More new urbanism [Broadband Recommended]

BKM

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#21
boilerplater said:
I'll second that, and add that trees don't belong either if you are just putting them at-grade in grassed-over or mulched pits. All the foot traffic compacts the soil and makes it very difficult for the trees. The current thinking is that you should put trees in raised planters or if they are at grade use pavers with open joints set in stone dust, or if underplanting is preferred, keep feet out of it with a low fence and curb.

Nice set of pics and commentary, as usual. You know, maybe some of that noted sterility could be offset if the owners/developers were to have some street performers there like they do at some of these festival marketplaces. Add some Manic Street Preachers for good measure. Contrived? Yes, but isn't it all? Americans generally don't demand authenticity.
Isn't everyone utterly bored by this point with street performers? :-$
 
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#22
We here in Cyburbia will always find some fault with any new development, but overall this development is vastly superior to typical suburbian projects. This could have been a standard retail only lifestyle center with a standard apartment building on the oppisite side of a sea of parking.

The important principal here is that people are rediscovering urban / village environments, even if they're un-authentic and "new looking". This is a step in the right direction. Add in open space preservation and a new suburbian model of villages, walkable residential neighborhoods, and continuous open space can emerge. IMHO, it's alot better than the standard suburban pattern we have today.
 
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#23
Isn't everyone utterly bored by this point with street performers?
Ha! But you yourself waxed poetic of the "religious crazies" in the BART station! And have you ever seen a NYC performer face down a crowd of hecklers and others who seem intent on upstaging him? I highly recommend it!
 
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#24
PlanBoston said:
We here in Cyburbia will always find some fault with any new development, but overall this development is vastly superior to typical suburbian projects....The important principal here is that people are rediscovering urban / village environments, even if they're un-authentic and "new looking". This is a step in the right direction... IMHO, it's alot better than the standard suburban pattern we have today.
Agreeed. I have to say -- I hate suburbs, I hate malls, I hate chain stores, I hate new construction (a bit too opinionated??). But I am strangely drawn in. While it's not the best, it's certainly not the worst - and for new development, I've got to give them kudos.
 

BKM

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#25
RandomPlanner... said:
Agreeed. I have to say -- I hate suburbs, I hate malls, I hate chain stores, I hate new construction (a bit too opinionated??). But I am strangely drawn in. While it's not the best, it's certainly not the worst - and for new development, I've got to give them kudos.
Dittos. For what it is, it is rather well done.
 

jaws

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#26
There are people there! Actual live people, outside. The little girls on the bench eating ice cream or gellato really sold me on the success of the place. Imagine if this were just regular suburbia, they would be jailed in their parents' back yards (because back yards are so good for children).
 

ablarc

     
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#27
jaws said:
There are people there! Actual live people, outside. The little girls on the bench eating ice cream or gellato really sold me on the success of the place. Imagine if this were just regular suburbia, they would be jailed in their parents' back yards (because back yards are so good for children).
After having been in Charlotte for a week or two, I remarked to a Charlottean that I had never been in a place where people spent so little time outdoors. You should have heard his apoplectic expostulations at that; Charlotteans think they are outdoorsmen. In fact the bulk of time most Charlotteans spend outdoors is walking in parking lots.

I bet you could prove that statistically.
 
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#28
jaws said:
There are people there! Actual live people, outside. The little girls on the bench eating ice cream or gellato really sold me on the success of the place. Imagine if this were just regular suburbia, they would be jailed in their parents' back yards (because back yards are so good for children).
I have a feeling that these people who are outside on the streets are only there because its the "thing" to do now. I wouldn't be too surprised if the people at Birkdale get tired of hanging out on the streets in a few years. My prediction is that 5 to 10 years from now, those streets will be empty. I might be being a bit too pesemistic here, but I think that their true subruban colors will soon come through.
 

ablarc

     
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#29
asohn said:
I have a feeling that these people who are outside on the streets are only there because its the "thing" to do now. I wouldn't be too surprised if the people at Birkdale get tired of hanging out on the streets in a few years. My prediction is that 5 to 10 years from now, those streets will be empty. I might be being a bit too pesemistic here, but I think that their true subruban colors will soon come through.
Yeah, but do suburbanites stop hanging out at the Mall after a few years, or does the management refresh things with a fresh crop of shops, some paint and a new fountain? Coconut Grove, which bears some similarities to Birkdale, just keeps on evolving.

http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11602&highlight=coconut
 
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#30
asohn said:
I have a feeling that these people who are outside on the streets are only there because its the "thing" to do now. I wouldn't be too surprised if the people at Birkdale get tired of hanging out on the streets in a few years. My prediction is that 5 to 10 years from now, those streets will be empty. I might be being a bit too pesemistic here, but I think that their true subruban colors will soon come through.



Forgive me if I am reading you wrong, but are you saying that suburbia is a social condition that people gravitate to, and not a function of design?

Can you qualify that?
 
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#31
Howard Roark said:
Forgive me if I am reading you wrong, but are you saying that suburbia is a social condition that people gravitate to, and not a function of design?

Can you qualify that?
What I was saying is that the people who live in Birkdale most probably came from a suburb where the spent all their time indoors. Once people with a suburban mentality move into a more urban context, such as Birkdale, they may be inclined to experiment with the urban life, but at the end of the day, they still run back to their cozy house on the cul-de-sac. How many times can someone eat at that one restuarant or shop at the Banana Republic? The only thing that will probably keep people on the main street in the long term is the housing on the street, which is probably one of the most redeeming qualities of this development.

ablarc said:
Yeah, but do suburbanites stop hanging out at the Mall after a few years, or does the management refresh things with a fresh crop of shops, some paint and a new fountain? Coconut Grove, which bears some similarities to Birkdale, just keeps on evolving.

http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11602&highlight=coconut
Of course that may happen, and hopefuly it will, but we've all heard of the countless malls that were once flodded with shoppers that now lay vacant.
 
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ablarc

     
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#32
asohn said:
Of course that may happen, and hopefuly it will, but we've all heard of the countless malls that were once flodded with shoppers that now lay vacant.
Partly that's because folks are now starting to look for an experience that somewhat resembles the main street of a town.
 
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#33
ablarc said:
Partly that's because folks are now starting to look for an experience that somewhat resembles the main street of a town.
Just as suburbanites were once much more interested in malls. This may just be today's incarnation of the 80s/90s mall.
 

ablarc

     
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#34
asohn said:
Just as suburbanites were once much more interested in malls. This may just be today's incarnation of the 80s/90s mall.
Maybe, but let's hope not. I agree with you that the key's a permanent population (already partly there). You could built dense housing and more ground floor retail in the peripheral parking lots of Birkdale, wrapped around multistory midblock parking structures. In fifty years, after Peak Oil, you might have a fully contained town such as the thousands that once existed in this land.

Goodbye, the SUV.
 

BKM

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#35
Let's hope so, although I question we can support 300 million people in a toxins-filled post industrial, post cheap food America.

Hello Mad Max. After all, given the loss of the God-given right to continuous prosperity and ever larger SUVs, the former suburbanites will need somebody to blame. Fire and brimstone (or silly Marxism) can provide that.
 

ablarc

     
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#36
BKM said:
...given the loss of the God-given right to continuous prosperity and ever larger SUVs, the former suburbanites will need somebody to blame.
You can blame everything on the liberals.
 
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