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Andres Duany - New Urbanism

likepilateihaveadoglikepilateihaveadog Posts: 1,083
edited June 2006 in A Moving Train
Anyone here read: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream?

good read.

thought this could be a good thread to discuss new urbanism in general as well.

There's a lot going on in Lancaster right now....
Teamwork. Rawk. Pwnage. Infinite Possibilities. YIELD. Hells yeah.
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    I am in the urban and regional planning field, so I'd feel remiss if I did not respond, though I have not read this particular book.

    I think new urbanism is a positive thing. Essentially urban/suburban development goes through "phases" and "trends." In the early 20th century, it went from the walking city to development along transit (streetcar) lines. After the automobile became prevalent, development became based on parking lots and separation of the uses. Why walk around downtown when we can drive? Why live near places to shop, eat, play, etc. when we can drive there. It was short sighted for a number of reasons.

    New urbanism wishes to bring some of that walkability back, as well as to create "neighborhood" through such things as community common areas and front porches. It is a trend that attracts those that are sick of auto-dependance (and not because of the cost and finate nature of oil). Some people will always want to sprawl out, but there is an increasing market to live in places that foster walkability, the ability to use public transportation, the ability for their kids to get to soccer practice and their friends houses without a ride from their parents, grid blocks of attractive houses that are not dominated by three car garages that take up 2/3 of the front facade, pedestrian friendliness, bicycle friendliness, etc. There is such a market that my wife and I, professionals that wish not to have kids probably cannot affort to live in such a place (the supply has yet to meet the demand). Every time I visit home (Minneapolis), my parents show me these downtown condos that they'd like to move to, but they are all like $600,000.

    Anyway, sprawl has hurt us in many ways and has been funded by downtown. Here is some of the negatives: http://www.newurbanism.org/sprawlcosts.html.

    The automobile is an outstanding invention. But we've put all of our eggs in one basket long enough.

    Edit: upon further read, I think my above link does a poor job of showing sprawl's negatives, though I like their (factual) point that building more lanes and more roads does not relieve traffic congestion. This link whips through it quickly, but covers more bases: http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/factsheet.asp#Money.

    Also, there is growing evidence that sprawl is one of the key contributors to America's (expensive) obesity problem. Go figure--people don't go downtown because they'll have to walk four blocks after parking. In urban or new-urbanize environments, walking becomes a built-in part of the day--it makes a world of difference.
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    Uncle Leo wrote:
    Also, there is growing evidence that sprawl is one of the key contributors to America's (expensive) obesity problem. Go figure--people don't go downtown because they'll have to walk four blocks after parking. In urban or new-urbanize environments, walking becomes a built-in part of the day--it makes a world of difference.
    I call bullshit here. The obesity problem is caused by over eating and laziness. And nothing else. People can blame their over eating and laziness on anything they want and it's just a bullshit excuse.

    Where I live would probably count as suburban sprawl, but I make it work for my son and I. See, I take his and my health as being my responsibility. That responsibility is there regardless of where we live. Suburban sprawl helps ensure I bike 20 miles a day going to work and back. Suburban sprawl ensures that my son walks or bikes 4-5 miles a day everytime he goes skateboarding, or the 3 miles to school everytime he misses his school bus.

    Suburban sprawl also provides us both with a healthy area to live with things live trees, grass, forests, access to mountain biking trails within a mile of our front door, and the ocean within a ten minute drive.

    The push for urban densification is nothing but another social experiment being justified by the cost of gas and brought to you by realty development companies. Increasing their bottom line vastly per piece of land bought in the urban core. I go to downtown Vancouver, one of the most so called livable cities in the world and it's fucking gross. Unless your idea of beauty is a concrete jungle. All Vancouver has done is make the car evil and concrete God. This kind of urban living may work great for people who don't like the outdoors or nature and think exercise is something you do in a gym. All the more power to them to enjoy their chosen lifestyle. But when they tell me one of the joys of living in Vancouver is the choice of sidewalk cafes I feel sorry for them.

