Are they all being represented? Are they all well-informed?
    Of course not. No community of any size is this way. Welcome to the human condition, to reality on the ground.

  16. #41
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TradArch12 View post
    So we should just adopt a free for all, live and let live attitude that says there is no such thing as objective truth or there is no right and wrong?
    Man, we are in trouble if everyone in the world adopts such an attitude...
    Actually, when you lay it out like that it sounds like Utopia to me; however, that is not what I am advocating at all. I'm not trying to promote anarchy. I'm just saying that if you want to make any progress - any progress at all - you need to form your arguments so that they are rational, logical, and can be backed up with facts. Telling people that living in suburbia is equal to shooting heroine and engaging/enabling other dangerous activities is an argumentum ad hominem at best. Saying "your choice to live in suburbia is killing our society and our environment" is not only irrational, it is unsupportable by any stretch of the truth, and it certainly will not win you any supporters- except maybe crazy wingnuts that no one takes seriously.

    I'm a supporter of TND, TOD, NU, blahblahblahblah, when it makes sense, when it represents what people want, when it promotes environmental and fiscal responsibility. I am not a supporter of people trying to force their beliefs on other people, particularly when it is done using irrationality, fear, ad hominem attacks.

  17. #42
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Ewwps! Strawman. No need to resort to logical fallacies or mischaracterization if the assertion isn't withstanding scrutiny. Frreals. No need. None.



    Of course not. No community of any size is this way. Welcome to the human condition, to reality on the ground.
    It ain't a straw man, TSs statement in the post before that is saying exactly that. The planning schools should leave people alone and not push any one idea on them, to teach them all ideas are potentially right and not to seek one right answer.

  18. #43
    Cyburbian
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    Sure it's a strawman. No one here is advocating no regulations or anything of the sort. They're just saying different planning techniques should be used based on the appropriate context.

    New Urbanism is just a tool in a planner's toolbox, not the whole toolbox.

  19. #44
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Sure it's a strawman. No one here is advocating no regulations or anything of the sort. They're just saying different planning techniques should be used based on the appropriate context.

    New Urbanism is just a tool in a planner's toolbox, not the whole toolbox.
    That wasn't what I was suggesting, I was talking about in ideas, opinions, education etc... I wasn't referring to a free for all in regulations.

    In my opinions, you shouldnt have sprawl Or suburbia anytime or anywhere, no matter the context or circumstances.

  20. #45
    Cyburbian
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    I don't disagree with that opinion personally but many people obviously have different preferences. As a planner, you should respect those preferences even if you happen to disagree with them. You can try suggesting other things but it's ultimately not your call how things will develop in your jurisdiction.

  21. #46
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TradArch12 View post
    That wasn't what I was suggesting, I was talking about in ideas, opinions, education etc... I wasn't referring to a free for all in regulations.

    In my opinions, you shouldnt have sprawl Or suburbia anytime or anywhere, no matter the context or circumstances.
    You're all over the place. Either your strawman was as plain as the nose on your face, or you'll want a rhetoric class before you graduate to be able to frame a cogent argument.

    Nonetheless, its, like, great that you think there shouldn't be sprawl. Good for you. Welcome to the human condition: resistant to our wishes. As TO said, just because you think its a good idea doesn't mean you can force it on people who don't care about your ideas.

    Your job is to show them, not cram it down their throats. Which, frreals, is how you're coming off to thick-skinned planners. Maybe there's a kernel of something in there if you want to receive it...

    [killfile]

  22. #47
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    You're all over the place. Either your strawman was as plain as the nose on your face, or you'll want a rhetoric class before you graduate to be able to frame a cogent argument.

    Nonetheless, its, like, great that you think there shouldn't be sprawl. Good for you. Welcome to the human condition: resistant to our wishes. As TO said, just because you think its a good idea doesn't mean you can force it on people who don't care about your ideas.

    Your job is to show them, not cram it down their throats. Which, frreals, is how you're coming off to thick-skinned planners. Maybe there's a kernel of something in there if you want to receive it...

    [killfile]
    I don't speak to non-architects and non-planners the same way I do to those within the profession. I realize that I shouldn't cram it down people's throats, but I feel that we have a need to really emphasize these values to those within our own professions so they can better educate others. It isn't going to do anything if only a handful of architects/planners educate their clients, it's going to take a much larger number.
    If the relatively low number of "New Urbanists" have caused this many ripples in the national spectrum, imagine what could be done when we get all the schools and firms to change and teach this as well.

  23. #48
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TradArch12 View post
    That wasn't what I was suggesting, I was talking about in ideas, opinions, education etc... I wasn't referring to a free for all in regulations.

    In my opinions, you shouldnt have sprawl Or suburbia anytime or anywhere, no matter the context or circumstances.
    New Urbanism does not exist without sprawl. In established neighborhoods its called infill.

  24. #49
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    New Urbanism does not exist without sprawl. In established neighborhoods its called infill.
    Sorry- I disagree. New Urbanism is the culmination of concepts that CAN exist in either greenfield or infill development. There is obviously poorly done infill that would not be considered New Urbanism.

  25. #50
    Cyburbian
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    So....how should people live?

    You are from Kansas City so I presume you're familiar with the Southside neighborhoods such as Brookside and along Ward Parkway? Lovely area, isn't it? When they were built they were very much considered "suburban."

    There's much about modern suburban that is indeed ugly, but there's also much about urban areas that are ugly as well. Highrise towers aren't always pretty. Many cities are filled with urban neighborhoods of tiny, cramped, cheaply built houses. Sure, they may be "old" and in a "historic and walkable" area, but they're hardly attractive.

    As for New Urbanism, I'm not opposed or even indifferent to its principles, but I find it strangely flawed in many ways. It's based on an urban development model that rarely, if ever, existed and more or less ignored the economic fundamentals that underpins any land development. As a case point, most of the New Urbanism models I've seen featured a community commercial at the, well, core, of the community, but wouldn't it be much more practical to have the commercial "core" on the periphery of the community where the major road links are and where it could also serve residents of adjoining areas, instead of being hidden away? All the NU developments are just as isolated from the surrounding context as a typical suburban development. But they are admittedly prettier.


    Quote Originally posted by TradArch12 View post
    In my opinions, you shouldnt have sprawl Or suburbia anytime or anywhere, no matter the context or circumstances.

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