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Would you want to live in an new urbanist neighborhood?

Would you live in a new urbanist neighborhood?

  • Absolutely!

    Votes: 16 18.8%
  • Yes, but only if I can paint my garage neon orange

    Votes: 8 9.4%
  • Yes, but only if it was more affordable

    Votes: 20 23.5%
  • Yes, but only if it was an infill development

    Votes: 21 24.7%
  • No way! New urbanism... it's not new and it's not urban!

    Votes: 20 23.5%

  • Total voters
    85
Status
Not open for further replies.

ianplanner

Member
Messages
22
Points
2
This is a test. I see that there is a "polling" function and I'm going to see if I can set up a poll here in Cyburbia. I've never done this. So, if this thread gets all screwed up, I apologize in advance. Thanks!

If it does get screwed up, then how about answering this thread anyway? If it was me, I might live in a new urbanist neighborhood, as long as it had a mix of incomes. I wouldn't want to be around a bunch of sameness, but I guess that's the irony, given that most of these places have strict architectural codes.
 
Messages
5,353
Points
31
No fair!! I wanted to vote more than once. :( I wouldn't want to live in a contrived environment and that's the impression I get from new urbanism. It has its merits but I think I'll pass on this one.
 

planasaurus

Cyburbian
Messages
215
Points
9
No way! All the new urbanist communities I know of are auto oriented, except for a small shopping district. I hate driving. I don't want to live anywhere where I have to drive to work. Anybody know of a new urbanist community in which a planning department has located? I sold my car last year and hope to never need to buy a new one.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
I visited Orlando with my husband's family this summer, and we went to see Celebration. My husband (who is a planner) and I both were very intrigued by alot of the different things they had going on there, but my father in law, who isn't always the most erudite, described the place as a "Cult". but then, he was really bent out of shape that the town didn't have a catholic church. Celebration was pretty, but also pretty sterile.
 

Vlaude

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Pros & Cons

I think a major downfall to much of neo-classical or New Urbanism developments are their cost. And usually uncalled for in my opinion, its supply & demand. The developer gets more for selling less in most cases.

A well thought out New Urb / Mixed Use area has a lot of positives that attract me. Areas that are pedestrian friendly are great, but don't forget the auto. I really like the Doughnut designs in mixed uses area, with some parking inside or in the center hiding the autos and keeping the place pedestrian friendly.

What I don't like is the (I restate!)cost. Secondly, many of the environments are sterile with too much concrete and not enough small localized commons...
 

chrisdaniel

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
i live in southwest england. around here, first-time buyers and local people are getting priced out of the market by second-home owners from the city buying up the old village houses.

developments on the scale to include new urbanist ideas in my region are forced to include a proportion of affordable housing. they also do not appeal to many of the holidaymakers who want 'traditional' village life. as such, they contain a broader spectrum of society and foster greater community spirit.

i wouldn't choose to live in any that i have seen, but i would definately choose them over the other, purely profit-driven developments i see around the place.
 

ricjer

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
I find the concept of New Urbanism rather intriguing. However, I find it difficult to reconcile the similarity that the movement draws between "place" and "community." I don't believe that values such as community or oneness come from the setting in which we place ourselves.

I'm most fearful that the New Urbanist centers of today will be the ghettos of tomorrow.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
New Urbanism

I think it's a good idea, but the cost is what gets me. The City I work for just went in on a beautiful transit village, but I wouldn't move in just because they want $900/month for an apartment half the size of where I currently live. It's cheaper for me to live 10 minutes away than across the street from my job because you can't really get around without a car in North Dallas.
 

Vlaude

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Texasplanner? What development?

Just curious what development you're speaking of. I have visited a number of the New Urban Developments down there like Legacy Trail, State of Thomas, Addison Circle, etc... My favorite I would have to say would be State of Thomas, I think RTKL did some of the design and development work there... ALL ARE WAY OVER PRICED!!! Only upper class living for the most part... Just my 2 cents, nice but higer priced.