    Vancouver is a gem of city that has coastal mountains. The wonderful outdoors is right there, waiting for them in the suburban sprawl. They joy seem too stupid to enjoy it, and seem to hate the idea that others do. They don't want teh suburbanite's car downtown but they sure seem more than happy sending commercial traffic through the suburbs.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    I don't know your suburb and I've never even been to Canada (save for Niagra Falls). But most suburbs I've been to in the US, you'd have to be flat out crazy to let your kid bike anywhere off of his own cul-de-sac. Soon as you get off of it, you are on a 40 mph road (that's posted, but the engineers designed it for 60, so that's how fast they really go) with no bike lane and no sidewalks.

    You seem to be breaking most of the suburban trends. First of all, very few people are ever going to bike 20 miles per day. Call it laziness, call it not enough time since they are expected to work 60 hours per week and raise a family--but it's not going to happen.

    You are right about one thing. Lazyness is a huge contributor to our weight problem. Too lazy to go anywhere that does not allow you to park in front of the door. To lazy to get any activity. People have been like that from the beginning of time. And you are right that it is up to us, regardless of where we live, to take care of ourselves. The other aspect of lazyness is that we design ourselves around it. We spend ungodly amounts of money on roads, but will not spring for the relatively small cost for a sidewalk or a bike path. We push our buildings back away from the street and front them with parking lots so people could not possibly walk from store to store with any sense of comfort. We design our transportation network not to move people, but to move cars.

    I grew up in a suburb (my house was literally a stone's throw from Minneapolis). It is older, so it pre-dates the "wonderful" new trends of culs-de-sac, with it's grid street network, alleyes and sidewalks. That grid network allowed me to get on my bike the same way my parents got in their car. I used it to go to my friends houses, the park, baseball practice, etc. My bike was my "car." Out in the 3rd ring suburbs of Minneapolis, the grid is not there. It's arterioles with little loops coming off of them and no way in hell to get people there without literally taking their lives into their hands.

    And there are plenty of areas in every city with trees, parks, etc. As far as your nature goes, not too much of that in the suburbs anyway--unless you call large expanses of grass fronted by "No Tresspessing" signs as nature.

    I've never been to Vancouver, but in Minneapolis, you have a bike path that takes you anywhere in the city with minimal interaction with automobiles. Sure downtown is a "concrete jungle", but it has very nice neighborhoods. It also happens to be the "city of lakes." Each of these lakes is on this linear network of bike/walking paths that covers most of the City. It's beatiful--plenty of free outdoor excercise. It would be incredibally livable if not for the immense cold and snow half the year...Now I admit, Minneapolis residents may be spoiled, because some cities are not that nice.

    But that's not even the point. You can make the landscape more conducive to public health without cramming everyone into Minneapolis, Vancouver, etc. You can have suburbs that are more livable, walkable, bikeable simply by changing the bad habits that we have gotten into related to the street network, the lack of sidewalks and bike lanes, the focus on parking above all else. Suburbs can be livable--much moreso than they are. "New Urbanism" primarilly occurs in the suburbs.

    It sounds like you live more "rural" than suburban. Either way, you are getting out of your car and you are teaching your kid(s) that the automobile is not the only way to get around. That is commendable and boardering on unique in this day and age. hell, your kid even takes the bus, a real rarity in US suburbs now a days (due in part because most states have rules stating the need for HUGE areas of land for new schools, meaning they have to sprawl out). Most kids get rides from their parents (never mind that a car accident is WAY more likely than a child abuduction.

    But most people are not like you, and frankly, I don't expect them to be (and I am in uniquely good shape). Suburbs can be created to have less drain on our resources, run along transit, bike and sidewalk routes and build that oh-so-important "natural excersie" that takes place in the course of a day that involves walking between a few places while running errands.

