• Back at the office or school? Still working from home? Need to vent, or just connect with other planner and built environment types? Come join us!

    Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing or masks required.

Urban design ⛲ "The DIY Developers" article - aka a hipster subdivision in the Catskills

blackwizard

Member
Messages
4
Points
0

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,337
Points
71
Yup.

There's quite a bit of that around the Ithaca area. There's still a very large crunchy/hippie/permie community, the "Foxfire lifestyle" still holds a lot of appeal among that crowd, and many hold on to the belief that "low density development = green". I think agricultural urbanism would be an easy sell here, if the crunchy crowd can be convinced that density isn't necessarily bad.

As long as there's solar panels and orientation, thick insulation, no lawn or hard-surfaced pavement, and sustainably sourced building materials, it's all good, in the opinions of many. I remember a "sustainable housing" open house a few years ago. Plenty of timber frame, earthships, and custom houses using premium building materials, with astronomical per-square-foot construction cost. Most of the houses were on large lots in somewhat remote vehicle-dependent rural areas.

One of my favorite lines is "If you want to preserve rural character so much, don't move to the country." For what it's worth, our comp plan now embraces TND/New Urbanism over cluster/conservation development, except in outlying areas where we want to preserve farmland and rural character. We recently adopted a plain English form-based code for TND.

(Yes, I'm a hypocrite. I live in an exurban area that has pretty much has a negative Walk Score. At the time, it was the only way my wife and I could find a "normal" house we could afford. At least I'm a 10 minute drive to a Wegmans and Trader Joe's, and a 10 minute walk to a bus stop.)
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,148
Points
74
Last century someone figured out that building a high end subdivision around a golf course is a great way to make money. This century someone figured out they could do the same with a farm.
 
Top