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

What is your position on traditional style planning/development?

  • Supportive

    Votes: 14 60.9%
  • Opposed

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Indifferent

    Votes: 9 39.1%

  • Total voters
    23
  • Poll closed .
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#61
Now, I would argue that those cities are way to big, cities should be a maximum of 150,000 people. But otherwise, the form of the buildings, the layout of the streets, etc... is just fine.

I would also argue that no buildings (except churches and monuments) should be over 4 stories tall.
You say you are against sprawl, yet your ideal urban area is only 150,000 people with buildings under 4 stories. You do realize that there isn't enough space on the planet to support this type of urban scenario for the 7 billion and growing number of persons in the world without serious ecological disasters, right?

Regardless of that, as Linda and ColoGl pointed out in the other thread we have running over NU (and safety), traditional neighborhoods developed the way they did due to the technology available and economic conditions of the times. And it appears as though the neighborhoods you are referring to as "traditional" were mostly considered suburban at the time they were built. They were more or less on the periphery of cities in their respective times and mostly housed upper and middle class families. Poor people in 1920 didn't live in the same houses and neighborhoods you are romanticizing.

Like has been mentioned over and over again in this thread and others, NU design makes sense in context. It is not the answer to all of our urban and suburban woes. More importantly, you cannot force people to move, give up their lives, toss out their dreams, give up their homes because you have had a vision.

This conversation reminds me of a statement made by the former mayor of the city of Toledo, OH, "Let's just move all the deaf people by the airport".
 
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#62
You say you are against sprawl, yet your ideal urban area is only 150,000 people with buildings under 4 stories. You do realize that there isn't enough space on the planet to support this type of urban scenario for the 7 billion and growing number of persons in the world without serious ecological disasters, right?

Regardless of that, as Linda and ColoGl pointed out in the other thread we have running over NU (and safety), traditional neighborhoods developed the way they did due to the technology available and economic conditions of the times. And it appears as though the neighborhoods you are referring to as "traditional" were mostly considered suburban at the time they were built. They were more or less on the periphery of cities in their respective times and mostly housed upper and middle class families. Poor people in 1920 didn't live in the same houses and neighborhoods you are romanticizing.

Like has been mentioned over and over again in this thread and others, NU design makes sense in context. It is not the answer to all of our urban and suburban woes. More importantly, you cannot force people to move, give up their lives, toss out their dreams, give up their homes because you have had a vision.

This conversation reminds me of a statement made by the former mayor of the city of Toledo, OH, "Let's just move all the deaf people by the airport".
TS, you can maintain a density even greater than Manhattan, even with buildings only 4 stories tall.

In 500 BC, Athens had a population of about 600,000, and an area of only 1 square mile.
In 200 AD, Ostia had a population of about 75,000, and yet only occupied about .15 square miles.
In 150 AD, Paris had about 80,000 people, but occupied only about .18 square miles.
In about 10 AD, Rome had about 2,000,000 people, yet it occupied only 5 square miles. (keep in mind, this population was about 40% of the whole Roman Empire)
In 2000 BC, Ur had about 65,000 people. Yet it was only about .25 square miles.
In 70 AD, Jerusalem had about 200,000 people. But it occupied only .8 square miles.

If you want to go more "modern", Moscow, in 1638 AD had a population of 200,000; yet occupied an area of just 1.2 square miles.
In 1550 AD, Paris had about 275,000 people in an area of just 1.7 square miles.
In 1567 AD, Antwerp had about 105,000 people in an area of just 1 square mile.
In 1789 AD, Paris had about 630,000 people in an area of just 7 square miles.

All of these have densities greater than both modern Manhattan and the loop in Chicago. Yet their buildings weren't any greater than about 7 stories. (the more ancient ones would have been much shorter)

In the most extreme example of ancient Athens, the urban population of the world would only occupy 5,000 square miles. (though that definitely isn't realistic)
In the lowest example, it would only be 50,000 square miles. (which the top 20 urban areas in the world occupy greater than that currently)

Height of the buildings doesn't necessarily matter, we can see that our cities sprawl with 1-2 story buildings. Athens current sprawls out with buildings over 7 stories. Asian cities are capable of sprawling out with buildings over 20-30 stories. It's all sprawl regardless.

For at least 4,000 years, our urban populations have occupied densities far exceeding Manhattan. It's only in the last couple centuries that we have stopped.
 
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#64
I would comment but I just cannot.
:facepalm:

Proceed with your dictatorship.
It isn't a dictatorship. And keep in mind, I do believe in democracy, but I also believe in constitutional monarchy (alongside a democracy), as well as a socialist form of economy.
There is a difference between individual rights and the community. We need to be doing what is best for the community and the environment.

If you want to think about it... If you take into consideration all of human history, "traditionalism" is in the vast majority. Who are we to say they are all wrong and that we should abandon them?
 