    As for the gym--they exist everywhere, but they were created in large part as a response to the sprawl phenominon of having nowhere to get excersise out the door. In urban/new urban environments, people can walk places. In conventional suburban environs, "I drive everywhere else, may as well drive to get my excerise too. 'Specially since I'd get killed if I tried something else."
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    Uncle Leo wrote:
    I don't know your suburb and I've never even been to Canada (save for Niagra Falls). But most suburbs I've been to in the US, you'd have to be flat out crazy to let your kid bike anywhere off of his own cul-de-sac. Soon as you get off of it, you are on a 40 mph road (that's posted, but the engineers designed it for 60, so that's how fast they really go) with no bike lane and no sidewalks.

    You seem to be breaking most of the suburban trends. First of all, very few people are ever going to bike 20 miles per day. Call it laziness, call it not enough time since they are expected to work 60 hours per week and raise a family--but it's not going to happen.

    You are right about one thing. Lazyness is a huge contributor to our weight problem. Too lazy to go anywhere that does not allow you to park in front of the door. To lazy to get any activity. People have been like that from the beginning of time. And you are right that it is up to us, regardless of where we live, to take care of ourselves. The other aspect of lazyness is that we design ourselves around it. We spend ungodly amounts of money on roads, but will not spring for the relatively small cost for a sidewalk or a bike path. We push our buildings back away from the street and front them with parking lots so people could not possibly walk from store to store with any sense of comfort. We design our transportation network not to move people, but to move cars.

    I grew up in a suburb (my house was literally a stone's throw from Minneapolis). It is older, so it pre-dates the "wonderful" new trends of culs-de-sac, with it's grid street network, alleyes and sidewalks. That grid network allowed me to get on my bike the same way my parents got in their car. I used it to go to my friends houses, the park, baseball practice, etc. My bike was my "car." Out in the 3rd ring suburbs of Minneapolis, the grid is not there. It's arterioles with little loops coming off of them and no way in hell to get people there without literally taking their lives into their hands.

    And there are plenty of areas in every city with trees, parks, etc. As far as your nature goes, not too much of that in the suburbs anyway--unless you call large expanses of grass fronted by "No Tresspessing" signs as nature.

    I've never been to Vancouver, but in Minneapolis, you have a bike path that takes you anywhere in the city with minimal interaction with automobiles. Sure downtown is a "concrete jungle", but it has very nice neighborhoods. It also happens to be the "city of lakes." Each of these lakes is on this linear network of bike/walking paths that covers most of the City. It's beatiful--plenty of free outdoor excercise. It would be incredibally livable if not for the immense cold and snow half the year...Now I admit, Minneapolis residents may be spoiled, because some cities are not that nice.

    But that's not even the point. You can make the landscape more conducive to public health without cramming everyone into Minneapolis, Vancouver, etc. You can have suburbs that are more livable, walkable, bikeable simply by changing the bad habits that we have gotten into related to the street network, the lack of sidewalks and bike lanes, the focus on parking above all else. Suburbs can be livable--much moreso than they are. "New Urbanism" primarilly occurs in the suburbs.

    It sounds like you live more "rural" than suburban. Either way, you are getting out of your car and you are teaching your kid(s) that the automobile is not the only way to get around. That is commendable and boardering on unique in this day and age. hell, your kid even takes the bus, a real rarity in US suburbs now a days (due in part because most states have rules stating the need for HUGE areas of land for new schools, meaning they have to sprawl out). Most kids get rides from their parents (never mind that a car accident is WAY more likely than a child abuduction.

    But most people are not like you, and frankly, I don't expect them to be (and I am in uniquely good shape). Suburbs can be created to have less drain on our resources, run along transit, bike and sidewalk routes and build that oh-so-important "natural excersie" that takes place in the course of a day that involves walking between a few places while running errands.

    As for the gym--they exist everywhere, but they were created in large part as a response to the sprawl phenominon of having nowhere to get excersise out the door. In urban/new urban environments, people can walk places. In conventional suburban environs, "I drive everywhere else, may as well drive to get my excerise too. 'Specially since I'd get killed if I tried something else."
    I must admit where I live is very safe. A neighbourhood of a couple hundred homes (enough to support three elementary schools) with only two roads in or out of it. Every street seen to be a higher traffic volume street has sidewalks and pedestrians controlled crosswalks at every traffic light. This should be the norm, even though it is still sprawl. We are only a 25 minute drive to downtown Vancouver, a city of over 2 million, so I'm pretty sure it is still the suburbs.