What development are you talking about?
 

adaptor

Member
Messages
123
Points
6
ambivilent

I liked some of the features of my old urban neighborhoods that inspire new urbanists -- walkability, front porches, detached garages. Then again I see some features that are considered blighting influences in my current job -- small lots, alleys, multiple uses, etc. I grew up with all this and more in inner city neighborhoods and it's comfortable to me.
The difference I see is that new urbanist settlements are for another class of people. I don't see much mention of affordable housing or accomodations for cultural differences. What happens when the kids in these neighborhoods plug in their guitars or pull out their skateboards? Where are there allowances for groups of unrelated individuals like students or even cooperative households? Didn't people start gravitating to large lots so they wouldn't have to put up with noisy neighbors and their cars parked all over the place?
Maybe I'm wrong about this. And I certainly like seeing a return to relatively traditional housing styles and layouts -- even though it will take 50 years for the trees to grow up and the areas to develop some character and individualuty. Would I live in such a development? Could I afford it? I don't know.
 
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Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
Answer

East Side VIllage in Plano is a new one, right on the DART track. There is also a very expensive (but very nice) complex in Las Colinas on Lake Caroline.
 

Mary

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
Much of my problem with new urban developments is that the houses lots etc. all look the same. A real traditional area has style and the new residential developments, of all kinds, apear to be built to remove all individuality.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
New Urban Living

Only if I could have a 1-5 acre lot, three car garage and no sidewalks to shovel.

OK, seriously, if I were to live in a city, yes, definitely New Urban or one of the original neighborhoods they are based upon. Still, I would have to have a second home out in the country where I could garden, feed birds, see the stars, shoot at cats, and get away from the crowds.
 

adaptor

Member
Messages
123
Points
6
you can have it all

RE:"Still, I would have to have a second home out in the country where I could garden, feed birds, see the stars, shoot at cats, and get away from the crowds."

We have most of this on our 50 x 180 central city lot. Increasing areas of lawn are replaced with gardens and wildlife habitat every year. My wife feeds the birds and was recently rewarded with the sighting of a Cooper's Hawk attempting to feed on the birds. There are scads of stray cats and occasional gunfire (though I'm not sure the two are related). I'm sure I can't imagine the stars you can see out in your dairy air but we've got large uncrowded parks just a short drive away.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
50' x 180' lot - my driveway is 500' long! My vegetable garden is 50' x 70', and I have a prairie about the same size. Add in the flower gardens, woodland garden, fruit trees and shrubs, and about a half acre of heavily shaded, occassionally mowed lawn. I have three acres of pines to the north, maybe 40 acres of hay field behind the barns, and a quarter mile of soybeans between me and the nearest subdivision.Several types of hawks and owls are among the more than 60 bird species that visit my yard, including two threatened ones. Then there are the dozen or so different kinds of frogs I have to move out of the way when I do mow the lawn, raccoons, oppossum, deer, skunks, chipmunks.... The yard is turning into a wildlife sanctuary.

There's nothing wrong with traditional neighborhoods. They are the best form of urban development as I see it. But they don't meet everyone's needs. For now, I choose the country. (Not sprawl, though. The house is 130 years old - almost as old as the oak in the front yard.)
 

adaptor

Member
Messages
123
Points
6
So do you have a spare room for visitors?

It sounds great. Real Aldo Leopold stuff. But I'd hate to have to clear the snow from that drive!
 

apagano

Member
Messages
13
Points
1
I live in what you might call a New Urbanist community. It's an infill development designed using some of the principles of NU (front porches, back alley garages, small lots), but it lacks any mixed uses. It's 100% residential with some parkland set aside. Then again, since it's an infill development, the other amenities alredy exist in the surrounding neighborhood.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
How many planners out there are seeing 'New Urban' neighborhoods built without commercial or public uses? I think this a real trend, and would actually push for it. Here in Wisconsin, we have mostly small communities - under 15,000 people. It is possible to build new residential neighborhoods within walking distance of the downtown. Should these be typical suburban neighborhoods, or incorporate New Urban concepts that really make them an extension of existing development?

Even where the downtown is a bit far (though still possible) to walk, there is usually an insufficient market to support additional commercial retail or services, if it would be built into a new development. We are not talking about large subdivisions here. We tend to think anything over 100 homes is big for most communities. In this context, it makes sense to me to construct a purely residential neighborhood with New Urban forms. An agglomeration of these neighborhoods may be built by several developers, over years, tied to an existing downtown or eventual commercial core.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
Michael Stumpf wrote:
How many planners out there are seeing 'New Urban' neighborhoods built without commercial or public uses? I think this a real trend, and would actually push for it. Here in Wisconsin, we have mostly small communities - under 15,000 people. It is possible to build new residential neighborhoods within walking distance of the downtown. Should these be typical suburban neighborhoods, or incorporate New Urban concepts that really make them an extension of existing development?