Blide

Cyburbian
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#65
For at least 4,000 years, our urban populations have occupied densities far exceeding Manhattan. It's only in the last couple centuries that we have stopped.
The reasons we stopped were largely what established modern urban planning in the first places. The living conditions in those cities were just wretched for most people.
 
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#66
The reasons we stopped were largely what established modern urban planning in the first places. The living conditions in those cities were just wretched for most people.
do you have proof of this?

the ancient societies weren't full of disease and conditions weren't always like they were in Western Europe after the fall of Rome. nor were conditions always like they were at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries.

We need to stop assuming that our ancestors were wrong and that we know better than them. I think we've actually been proving that they were right in (almost) everything.
 
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#67
do you have proof of this?

the ancient societies weren't full of disease and conditions weren't always like they were in Western Europe after the fall of Rome.
Try a history book sometime TradArch12. There is a reason why our population boomed in the early 20th century and not before. In these ancient cities of which you speak, the average life span was about 35 years of age.
 
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#68
Try a history book sometime TradArch12. There is a reason why our population boomed in the early 20th century and not before. In these ancient cities of which you speak, the average life span was about 35 years of age.
Actually TS, while that may have been the "average" lifespan, it was still fairly common for people to live beyond that. We have many, many records of people living much longer than just 35 years old.

It also depended on where you were in the world. For example, in the so-called "Dark Ages", it would have been pretty bad conditions to live in Western Europe. Yet, if you crossed to Eastern Europe, to the Roman Empire, conditions would have been much better.,

Besides, life expectancy isn't entirely related to our modern urban design situation. Our medical technology has gotten better, and we've made industry healthier. But as the last century has proven, our urban/suburban situation has actually made us very unhealthy, and if it weren't for modern technology, we would be in bad shape.
 
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#69
Actually, many diseases were spread throughout Europe and North America prior to the invention of plumbing, regulations that mandated windows and proper lighting and air flow, etc. Suburbia (modern day "traditional neighborhoods") are a direct result of people fleeing these conditions. Bubonic plague, small pox, typhoid, dysentery, major outbreaks of fleas and lice carrying other diseases.

These were frequently caused not only from lack of hygiene and substandard medical practices, but from urban form.
 

Blide

Cyburbian
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#70
So you don't consider sewer and sanitation systems to be a part of modern urban design? Sewer is the only thing that allows for higher densities in modern development. You need at least a half acre lot if you're not on sewer in order to have a septic system. No sewer and high densities is just a recipe for disease.
 
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#71
Actually, many diseases were spread throughout Europe and North America prior to the invention of plumbing, regulations that mandated windows and proper lighting and air flow, etc. Suburbia (modern day "traditional neighborhoods") are a direct result of people fleeing these conditions. Bubonic plague, small pox, typhoid, dysentery, major outbreaks of fleas and lice carrying other diseases.
I'm not arguing that point. I'm saying that the urban form wasn't to cause for that. Keep in mind, plumbing existed way before modern times. It was extremely common (and very sophisticated) in the Ancient Roman Empire.
Have you ever read Vitruvius? He goes into depth about the proper way to site cities and orient buildings to minimize health problems.

Yes, disease was much more common. I am not denying that. Look at modern-day slums, they have very high densities, but are horribly unhealthy and even deadly.

I'm not saying just because something is old makes it better. There are certainly ancient examples that aren't good examples.

Blide, I consider sewer and sanitary systems a part of ancient urban design that modern technology has improved.

As I mentioned before, we need to return to the traditional forms, but expand and mold them to modern technologies. It's time to start rejecting and throwing away some of the innovations of the last century. Technology is good as long as it supports traditional values. But we should never have abandoned those traditional forms and values.
 

btrage

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#72
This thread is THE example of why professional planners can't get anything accomplished in the "real world".
 

Linda_D

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#73
TS, you can maintain a density even greater than Manhattan, even with buildings only 4 stories tall.

In 500 BC, Athens had a population of about 600,000, and an area of only 1 square mile.
In 200 AD, Ostia had a population of about 75,000, and yet only occupied about .15 square miles.
In 150 AD, Paris had about 80,000 people, but occupied only about .18 square miles.
In about 10 AD, Rome had about 2,000,000 people, yet it occupied only 5 square miles. (keep in mind, this population was about 40% of the whole Roman Empire)
In 2000 BC, Ur had about 65,000 people. Yet it was only about .25 square miles.
In 70 AD, Jerusalem had about 200,000 people. But it occupied only .8 square miles.

If you want to go more "modern", Moscow, in 1638 AD had a population of 200,000; yet occupied an area of just 1.2 square miles.
In 1550 AD, Paris had about 275,000 people in an area of just 1.7 square miles.
In 1567 AD, Antwerp had about 105,000 people in an area of just 1 square mile.
In 1789 AD, Paris had about 630,000 people in an area of just 7 square miles.