    I've seen the area where "new urbanism" has been put in. Again, I think it is only a social experiment driven by realty development company greed. It pushes the full and complete cost of all recreational activity onto the city, as these hign density areas provide no owner paid for greenspace large enough for children to play. Greed driven. Nor does it belive in leaving natural greenbelts, as the philosophy seems to be to maximize the use of land while placing zero value on untouched land. Greed driven.

    I do accept that where I live uses more resources than the new urbanism areas. Those resources are also primarily paid for by the owners and not the city. Where as much of new urbanism livability deopends on additional city investment. If new urbanism is how some people want to live I'm okay with that, I just wish the unsubstantiated villification of suburban sprawl would cease. I clicked on both links and I could refute at least 90% of what they say as either complete bullshit or unscientific. Really, the Sierra Club should be ashamed of themselves for some of the crap and lies they've posted.

    Sprawl can work and does work. It should be irresoponsible to hold a person who makes the sprawl work as anything other than the expectation.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    surferdude wrote:
    I've seen the area where "new urbanism" has been put in. Again, I think it is only a social experiment driven by realty development company greed. It pushes the full and complete cost of all recreational activity onto the city, as these hign density areas provide no owner paid for greenspace large enough for children to play. Greed driven. Nor does it belive in leaving natural greenbelts, as the philosophy seems to be to maximize the use of land while placing zero value on untouched land. Greed driven.

    First of all, all development is driven by greed. For example, not putting in sidewalks is about saving a couple of bucks (sadly, if more people cared, they'd put them in). Developers, as you say are greedy, so they are not going to put a lot of effort into "social experiments." I don't know how it pushes the cost of recreation onto the city any more than conventional sprawal does (save for the fact that there is no recreational activitiy with conventional sprawal). Almost no suburban development provide owner-paid greenspace for children to play. Some cities charge development fees to go into parks--of course in some states the courts have said that is illegal, so nobody has to do it. Then the city pays for extenson of the sewer, water, road maintenance, etc. And in some cases, the cumulative effect of the sprawal means additonal fire stations, schools, libraries, etc.

    Anyway, the greed is everywhere--new urbanist or not.
    surferdude wrote:
    I do accept that where I live uses more resources than the new urbanism areas. Those resources are also primarily paid for by the owners and not the city. Where as much of new urbanism livability deopends on additional city investment. If new urbanism is how some people want to live I'm okay with that, I just wish the unsubstantiated villification of suburban sprawl would cease. I clicked on both links and I could refute at least 90% of what they say as either complete bullshit or unscientific. Really, the Sierra Club should be ashamed of themselves for some of the crap and lies they've posted.

    Typically, the resources (road extension, sewar/water) are paid for up front by the developers and then the maintenance falls to the City. Residential development does not pay for itself. Never has, never will. And when the cumulation of sprawl needs some big ticket items (like fire stations), the entire city foots the bill. Even sprawal can be more efficiant, though it involves more density in the sprawling area--a critical mass to make a transit stop more viable.

    I did not read every word of what was on the links (nor did you), but it seems (unscientifically) reasonable to think that an environment conducive to walking would be good for people's helath. I know that I have read in fitness articles that the jump from no activity to a cumulative 30 minutes of daily brisk walking is more important than going from moderatley to VERY physically active. Just getting some walking (or whatever) in is the key.

    Personally, I think the biggest hole blown in the study is that the AMOUNT of weight is seeminly trivial. Of course it's about more than weight. People that pig out on Pizza every day can still strenghen their heart if they get enough excersie. All studeis and counter-studies have an agenda (obviously, smart growth america and the heritage foundation do). Hell so do you and I--which is why I am getting off of this thread soon.
    surferdude wrote:

    Sprawl can work and does work. It should be irresoponsible to hold a person who makes the sprawl work as anything other than the expectation.