Even where the downtown is a bit far (though still possible) to walk, there is usually an insufficient market to support additional commercial retail or services, if it would be built into a new development. We are not talking about large subdivisions here. We tend to think anything over 100 homes is big for most communities. In this context, it makes sense to me to construct a purely residential neighborhood with New Urban forms. An agglomeration of these neighborhoods may be built by several developers, over years, tied to an existing downtown or eventual commercial core.
you have to think of a city on the terms of a pedistrian level, rather than a car level.

Neighborhood centers, nice stuff.
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
Mary wrote:
Much of my problem with new urban developments is that the houses lots etc. all look the same. A real traditional area has style and the new residential developments, of all kinds, apear to be built to remove all individuality.
I have a similar problem with housing estates/developments. I grew up in a house in the North Lincolnshire countryside that was a hundred odd years old and holidayed in a similar (but hillier) place in France every summer. I still get a mild culture shock when I walk out of my front door and realise I live in a house virtually identical to all the surrounding houses and their all right on top of each other (so to speak).

Anyhoo, England's latest answer to (sub?)urban development is Beddington Zero (Fossil) Energy Development, where you can still live in a box identical to your neighbours but you can feel smug because you know you're (allegedly) contributing to sustainable development.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,331
Points
53
Journeymouse wrote:
Anyhoo, England's latest answer to (sub?)urban development is Beddington Zero (Fossil) Energy Development, where you can still live in a box identical to your neighbours but you can feel smug because you know you're (allegedly) contributing to sustainable development.
I'm looking at that one bedroom flat ... my gawd, I've got two bedrooms in my house that are larger than that entire flat! I've taken tours of government-built maquiladora worker housing in Juarez, where there was far more living space provided than in Beddington Zero. Yes, I would rather live in a high-quality small house than a generic large house, but I still need a bit of room to stretch, to play with the dog, to hold a party. I know land costs in London are expensive, but what about overall construction costs? Would I break the bank if I were to buy a 1,500 square foot house out past Milton Keynes?

As far as New Urbanism goes ... yeah, I'll take it over the cul-de-sac that my house sits on now. I'm in loop n' lollypop land, more than a mile from any commercial uses. However, I live in the sprawl not by choice, but out of necessity -- I can't afford any of the New Urbanist developments around here, and besides, they're all too far from work. The only "old urban" area within a reasonable commuting distance of my job is rather run-down, and dominated by residents of a Caucasian rural Southern cultural orientation. I'd prefer not to live next door to someone with a collection of "project cars" on their lawn, or with a big "3" painted on their garage door.

(The view from my cul-de-sac ...)
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
New Urbanism

Hey, Dan, at least Florida development has not been completely designed by the engineers! Your street looks downright quaint compared to the "It has to be wide enough to drive three full-size fire trucks parallel during an earthquake" lovelies we see out here in "pave it all" California :) God, I hate our residential street standards!

These streets just bake during the summer.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Oh, and while I don't live in one of those subdivisions, my "mixed" income neighborhood has one lovely property that has featured:

*a large "backyard wrestling" ring (in the front yard, of course.)

*completely diassembled vehicles

* a dog kept in a chain link kennel (that loves to bark at my dogs.)

* The latest joy: a nine-foot tall plywood "wall" spray-painted with "Keep Out" behind which lies an amazing accumulation of junked auto parts and assorted detritus.

They are actually kinda nice folks (the kid is just enough, though, that I expect to see the police cruisers parked in fromt more regularly during the next couple years)

Oh well, still prefer it to some manicured subdivision where busybody neighbors walk around measuring the height of the grass :)
 

jzt83

Cyburbian
Messages
21
Points
2
I currently live in a NU area of Portland, OR called the Pearl District, which is adjacent to Downtown. There are both afforadable and market priced apartments, but the majority of the units are expensive. It looks nice, but just a little too sterile for my tastes. All the shops are overpeiced boutique and furniture stores with nothing I would buy. And the grocery stores are the healthy and organic types. It's just too expensive for me. The nearest regular grocery store is a mile away. In fact, I find myself driving to the suburbs to buy my goods, as I can find better deals there. I never ever do my shopping in this area. I can see why people would want to live in a NU environment, but as for myself, I prefer a long established neighborhood that has been built gradually instead of a very short period of time. I guess NU neighborhoods are geared more towards the upper-middle-class.

