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
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#41
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

     
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#42
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.
 
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#43
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.
 
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#44
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

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#45
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

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#46
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

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#47
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.
 
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#48
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
 
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#49
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.
 
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#50
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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#51
japrovo said:
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? .
Infrastructure subsidies and code writing favoring certain
design types....

There were other reasons those design types occured. Your
father probably wanted his own house and peice of land, no
matter how small. The favoring may have more to do with
the type of deep rooted attachments that our society
has cultivated.

As for infrastructure subsidies.... the transportation of goods in
this country is what allows our strong (yes strong compared
to many) economy to thrive. Most of the 'subsidised
infrasturcture' keeps those fresh veges at your grocer and the
latest planning mag on your desk.

Some of the result is not the wanted outcome... we have sprawl
and nowhere places, but do not condem out of hand.

After all remmber that planners were all for Urban Renewal and
we know what a great idea that became.
 
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#52
green lizard said:

There were other reasons those design types occured. Your
father probably wanted his own house and peice of land, no
matter how small. The favoring may have more to do with
the type of deep rooted attachments that our society
has cultivated.
Maybe, but if you go back as far as the origins of the FHA loan guarantee programs in the 30s my grandfather's choices were limited by the fact that as a matter of policy the government underwrote greenfield single-family construction and not loans for rehabbing existing homes or the construction of multifamily housing. This went on for decades and also with a stated preference for projects that were in neighborhoods that were racially exclusive. I certainly wouldn't condemn those who choose that lifestyle today, but the sad truth is that to the extent we can credit cultural values with shaping the postwar urban form we take on some pretty negative baggage.


As for infrastructure subsidies.... the transportation of goods in
this country is what allows our strong (yes strong compared
to many) economy to thrive. Most of the 'subsidised
infrasturcture' keeps those fresh veges at your grocer and the
latest planning mag on your desk.
True enough, but roads serving inter-city commerce are not necessarily the same thing as intra-city roads that underwrite the feasibility of decentralized forms of urban development.


Some of the result is not the wanted outcome... we have sprawl
and nowhere places, but do not condem out of hand.
I don't think I've condemned anything out of hand. I am very concerned however when these discussions mythologize rather than analyze markets and the economic, political, and social forces that shape them. Nothing takes place in a vacuum.
 

jresta

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#53
green lizard said:
Infrastructure subsidies and code writing favoring certain
design types....

There were other reasons those design types occured. Your
father probably wanted his own house and peice of land, no
matter how small. The favoring may have more to do with
the type of deep rooted attachments that our society
has cultivated.

As for infrastructure subsidies.... the transportation of goods in
this country is what allows our strong (yes strong compared
to many) economy to thrive. Most of the 'subsidised
infrasturcture' keeps those fresh veges at your grocer and the
latest planning mag on your desk.

Some of the result is not the wanted outcome... we have sprawl
and nowhere places, but do not condem out of hand.

After all remmber that planners were all for Urban Renewal and
we know what a great idea that became.
First off i don't know any planners who thought urban renewal was a good idea. I only know engineers who call themselves planners that thought urban renewal was a good idea.

The produce my grandparents ate was much fresher than what i eat today because it didn't have to travel 2,000 miles to get to my fridge. It was grown locally and it was harvested when it was ripe not two weeks before hand.

Choice? what percentage of new development even tries to call itself "new urbanist" ?! 3% of the market? How is that choice?
The problem with most suburban development is not that it's suburban. Surburbs have been growing in this country for 150 years. It's only in the last 50 that they've taken a turn for the worse. That turn has been their auto-only orientation. Period.

No one is saying suburbs are bad they're saying the design is bad.
 
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#55
jresta said:
First off i don't know any planners who thought urban renewal was a good idea. I only know engineers who call themselves planners that thought urban renewal was a good idea.
.
Urban renewal was accepted planning practice...
Read up on the history. We don't like to admit it,
but there it is....

As for 3%.. NU marketing is doing well... the demand is high.
Choice is there for some urban markets.

2000 mile salad... thats good.
I guess we could all start our own truck gardens out back.
 
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#56
japrovo said:
Maybe, but if you go back as far as the origins of the FHA loan guarantee programs in the 30s my grandfather's choices were limited by the fact that as a matter of policy the government underwrote greenfield single-family construction and not loans for rehabbing existing homes or the construction of multifamily housing. This went on for decades and also with a stated preference for projects that were in neighborhoods that were racially exclusive. I certainly wouldn't condemn those who choose that lifestyle today, but the sad truth is that to the extent we can credit cultural values with shaping the postwar urban form we take on some pretty negative baggage.
.
I knew you would bring up FHA loans. It was one of the biggest
factors shaping American development. But did FHA policy
get that way because of the choice of the majority, or because
we did not know any better? It was an economic choice. New
housing meant new jobs in post war America.

Your knowledge on this is sharp.
 

BKM

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#57
I'll give the lizard that one (Urban Renewal as accepted planning practice).

We can't blame the engineers for that one-there is plenty of blame to go around. Modern Movement architects, welfare ureaucrats and the poverty industry, the highway industry, and real estate investment interests share at least as much blame as planners for the horriors of the urban renewal program. But, I think many of us would overlook the gentrification and other issues if the architecture was just a little better.


As for truck gardens out back, thats what cities always had for generations. Its probably better than the "out of sight, out of mind" realities of modern agro-chemico-business. Like all free marketers, Green Lizard forgets that our "free market system" as currently constituted exists because the beneficiaries don't really pay the full externalities of the system-the migrant farm workers living under the culverts, the 50% toxic contamination of Iowa drinking water wells, the air quality impacts of large trucks idling in big city traffic jams. And, as discussed exhaustively on this board a few months ago, I'm not sure it is really possible to fully quantify or even define such impacts. So, appeals to the purity of market values as a reason for not guiding the market through programs, policies, and standards don't convince me.

Still, we need to be constantly reminded of market realities, so I am enjoying this debate a great deal.
 

jresta

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#59
green lizard said:
Urban renewal was accepted planning practice...
Read up on the history. We don't like to admit it,
but there it is....

As for 3%.. NU marketing is doing well... the demand is high.
Choice is there for some urban markets.

2000 mile salad... thats good.
I guess we could all start our own truck gardens out back.
when developers have to sue to build their NU projects - that's not choice in the marketplace.

3 out of 100 new homes are NU (and obviously more expensive) is also not choice in the marketplace.

Government dictates - like the terms of FHA loans - or the highway/transit funding imbalance does not represent choice in the marketplace. Subsidizing one housing style or mode of transport and/or penalizing another is not a free market. It's a distortion of the market that will have an obvious outcome.

Suburbia was the largest social engineering project this country has ever seen and no matter how hard they tried they still didn't succeed in destroying cities with strong histories.
 

BKM

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#60
"Social engineering project"-that's a good term.

Wasn't one of the reasons for the whole push for single family homes to prevent the growth of European-style "socialist"parties. It certainly "worked," for good and bad.
 
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