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Old 08-14-2014, 10:38 PM
 
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What cities or towns did you like that had the best urban planning or design to them? Which one was your favorite and why?
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:01 AM
 
Location: Austin
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I like Salt Lake City. It was a planned city laid out according to Joseph Smith's "City of Zion" plan. Streets are wide (132 feet wide) that mostly are straight and intersect at right angles. From the southeast point of Temple Square in downtown SL, all the streets are numbered. The street one block south of that point is named 100 South. Two blocks south is 200 South, and so on. The same goes for streets in every direction. There are streets that have names but they also have a number as well, for example, Redwood Rd is also 1700 West. Once you are familiar with the grid numbering system, you don't really need directions to find an address even if you've never been there before.

It is very easy to know directions while driving. This isn't due to the logical layout of the streets but due to geography. There are mountains flanking the Salt Lake Valley on both the west and east. The shorter mountains are the Oquirrh Mountains and they are to the west. To the east is the towering Wasatch Range. It is unusual to be anywhere in SL Valley and not be able to see the mountains.

The logical layout and the wide streets make car commutes much less stressful than many other cities. The wide streets with plenty of parks scattered around gives an open feeling with lots of views of the mountains. The city blocks are also rather large with 8 blocks equaling one mile.

This is of course just my preference. I know many on this site will prefer a denser layout and some will find the straight streets with perpendicular intersections to be boring.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:44 AM
 
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Chicago.

Best balance of stellar waterfront, downtown core, public transit, parks, and halfway decent freeway system.

Chicago had the advantage of being rebuilt.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:16 PM
 
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I really like the way Detroit's downtown is planned out with the radial roads and all. I'm sure that downtown was stellar when there were more buildings than parking lots.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:26 PM
 
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Though a suburb, Radburn NJ is good planning for a place you would want to live. It has a commuter train station and is laid out so children can walk to school without crossing a main road. Granted, not practical these days when parents won't let them walk 100 m unsupervised, and of course, no night life.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Portland is my favorite urban planning city. I think Chicago is also well laid out but I wish Chicago used numbered streets in one direction or the other.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I really like the way Detroit's downtown is planned out with the radial roads and all. I'm sure that downtown was stellar when there were more buildings than parking lots.
I was thinking the same thing. Detroit was redesigned after the 1804 fire with a master plan. I believe it was modeled after Paris with a wheel/spoke design radiating out from Jefferson and Woodward Avenues. I like how there are couple main thoroughfares heading outbound in ordinal directions.
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:12 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,676,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
I was thinking the same thing. Detroit was redesigned after the 1804 fire with a master plan. I believe it was modeled after Paris with a wheel/spoke design radiating out from Jefferson and Woodward Avenues. I like how there are couple main thoroughfares heading outbound in ordinal directions.
I think it was actually modeled after L'Enfant's plan for Washington DC. I think the radial design is really cool. It was especially cool when Detroit City Hall (a gorgeous building by the way, and a tragic loss) was featured in the center of the city where all the roads met.

But unfortunately, Detroit in the age of the interstate has been an urban planning disaster. Detroit then vs. now nearly brings me to tears, it's so tragic to know what's been wasted in the past 50 years.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:15 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,196,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I think it was actually modeled after L'Enfant's plan for Washington DC. I think the radial design is really cool. It was especially cool when Detroit City Hall (a gorgeous building by the way, and a tragic loss) was featured in the center of the city where all the roads met.

But unfortunately, Detroit in the age of the interstate has been an urban planning disaster. Detroit then vs. now nearly brings me to tears, it's so tragic to know what's been wasted in the past 50 years.
Unfortunately this can be said about many (most?) cities.
Indianapolis also had a L'Enfant plan destroyed by bringing interstates thru the center of the city.

When thinking of favorite urban planning decisions, I need to either look at older cities (pre interstates) or very recent decisions that try to undo the damage of interstates.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:25 PM
 
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Portland has taken progressive urban planning objectives to heart reducing sprawl, increasing quality of life, and providing a more equitable transit system.

Transit: Streetcar/MAX Light Rail make Portland one of the most innovative transit friendly cities of its size in a nation that is zealously anti-transit.

Urban growth boundaries: Stopped haphazard development and sprawling development that is not only unsightly but puts massive strain on the environment.

Strict land use controls.

Things they need to work on: More public housing for low income people and or rent controls to increase affordability.
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