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Old 08-28-2014, 12:00 PM
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,372,358 times
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I support the above poster, in that aggressive violence and seizure of property are not options. However, there's nothing stopping one from building or imposing rules on land bought or donated, so libertarian urban planners need not worry about the freedom-filled future, although in that future there would probably be more planned communities than changes to existing ones. My plans, dreams, and fantasies vary greatly depending on local geography and what existing cities are close by, but there are a few elements that I'd like to see in any city in a non-arid climate zone:

1. Vast meandering belts of parks, woods, and open space, comprising 50-60% of the total area. I picture thickly-wooded vistas miles across inside the city with no development visible. Pocket parks would be sprinkled throughout the other 40-50%. Parks would be within a few hundred feet of every resident. Parkways, roads built solely for scenic and pleasure driving, would begin in the outer parks, blending into a greenbelt and into the surrounding countryside, with parkways extending throughout the region, carefully avoiding making A-to-B travel time shorter than the normal roads.

2. 6+ lane 80+ mph freeways throughout the area, so that no one is far from a high-speed freeway. Freeways in the outskirts would be depressed, and those in the city would be underground. Freeways out of the area are built for at least 90 mph.

3. Access to clean and attractive-looking mass transit throughout the city, ranging from busways for smaller cities to subways for larger cities. Top quality of course - plentiful luggage space, perfumed cabins, and reclining leather seats with at least 8 feet of head-to-toe room is mandatory on all forms of public transit. Think first class on a traditional airliner without the in-flight meals or stewards (the passengers aren't going that far).

4. Convenient access to inter-city long-distance mass transit at several points, including at least inter-city luxury buses and high-speed rail, and commuter rail if it's close to a larger city. Amenities are the same as #3 with the addition of at least one steward, an amenity bag, in-transit meals and drinks, in-transit showers, and plush sleeper cabins for evening or early morning trips.

5. Floodplains would be filled with parks instead of vital buildings, and the first 1-2 floors of waterfront buildings would be waterproof. The city centers not on a waterfront would be on high ground.

6. All roads, streets, and parking areas would be lined with trees, the object being to grow a canopy over the pavement to provide shade and ameliorate the urban heat island. Streets in a downtown or other pedestrian-heavy areas should have brick pavement for atmosphere and lower design speed.

7. Tree-lined bikeways connect all areas of the city, sometimes running with or parallel to a road and sometimes not. Bikeways are grade-separated when they cross major roads.

8. All roads, streets, and freeways should be wide enough for drivers to change lanes at will, flow freely at design speed, and easily absorb incidents at all times of day, corresponding to a Level of Service A or B.

9. Sidewalks, in areas where they are heavily used, should have Parisian boulevard-style width, be shaded, and when next to arterials be secluded. As a consequence of #6, #7, and especially #8 roads and streets will have a much wider than normal footprint.

10. Neoclassical and Beaux-Arts architecture abounds for large buildings, particularly public and civic centers, with Romanesque and Gothic Revival being commonplace, with a sprinkling of Art Deco. The city hall would be much like San Francisco's. Entrances to the city from freeway exits and transit stations have a monumental quality and leave an impression on the traveler. Statues and monuments are sprinkled liberally in appropriate sections of the city. All buildings of consequence, even strip malls, are built to be durable and leave an architectural mark.

11. In developed areas canopied by trees lookout towers are erected every quarter mile to permit an above-canopy view and stargazing. Observation desk size varies depending on population density.

That's about all I can think of for now. The 11 points come off a lot crazier in writing than they did when I was thinking about them, although it's not so much crazy as it is costly; you'd probably need to have quadruple the current incomes to support it, maybe more (if 1950-70 income growth of 2% resumes, US incomes will quadruple in 65 years). Given a sufficient source of wealth it would be a very nice place to live. A whole region filled with such cities would be quite the example.

Last edited by Patricius Maximus; 08-28-2014 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:07 AM
4,832 posts, read 10,888,606 times
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Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
I'd make it an "open city", with no interference with business activity of any kind, and no direct taxation on any form of entrepreneurship.