I am semi-impressed with downtown Portland. It is small and compact. But theres just something missing. I can't put my finger on it. I think it's the density. There are pockets of people here and there, but it's very sparse. I don't know, you'll have to visit to know what I mean.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
I've spent a good deal of time in Portland. It is a great city, but I do know what you mean about the downtown. I will walk out of my downtown hotel at night expecting there to be shops open, but even the coffee shops are closed by seven.

There are some really nice neighborhoods outside of the downtown, and even the strip development is much more compact than you see in our neck of the prairies.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
New Urban or Old Urban, anything but CSD. I've had enough of automobile dependence and lawn mowing.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
why the hell not?
I wouldn't mind living in a NU neighborhood. I don't mind walking to stores or to work or nearby things. heck, when I was in the US I did that...of course I lived in a town and I was near school and shops. And in NJ! and within the NYC metro area(wel a reasonable distance, must have been like 30 miles or something like that...). for the ones interested I lived in Nutley,NJ. It is near Passaic, NJ. by car it was like an hour away from NYC (taking the lincoln tunnel).
 

ecofem

Cyburbian
Messages
206
Points
9
I don't know about you guys... but I'd rather live in an Old Ubranist neighborhood... i.e... historic neighborhoods which the "New Urbanist" communities take their inspiration (sometimes) from.
 

OfficialPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
930
Points
22
It would depend on the type of NU development, I would not want to live in a 100% residential community.

Personally I would prefer a new highrise condo, 50-storeys up, near transit, surrounded by retail, cafes, clubs, bars...

I really hate having to drive everywhere, cutting grass, shovling snow and removing the crap that collects on the roof.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
SkeLeton said:
why the hell not?
I wouldn't mind living in a NU neighborhood. I don't mind walking to stores or to work or nearby things. heck, when I was in the US I did that...of course I lived in a town and I was near school and shops. And in NJ! and within the NYC metro area(wel a reasonable distance, must have been like 30 miles or something like that...). for the ones interested I lived in Nutley,NJ. It is near Passaic, NJ. by car it was like an hour away from NYC (taking the lincoln tunnel).
I hate to break it to you buddy, but NJ isn't there anymore. We cut all the bridges and let it float away into the Atlantic.

As for me...I live in "Historic Roxborough/Manayunk" an "old" urbanist neighborhood. I can walk to anything I want, I can take the bus, the train, ride my bike...the Art Museum is a jog away, downtown is a $5.00 cab ride...

I think you get my drift. No matter how hard you try, you aren't ever going to replicate living in "the city."
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
But I bet, Mike, living in the City you can't live on a street named "Whispering Oaks Lane." Beat That!
 

green22

INACTIVE
Messages
101
Points
6
I would consider living in a new urbanist community. But ,as a person who doesn't drive it would have to be one which ignores the planning codes of the last 60-70 years. Many NU developers know better than to fight our planning codes, and those that try can only claim partial success.

I would like to live in an apartment where my rent doesn't subsidize other people's off street parking spaces. Besides, places with garages or surface lots for every store and apartment have more auto traffic and less pedestrian traffic.

I would like to live in a neighborhood of mostly thin streets. One with on, not off street parking with it's sidewalk cutouts.
I would like to live in a place with connected streets (and sidewalks) so that I can walk or bike directly to where I'm going. I don't want to live in a pod surrounded by empty parks, office parks or highways and arterials. It's no fun biking down an arterial, or on a mile detour around some open space or empty industrial zone.

I would like to live as close as possible to a variety of stores,(small grocer, laundromat, bodega, 99cent store, restaurant, video....) The smaller and closer the local schools the better. It would also be important for me to be located on great transit, not infrequent buses or 1 way expensive commuter trains.

These conditions abound in pre 1940's New York and Chicago neighborhoods. Unfortunately new developments in these neighborhoods are done according to the new codes and so strip malls , box stores, setbacks, freeways and single zoned areas have been eroding pedestrian friendliness and the vitality of communities. Until we change our codes and spending priorities you can expect public transportation to fail, and NU communities to be auto centric.
 
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dbhstockton

Member
Messages
12
Points
1
My town has some nice NU infill developments that I would live in if I could afford it. They're in excellent locations within short walking distance of transit (to NYC), which in my part of the country means they are expensive.

They're a nice mix of rentals, multi-family, and single family dwellings. My only criticism is aesthetic. They're in the typical red-brick neo-colonial style, complete with cuppolas and non-functional vinyl window shutters. While it's better than what was there before --an abandonned car dealership, derilect industrial/commercial sites, a fire-damaged schoolhouse -- developers need to realize that there is a market for more interesting architecture, especially in the cosmopolitan suburbs of major cities.