    This is where I disagree the most. Sprawal works to achieve some of its goals. Give people privacy and streets with no traffic (though I have that in a non-sprawl atmosphere). Keeps people away from that "urban" element (race is the elphant in the room). Provides large yards and few neighbors.

    It does not work because of the significant auto-dependence it causes and the extremely expensive infrastructure investments needed--road repair alone should make an accountant long for light rail transit. And I could point to the sterility, lack of cultural resources, etc., but that's personal preference.

    Could it work better? Sure. It does not have to be devoid of character. Does not have to be hostile to the non-motorized commuter. Does not have to be seas of parking lots in front of seemingly distant commerical uses. These are just some of the places where regional planning (my field) has failed.
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • Thanks for the replies. A good discussion.

    Money is certainly an issue. But, I think Duany's main point is that the suburbs lead to a loss of community that you can only get in densely settled areas.

    That, to me, is the real goal of new urbanism. The environmental and aesthetic concerns are valid, but the main goal is returning to a sense of community - one that we lose through spending half our time driving, through fenced yards, etc, etc.
    Teamwork. Rawk. Pwnage. Infinite Possibilities. YIELD. Hells yeah.
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    Thanks for the replies. A good discussion.

    Money is certainly an issue. But, I think Duany's main point is that the suburbs lead to a loss of community that you can only get in densely settled areas.

    That, to me, is the real goal of new urbanism. The environmental and aesthetic concerns are valid, but the main goal is returning to a sense of community - one that we lose through spending half our time driving, through fenced yards, etc, etc.
    I call bullshit. A sense of community is easy. Talk to your neighbours, volunteer, go to church. Anyone saying that a sense of community cannot be had due in urban sprawl should try telling that to a farmer. The rural areas probably have the highest sense of community and they spend the most time driving and live the furthest distances from each other. A sense of community is predicated by your actions, not your proximity.

    To me, this is all about looking for easy answers to justify greed, rather than taking a long, sobering look in the mirror.

    There are happy mediums to be found in all types of city planning arrangements. Teh current villification of urban sprawl is driven by greed, plain and simple.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    i understand your prefering the suburbs and most of your other points.

    But I have to admit, I don't understand your greed angle. What greed? Developers are greedy, new urbanist or not. What greed? Some developments respond to the market for convential suburban development. Others respond to the very growing market for other types of development (brought on by the increasing amount of time we spend in traffic). Explain the greed portion of your argument.
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    Uncle Leo wrote:
    i understand your prefering the suburbs and most of your other points.

    But I have to admit, I don't understand your greed angle. What greed? Developers are greedy, new urbanist or not. What greed? Some developments respond to the market for convential suburban development. Others respond to the very growing market for other types of development (brought on by the increasing amount of time we spend in traffic). Explain the greed portion of your argument.
    I think that developers have figured out that they can milk the current suburban sprawl backlash to make more money. If, as a developer, you have a one acre parcel of land and your choices are; a single family dwelling, sub-divide into 8 lots, or build high density housing. Where do you think the most profit is found?

    I feel bad about this thread because you are a city planner and I don't want t to come across as me taking potshots at you. I hope that my feelings on this subject are clear in that I am mostly for a healthy balance between all forms of housing, and cannot stand the current vilification of urban spral. Even just calling it urban sprawl should be thought of as a form of discrimination.

    By the way I live in old school high density housing. A low-rise condo with plenty of greenspace and backing onto a greenbelt. Of course, half a block away the asking price with an ocean view is $1.2 million. I am the white trash of this community.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
  • OK, I can hear you on the farmer angle.

    But the point of the new urbanists is that people are choosing suburban models in order to escape any sense of "community" - because they fear city life and want privacy.

    Homes aren't built with front porches any more. Garages face the street, and back decks face a fenced back yard. The message is not "people live here," but rather, "cars live here."