The rest would take care of itself.
oh my, a libertarian city
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:56 AM
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I'd say first with modern sewage etc. and roadways you would need a lot of cash. The support of most are based on tax base. Many towns and cities now days are decaying because of lack of tax base as we have seen. To want free stuff is common now days but everything has cost. Without regulation one would find what many in past came to find; environmental disaster suddenly found that effects health and even other businesses.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:24 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,331,160 times
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A large Catholic church overlooking a large Mexican-style park in the center. On the opposite side would be a pedestrian mall. Surrounding the pedestrian mall would be shops. Parking lots or structures would be strategically located around the center, generally out of view. There would also be some rooftop parking. Hotels would be located at the center, as well as a multi-modal transit station, some offices, a library, and a few apartment buildings.

Seven arterials would extend from a ring road around the center. The land adjacent to these arterials would be zoned as mixed-use. Meanwhile rowhouses, apartments, and dense single-family structures will be promiscuously scattered between the arterials and a second ring road. There would be no regulation on the operation of small, home-run operations anywhere, except necessary health and sanitary regulations, so a person could run a small cafe or a specialized shop out of his house.

That second ring road will have large stores, but pedestrian-friendly as possible with parking in the back, and light industry. After the second ring road would be increasingly large lots with the occasional business along the arterial roads. These lots will range from 1/4 to 3 acres in size. Developers will not be able to institute covenants or deeds or homeowners' associations.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:34 PM
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1) I would re-do all modern suburbs. I would limit one to two strip malls to each city and encourage a downtown be built. I would encourage more mixed-use centers. Places that have malls for downtowns disgust me and feel so fake like Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Palmdale, Santa Clarita.

2) I would get rid of all enclosed malls. I'd like to see JcPenney's, Dillards, and Macy's go in strip malls.

3) I would make green belts larger in most cities. In CA, we built too much and our freeways can't handle it anymore.

4) Outside of NYC, I would cap all cities to be no larger than 1 million people.
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:06 AM
2,289 posts, read 1,294,870 times
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It occurred to me that with TOD (Transit Orientated Development) an attempt is made to make urbanity on a small scale. Perhaps developers should examine overseas examples of small scale urbanism. For example, Italian hill towns
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:34 AM
Location: Pittsburgh
7,542 posts, read 8,419,559 times
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Originally Posted by the city View Post
If you could tear down any city or town or find a new undeveloped location, how would you build that town and what would you put in it?
Any city has to have a purpose for its existence, and a site with sufficient water, transportation and other necessities to sustain the population.

Pittsburgh was first established as a military outpost called Fort Pitt, a Gilbraltar at a key confluence during the wars of the mid 18th Century. It later became a hub of industrial activity with local coal, glass making and later steel being forged here. There were reasons why it emerged as the silicon valley of the lat 19th Century.

You have to have a good reason for people to come to a location, a city based on walkability or night life or a high number of capucchino bars and organic food vendors does cut it, even if you install a modern subway system and no parking or smoking on city streets.
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:47 AM
Location: NC
6,548 posts, read 7,966,327 times
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Check out the plans for Veridea in Apex NC.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:05 AM
1,915 posts, read 2,048,279 times
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Originally Posted by StreetcarFan55 View Post
A streetcar would be a key component of course! There would be a greenbelt around the town to stop sprawl and there would be no zoning only form based codes encouraging high density mixed use.
If the population pressure is too high, developers simply "leapfrog" past the greenbelts. Indeed, many no-growth policies have perversely pushed sprawl that much further down the highway.

We see this in the San Francisco Bay Area, where people are now "supercommuting" from all the way out in the San Joaquin Valley, paving over farmland to do it. And this happened in the name of protecting Bay Area swampland and hillsides. Truly perverse.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:07 AM
1,915 posts, read 2,048,279 times
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Originally Posted by the city View Post
what about the fact that so cal used to be prime land for farming? if so cal was re-did, and was nicer, then prices would be way higher than they r now.
The growth of the Los Angeles area, and all of the west coast of North America for that matter, was inevitable after Pearl Harbor and its aftermath. The infrastructure set up in order to win the Pacific War meant massive growth once the war was over.

Had Japan somehow remained peaceful and WW2 somehow remained a European war like WW1, Orange County would indeed still be mostly oranges.
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