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1. Intimate scale-narrow streets, cobblestone alleys, etc.
2. Well-crafted buildings
3. Sense of place based on an architectural and social history. Good use of historic preservation.
4. Human scaled buildings.
5. City tied to the waterfront, not separated by huge freeway infrastructure.
6. Mixed uses.
7. Local commerce-albeit tourist oriented
Should every City really "look like this"? Of course not. I would hope that cities retain some sense of LOCAL character, which means, for example, that Seattle in an ideal world would not have architecture transplanted from a wood frame city in the Midwest, and that people should stop complaining that California has no brick architecture. (I think I'm mixing a discussion I had on another Board)
I WOULD argue that no City should have a downtown that consists of souless 1970s boxes (like the photograph), no street life, etc. I question whether cities should look like suburban Phoenix or much of the suburban SunBelt (soundwalls, Big Box Retail, eight lane commercial arterials, pods of lifestyle-defined "housing units.")
Just my opinion, of course. The more people that choose Henderson, Nevada, the less pressure on the places that I like