    Americans choosing suburbia are going nuts- they drive an hour or more each way in the car by themselves - competing with everyone else for roadspace.
    It's a little different to run into someone on the sidewalk than it is to run into them on the freeway.

    Certainly, in some cases the "community" is there - but one of the best things I read about why the city is attractive is the "chance for random encounters."

    When you're locked inside your little fortress, and with no opportunity to meet people in driving to get everywhere...it's gone. And kids growing up today (me included... :D) think this is acceptable and the way its supposed to be. I think it's endemic of some of our other problems.
    Teamwork. Rawk. Pwnage. Infinite Possibilities. YIELD. Hells yeah.
  • 1970RR1970RR Posts: 281
    This "New Urbanism" sounds like a way for one group of people to dictate to others how & where they choose to live.
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    1970RR wrote:
    This "New Urbanism" sounds like a way for one group of people to dictate to others how & where they choose to live.

    It's not true. It's two things:

    1. A movement not to get you into the City but to get suburbs to shed some of the things that make them unlivable (no sidewalks, etc.)

    2. Specific developments aimed at a market that wants it.
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    surferdude wrote:
    I think that developers have figured out that they can milk the current suburban sprawl backlash to make more money. If, as a developer, you have a one acre parcel of land and your choices are; a single family dwelling, sub-divide into 8 lots, or build high density housing. Where do you think the most profit is found?

    I feel bad about this thread because you are a city planner and I don't want t to come across as me taking potshots at you. I hope that my feelings on this subject are clear in that I am mostly for a healthy balance between all forms of housing, and cannot stand the current vilification of urban spral. Even just calling it urban sprawl should be thought of as a form of discrimination.
    By the way I live in old school high density housing. A low-rise condo with plenty of greenspace and backing onto a greenbelt. Of course, half a block away the asking price with an ocean view is $1.2 million. I am the white trash of this community.

    The profit is found in anything there is a market for. Yes, there is profit to be had in density, but if there is a market for new urbanist type housing and the developers are responding to it (and the demand is far from being met, at least here in the US), how is that any more greedy than Apple responding to the demand for the IPOD? Perhaps you think that people are being dragged kicking and screaming to new urbanist developments (there must be a lot in Canada, there are not here and there is plenty of demand). I feel almost as if it's the other way--housing is cheaper as you move out and it's very hard for most to get a mortgage on more expensive land (bank's don't take transportation savings into account).


    As far as "discrimination" goes, sorry, but it is sprawl. Even if you think it is good, it is sprawl. It's no more discrimination than acknowledgin that someone is black. It's just plain true. I guess you can call it something else, just don't ever let me catch you badmouthing someone for being "PC" (there, now I have taken a shot at you ;) )
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • 1970RR1970RR Posts: 281
    Uncle Leo wrote:
    It's not true. It's two things:

    1. A movement not to get you into the City but to get suburbs to shed some of the things that make them unlivable (no sidewalks, etc.)

    2. Specific developments aimed at a market that wants it.

    1. Unlivable according to who? If the suburbs were so unlivable, we wouldnt be having this discussion.

    2. But the solution to develop these specific markets seems to follow the path of restricting what is allowable/available elsewhere.
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    1970RR wrote:
    1. Unlivable according to who? If the suburbs were so unlivable, we wouldnt be having this discussion.

    2. But the solution to develop these specific markets seems to follow the path of restricting what is allowable/available elsewhere.

    1. If you prefer a place to live that is developed around the automobile, that is fine. That means that you and I disagree on how suburbs ought to be developed. But if cities, etc. decide to start adding sidewalks and bike paths and creating a better pedestrian scale, that is no different than in the 1950s -1970s when they decided to stop using sidewalks and non-motorized accessibility. Municipalities are going to be planned, either way. You may think bike paths are a waste of money and I may think extension of sewar to your subdivision is a waste of money, but decisions on such things are going to be made ultimately by a City council, with input from City staff. Whether the term "unliveable" is fair or not, most people could think of something that could make their development pattern better--more parks? Fewer parks? More parking? More transit? 4 lane streets everywhere?