That's my main problem with new urbanism in general (aside from the fact that it's not new at all). Too often, it's a blueprint for theme park architecture. Towns like mine, which have plenty of "old urbanism," as somebody put it, can absorb NU development and still have some character. For those communities with no urbanist heritage, New Urbanism has little to offer aesthetically.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Hey, dbh: Have you seen anything about a development outside Denver called Prospect (in Longmont, Colorado). Kiki Wallace did just what you suggested: some pretty outrageous houses on a New Urbanist grid. Doesn't have the full complement of transit or other desirable New Urbanist features, but pretty interesting.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,161
Points
42
If done right, why not

If a new urbanist community is done right, it should have a little of everything with in walking distance, or access to public transportaion to get to where you need to go. So there should be no need for a car, and the interaction with other people is what will make it great.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,473
Points
23
I would rather live in an "old urbanist" community - more or less like the victorian era railroad suburb i grew up in.

I've seen these "NU" communities with nothing but housing - but guess what? They're not New Urbanist. They have a few TND conceits but other than that don't amount to much. I think as long as you have the same developers going back and forth between subdivisions and these places you are going to wind up with crap. NU is great as long as it is infill or will be big enough to be relatively self contained. Daniel's Island in Charleston, SC impressed me.

As far as them being too expensive - i think that is more a product of demand. When more developers get in on the act I think the prices will come down and the quality of the design will go up.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
jresta said:
Daniel's Island in Charleston, SC impressed me.
I received my undergrad in Charleston and Daniel Island was studied in minutia,(I even did a killer GIS project on native displacement there). and one thing that would prevent me from living there, or any simular NU community , is the loss of idividual control. The neighborhod design guideline handbook is about 3" thick and restricts every detail of life there, including which style of mailbox you could buy (from a short and EXPENSIVE list) to not allowing basketball goals in driveways. I live in a beautiful very Old Urbanist neighborhood and there are basketball goals all over the place.

Daniel Island is better than 99.9% of other suburbs in Charleston, but it has that ridiculous level of control found in other sub-divisions that prohibits the individual character that traditionally defines urban areas.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
21
What's the proposed jobs housing balance in Prospect? One problem with new urbanist projects is that they often won't support commercial development. Alternatively, they are based near (or create as a part of the development) a large job creator which creates a lot of commuting from outside the area..
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
340
Points
11
I agree with biscuit's comment. Too many restrictions in a community that prevent individuality are loathesome. Why can't my grass be taller than 4 inches?! Why can't I decorate my yard with pink flamingos (not that I would)?!? Why can't I work on a messy project outside on my own property?!? These restrictions are all over the suburbs....making them more unappealing than ever.
 

Kerred99

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
I would definitely consider living in a New Urbanist neighborhood - if I could afford it. But most examples of NU development that I've seen are so expensive that it's not an option for middle class (or even upper middle class) individuals/families to consider. If there's a way to apply similar principles (scale, design, walkabilty, mixed-use, etc.) to developments that are more affordable, I think many would be interested.
 

green lizard

Member
Messages
133
Points
6
If you read all the posts in this thread what you
find is that....

My college proffesors were wrong! Not everyone wants
to live downtown in a New Urbanist infill development!

Suprise Suprise!

No, it is about choice. If we all wanted the same thing then
life would be boring. But that leaves us with the real problem
of some groups who want to limit choice. They use
environmental causes to justify their passion and their vision
of changing development. Are these groups a market balance
or do they do more damage to good ideas by stuffing them
down developers throats?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,473
Points
23
green lizard said:
If you read all the posts in this thread what you
find is that....

My college proffesors were wrong! Not everyone wants
to live downtown in a New Urbanist infill development!

Suprise Suprise!

No, it is about choice. If we all wanted the same thing then
life would be boring. But that leaves us with the real problem
of some groups who want to limit choice. They use
environmental causes to justify their passion and their vision
of changing development. Are these groups a market balance
or do they do more damage to good ideas by stuffing them
down developers throats?
that's not really what i found at all. It seems to me that most people who don't prefer rural living either want to live in an old town or a new town (NU) but find the implementation of NU developments not to their liking.

It doesn't mean they don't like the idea of NU it means they either think it's too expensive (probably having to do with the limited supply), the architecture is too cheesy (again, it's a relatively new phenom and maybe it will improve with practice), or the rules are too strict.