All of these have densities greater than both modern Manhattan and the loop in Chicago. Yet their buildings weren't any greater than about 7 stories. (the more ancient ones would have been much shorter)

In the most extreme example of ancient Athens, the urban population of the world would only occupy 5,000 square miles. (though that definitely isn't realistic)
In the lowest example, it would only be 50,000 square miles. (which the top 20 urban areas in the world occupy greater than that currently)

Height of the buildings doesn't necessarily matter, we can see that our cities sprawl with 1-2 story buildings. Athens current sprawls out with buildings over 7 stories. Asian cities are capable of sprawling out with buildings over 20-30 stories. It's all sprawl regardless.

For at least 4,000 years, our urban populations have occupied densities far exceeding Manhattan. It's only in the last couple centuries that we have stopped.
Athens had a population of 600,000 in 500 BC? Really. Got a citation for that or any of the other figures you have in this post?

I looked up Ancient Athens: max population 120,000-180,000 around 430 BC. (Ancient Athens):

Towards the end of the Peloponnesian war, it contained more than 10,000 houses, which at a rate of 12 inhabitants to a house would give a population of 120,000, though some writers make the inhabitants as many as 180,000.
What happened to the other 420,000-480,000 people in the century between 500 BC and 400 BC (end of Peloponnesian War)?
 
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#75
Athens had a population of 600,000 in 500 BC? Really. Got a citation for that or any of the other figures you have in this post?

I looked up Ancient Athens: max population 120,000-180,000 around 430 BC. (Ancient Athens):



What happened to the other 420,000-480,000 people in the century between 500 BC and 400 BC (end of Peloponnesian War)?
http://www.ancientgreekbattles.net/Pages/47932_Population.htm

That shows it was at least 315,000 in 431 BC.

I do have dyscalculia so that may reflect the incorrect number.

It could be possible the 600,000 number was actually more than just the city, or it could be my mistake.
 

Raf

As Featured in "High Times"
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#76
This thread is THE example of why professional planners can't get anything accomplished in the "real world".
Agreed. Some of us wouldn't know where to draw a line or a target. :not:
 
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#77
Where do I start?

In the developed western world...

Historically, New York's Lower East Side had a population of about 500,000 around the first decade of the 20th century, but even there, ti dropped in half by the end of the 1920s

Of contemporary Western cities, Paris has the highest population density with about 50,000 per square mile.

In the US, the Upper East Side of Manhattan has a population density of over 100,000 per square mile, but obviously, that's not in four story buildings.

Boston's South End has a population density of about 30,000 per square mile in four story buildings. That's about the maximum one could get in the US with this building type.

(Sometimes I feel like a college professor)
 
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Hink

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#78
I will join the fun....:not:

This thread is THE example of why professional planners can't get anything accomplished in the "real world".
I would argue this is an Ivory Tower situation that has ballooned into a logic battle.

Since Seaside isn't an example - I would like a list of cities that are below 150k that meet your criteria for NU. They must all contain at least a 10 story building, a monument in the center city, modified grid, and use the transect correctly - which seems to be your criteria for a NU city done right. Alexandria doesn't meet those standards...

Let me think.... I can't think of one.

Now why is this? Is it because us planners can't get our ideas out there? Nope. It is because in the end, politicians and citizens make the decisions. These decisions are based on what works for each community.

The only NU that will ever work is new development. You cannot adopt the SmartCode or use NU principles in a developed community without large amounts of demolition of existing structures, infrastructure, and moving of people. The cost of which is beyond unreasonable.

Seaside is a community that is NU to a tee - pretentious urbanism that is pushed by a group of people that feel they know better then those that live there and bought houses there because of how it is.

I like the concept of New Urbanism. Going back to Urbanism is great. But pretending like the last 50 years didn't happen is counterproductive.

Trying to change peoples perceptions on urban life = good
Trying to force people into an unproven "new" urbanist concept = bad


I would love to see the meeting though where you talk with the public about what they "should" be doing in the home they bought/pay taxes on/have lived their whole lives....

Wow....:r:
 
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btrage

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#79
This thread is THE example of why professional planners can't get anything accomplished in the "real world".
I should've explained further...

Normal planners get lumped into the "nutjob planner group" because of the Ivory Tower bullshit being spewed in this thread. Therefore, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to make the incremental changes that are needed in our land use policies.
 
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#80
One item neglected from this thread is the underlying economics of land development. Sprawl is the result of cheap land and the desire of people to live in an area. Infill occurs when the land is constrained to a point where it becomes more cost effective to go vertical and we get redevelopment. In the US we have tons of land thus we build out and not up.

Outside of PHoenix a developer built a NU development called Verrado in Buckeye, AZ which is 30 miles from Phoenix. There are countless other NU inspired neighborhoods that are created under the banner of NU far from employment centers.
 
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