    2. The solution of developing these markets is to respond to a demand for what some people think is more livability. If nobody wanted to live there, these places would not exist. In general, a new urbanist neighborhood should not bother you because it is just another subdivision that happens to be different and does not affect your ability to live in your chosen way.
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    Uncle Leo wrote:
    The profit is found in anything there is a market for. Yes, there is profit to be had in density, but if there is a market for new urbanist type housing and the developers are responding to it (and the demand is far from being met, at least here in the US), how is that any more greedy than Apple responding to the demand for the IPOD? Perhaps you think that people are being dragged kicking and screaming to new urbanist developments (there must be a lot in Canada, there are not here and there is plenty of demand). I feel almost as if it's the other way--housing is cheaper as you move out and it's very hard for most to get a mortgage on more expensive land (bank's don't take transportation savings into account).
    Where I live the density of each town is regulated not by the city but by a board that governs the greater Vancouver area. This board is really pushing for dense housing, which would completely change the characteristics of where I live. Luckily the town I live in has basically told this board to shove it and kept our town and communities very livable and family friendly.

    Single family homes that allow for such things as swimming pools, places to toss a ball, backyards to have friends and neighbours over. All things impossible in high density housing.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
  • Uncle LeoUncle Leo Posts: 1,073
    surferdude wrote:
    Where I live the density of each town is regulated not by the city but by a board that governs the greater Vancouver area. This board is really pushing for dense housing, which would completely change the characteristics of where I live. Luckily the town I live in has basically told this board to shove it and kept our town and communities very livable and family friendly.

    Single family homes that allow for such things as swimming pools, places to toss a ball, backyards to have friends and neighbours over. All things impossible in high density housing.

    Most of these things are not impossible in high density housing. Swimming pools may be "community pools" belonging to say, 8 families, I suppose, but the purpose of new urbanism is specifically to have lots of space to throw the ball, have BBQs and congregate with neighbors. The biggest difference is whether the space is "mine" or "ours."

    I think the idea of large lot single family being the most "family friendly" way to live is not necessarily true. I think having lots of familes nearby each otehr is very family friendly and creates "eyes on the street."

    I've taken some heat on this thread, so here are my closing statements:

    1. It occurs to me that some are as offended by new urbanist neighborhoods and cities as I am by sprawl.

    2. You used "livable" for your area and I used it for areas I prefer. So we all have our own preference.
    I cannot come up with a new sig till I get this egg off my face.
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    Uncle Leo wrote:
    I've taken some heat on this thread, so here are my closing statements:

    1. It occurs to me that some are as offended by new urbanist neighborhoods and cities as I am by sprawl.

    2. You used "livable" for your area and I used it for areas I prefer. So we all have our own preference.
    I apologize if I've insulted you or your profession.

    My main bone of contention is not with new urbanism, hell if that's the bill goods people are happy being sold so be it, but with the vilification of urban sprawl. Even worse, the justification for this vilification is completely unfounded, unscientific and, in general, unprofessional.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
  • again, the open space thing goes back to the community issue.

    rather than have a little area with enough room for a few people to play catch, say.... there'd be more bigger common areas where the whole community could get together to recreate - not just in the own little private enclaves.

    Duany's idea here is that our notions of "privatism" come from the people who developed the suburban ideal in the first place - our true nature is to be more open and accepting, but we've been conditioned to this private lifestyle by the choices offered us by the market and the public pressure to fit in with this market.
    Teamwork. Rawk. Pwnage. Infinite Possibilities. YIELD. Hells yeah.
  • CenterCityCenterCity Posts: 193
    Anyone here read: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream?

    good read.

    thought this could be a good thread to discuss new urbanism in general as well.