These are all things that can be ironed out and are not by any means fatal flaws in the concept.

Personally I have a wealth of urban and victorian environments from which to choose and I like old houses so it's what i look for.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,473
Points
23
ricjer said:
I find the concept of New Urbanism rather intriguing. However, I find it difficult to reconcile the similarity that the movement draws between "place" and "community." I don't believe that values such as community or oneness come from the setting in which we place ourselves.

I'm most fearful that the New Urbanist centers of today will be the ghettos of tomorrow.

From my own experiences I couldn't disagree with this more. I've lived in a lot of different types of places and i've seen the impact design has on how often neighbors interact.

When i first moved to the Philly area I took the first apartment I could find that was near the train. It wound up being at the Ashland PATCO stop in Voorhees, NJ. (12 miles southeast of Philly City Hall) The station was surrounded by Johnson era suburban development. My girlfriend and I were a one car household and after a year I was bored out of my mind. I had to get out. The only thing to do on foot was walk to Dunkin' Donuts or get on the train and go to Center City. Everything else required a 10 minute drive. The only neighbors i had any interaction with were those that i shared the stoop with.

I wound up buying a place 7 miles closer in and a world away. Collingswood, NJ. I bought a brick twin built in 1927. It was in the middle of a block of nearly identical twins and behind us were more of the same. Across the street were much larger victorians. My front porch was 15 ft. from the sidewalk and I could see anyone up and down the street who happened to be sitting on the porch. By the end of the summer I knew everyone on the block.

I was 1/2 a block from the Main St. where I could walk to almost anything I needed and going to the bakery often wound up becoming a one hour trip because all of the people i bumped into along the way.

I understand that some people enjoy their privacy and that's fine - but the kind of interaction that occurs on the sidewalk just doesn't happen in a car.

Without informal meetings like that and informal discussions about what's going on in the town that anyone within earshot can feel free to join in on you don't have a "community" you have an "interest group."
 
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BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
I would add to jresta's remarks that post-war ("Johnson era") suburban development doesn't seem to have very much long term viability. The design quality (poor), lack of variety, and commuter orientation are leading to premature decay. I mean-20 years in some cases! There don't seem to be many attachments to these suburban developments-they seem to be consider disposable consumer goods. There are subdivisions in Fairfield built during the 1980s that are already decaying.

Not to deny that older mixed use city neighborhoods don't decay as well-but what, other than cheap pricing, is to bring people back to a Kauffman and Broad 1983 special? They don't even have the quirky charm of an Eichler house (sorry for the West Coast references :) )

I really think the redevelopment of older subdivisions will be a big issue.
 

green lizard

Member
Messages
133
Points
6
I would love to agree... however I can not.

I belive that the market trends STILL show a
significant number of folks want to live on a
cul-de-sac. It is about choice. If you work in the
city and enjoy that, great. If you are more rural
and enjoy that, be happy.

We all have read Jane J. and understand some
sustainability concepts.... but the market (what people
wil pay for) still supports both NU developments,
traditional developments and subdivisions (sprawl?).

NU developments are selling like crazy in South Florida.
But large homes in gated subdivisions are selling
even BETTER.

Sorry
 

japrovo

Member
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green lizard said:


NU developments are selling like crazy in South Florida.
But large homes in gated subdivisions are selling
even BETTER.

Sorry
For the record I'm a life long city dweller and a fan of old houses. I wouldn't live in either a traditional suburb or a new urbanist development if you paid me. But that's fine, go build what you want as long as you leave a few old houses in the cities for me and mine to recycle.

I don't doubt that your assessment of market trends in FL has some validity there and elsewhere. But can we be intellectually honest if we don't think about the generation or more of infrastructure subsidies and code writing favoring certain design types and its influence on the existing market conditions?

So what are all these planners up to? Notwithstanding anything said by proponents or opponents I don't think anyone realistically expects to wipe out the traditional subdivision with new urbanism. Even here in the Portland region it is about choice, offering a diverse range of housing options across the breadth of the regional housing market. The options are there for people who want to or need to make certain housing choices that just don't exist in other regions. And as the boomers start to downsize with age I think the regions without those options are going to have some problems.
 

green lizard

Member
Messages
133
Points
6
Mumford also said , "Our national flower is the
concrete cloverleaf interchange"

How about, "The truth is more important than the facts."
Frank Loyd Wright

I like this (form the father of the automobile)
"An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous."

- Henry Ford

Quotes are cool.
 
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