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The Antithesis of Urban Sprawl

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5,352
Points
31
Sounds like a cool place. I wish the article included more pictures of the area. Up until the last 1/3 of the article, I couldn't tell if West Chester was an historic town or relatively new with historic features.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
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4,161
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27
...all of the above, plus 20K drunk college kids. Just doesn't get much better.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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6,544
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30
Mike D. said:
...all of the above, plus 20K drunk college kids. Just doesn't get much better.

Sounds like Davis CA... but with more history. And uh... a mink coat wouldn't show up in a Davis store window. But it sounds similar.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,463
Points
29
Davis IS lovely.

My town is trying hard to be more like this (although too much of Vacaville consists of numbingly boring stucco subdivisions behind sound walls-the dullness of which California seems uniquely capable of creating). The new library and town square are coming along nicely. We do have a lovely main street-and it is particularly stunning right now with the street trees in full riotous color! I love my neighborhood in autumn! My fear, though, is that the population won't fully support the new development. It is too much easier to drive to the chain restaurants by the freeway.

I visited a San Francisco neighborhood this weekend that to me would be perfect, as well. Bernal Heights is a kinda funky blue collar neighborhood built on around a tall, bald hill that offers dead-on views of the downtown skyline, a charming main street, access to public transit on Mission Street a few blocks away. The housing is mostly small wood and stucco cottages-some really cool ones! There are some really quirky streets that are basically dirt paths/staircases-its like a country village in the heart of the City. Most importantly, the entire hilltop is an off-leash public park! Its awesome for dog owners! My beasts remembered the last time I was in the neighborhood-Max started pulling me full tilt two blocks away from the Bernal Beasts pet food shoppe.

Mike, you would like the neighborhood as well, because it is known for a large population of the flannel-clad and Doc Martins sportijng women, if you know what I mean. :)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
Points
34
Mike D. said:
...all of the above, plus 20K drunk college kids. Just doesn't get much better.

A drunk male college student is a vandal and a niusance. A drunk female college student is an opportunity.



(Yeah, I'm going to get slammed for that one.)
 

passdoubt

Cyburbian
Messages
407
Points
13
I'm surprised that no mention is made in this article of the other large borough of the Philadelphia suburbs -- Norristown. I'd be interested as to why West Chester remains vibrant while most of Norristown became a steeming ghetto in the midst of opulance. They were both settled around the same time, they both had a similar history (albeit Norristown's being more directly tied to now-defunct industry), and they were both the right distance from the city to be linked yet self-sufficient. They both provide the same historic framework for a New Urbanist preservation, yet the upper and middle class hold on to the borough in West Chester while they're mostly long-gone to the townships around Norristown. The decline of Norristown fueld the rise of the most affluent municipalities in the 'burbs, near-by Lower Merion and Lower Gwynedd. Why didn't it happen in West Chester? The college alone kept the mini-urban core strong?
 
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16
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1
West Chester is great. I live there now.

Maybe, it survived while Norristown hasn't for these reasons:

--the college

--more staunch, enlightened local leaders who understood the importance of real town structure

--the fact that it's smaller (makes the work easier) than Norristown

Just thoughts....
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
towncrier said:
West Chester is great. I live there now.

Maybe, it survived while Norristown hasn't for these reasons:

--the college

--more staunch, enlightened local leaders who understood the importance of real town structure

--the fact that it's smaller (makes the work easier) than Norristown

Just thoughts....

Norristown was a mill town just like Conshohocken or Manayunk or East Falls.
When the mills left the obvious followed.
 
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