    There's a lot going on in Lancaster right now....


    thanks for that suggestion. makes me sad though. really. sigh. :( i hope the question that this book examines or contemplates also goes over solutions.

    for me its about not being fat and lazy.

    that sense of spirit that yeah, i am proof that the americain dream works, that i am living the americain dream, that you know what i am carrying my predecssor's legacy onward......in so many ways is so vital to this country. that can't be stressed enough.

    its the very essence of what america has stood for since the native americain respect for the love-of-the-nature-that-this-land had to offer to the founding-fathers/africain americains to the latest person that immigrated.
    I need to finish writing.
  • surferdude wrote:
    I apologize if I've insulted you or your profession.

    My main bone of contention is not with new urbanism, hell if that's the bill goods people are happy being sold so be it, but with the vilification of urban sprawl. Even worse, the justification for this vilification is completely unfounded, unscientific and, in general, unprofessional.

    I think it's quite scientific in spots.
    The more roads you build, the worse traffic becomes. This has been proven world over. Things like that can be measured.

    Are people very polemic about this? Certainly. Why? - Like you said, it may be a vested interest in seeing these new urban units sold, etc.
    But the main point is that the suburban model is not sustainable taking into consideration projections about energy and materials futures.

    That concern for the future is hard to stomach because it doesn't or won't affect us - but should we try to do something about it?

    I think so...
    Teamwork. Rawk. Pwnage. Infinite Possibilities. YIELD. Hells yeah.
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    I think it's quite scientific in spots.
    The more roads you build, the worse traffic becomes. This has been proven world over. Things like that can be measured.

    Are people very polemic about this? Certainly. Why? - Like you said, it may be a vested interest in seeing these new urban units sold, etc.
    But the main point is that the suburban model is not sustainable taking into consideration projections about energy and materials futures.

    That concern for the future is hard to stomach because it doesn't or won't affect us - but should we try to do something about it?

    I think so...
    Would we really care about traffic time so much if cars didn't pollute? If people are happy to live an hour drive from work we should let them. We do have to lessen the impact that cars have on the environment. I just don't believe that vilifying urban sprawl is the way to change auto pollution. It may help a little but we have no idea of the social consequences in this change in living patterns.

    In my books, vilifying urban sprawl because of commute times is a joke. If people don't want to live close to their workplace so be it, let them live with the consequences of their choice. New urbanism is not going to help this in any way. New urbanism doesn't help with the startling lack of green public transportation infrastructure in most cities. In fact it pretty much chooses to gloss over this in a see no evil type of approach. But new urbanism will lead to increased traffic congestion during commute time unless public transportation is provided, but new urbanism blithely ignores the cost component of building this infrastructure that is now needed.

    Like life, the best approach is all things in moderation. But that's not hte approach being taken, or so it seems. Just remember, these city planners currently trumpeting new urbanism are the same city planners who 30-40 years ago were trumpeting urban sprawl as the healthy lifestyle.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
  • No, no no - I think it is important.
    If you're sitting in a car two hours a day...how wasteful is that? How many hours of doing other things are you losing a year? Over a lifetime?
    It's competiton too - you're fighting for road space, trying not to die the whole time...
    Again, it's just another factor that serves to isloate people and make us "scizophrenic."
    At least that's what Duany says.
    Teamwork. Rawk. Pwnage. Infinite Possibilities. YIELD. Hells yeah.
  • surferdudesurferdude Posts: 2,057
    No, no no - I think it is important.
    If you're sitting in a car two hours a day...how wasteful is that? How many hours of doing other things are you losing a year? Over a lifetime?
    It's competiton too - you're fighting for road space, trying not to die the whole time...
    Again, it's just another factor that serves to isloate people and make us "scizophrenic."
    At least that's what Duany says.
    Who are you or Duany to decide how people choose to use their free time?

    Personally, I think watching tv and using air conditioning is quite wasteful, harmful to the environment, bad for our health (the tv part), leads to isolationism and is bad for families. Do I get to ban tv's and air conditioning? Gee, this will be so much fun. Taking a way freedoms because we we don't like the choices people make.
    “One good thing about music,
    when it hits you, you feel to pain.
    So brutalize me with music.”
    ~ Bob Marley
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