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Old 08-24-2012, 11:45 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,330,165 times
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Over on NoVa forum there are some people who really dislike many aspect of "urbanism" density of course, but also street grids in place of cul de sacs, etc. In a few instance I have been told that some governing body would never allow some particular "urbanist" initiative. For example I was told that the Loudoun County bd of supervisors was not interested in urbanism - till I cited the TOD provisions in the LoCo zoning code. More recently I was told that the Reston Association (a homeowners association that covers an area the size of a town, and has zoning authority like a govt) would not approve dense multi use urbanist developments - again till I cited the part of the RA web page where they list recent zoning actions where it shows they have approved at least two such developments.

from what I can gather many suburbanites, including those who live in SFHs on cul de sacs, are happy with new urbanist developments, as long as its not right in the middle of their own subdivision. Suburban govts, who need to address budget issues, are often particularly supportive of these kinds of developments, that can add substantial tax revenues.

I think the suburbanite vs "neourbanism" wars we see on the web, often mask the reality of suburban politics.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,948,537 times
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They aren't really "suburbanites" but when the Hollywood Community Plan ("Manhattanization" of H-Wood) was in the process of being approved, many of the affluent Hollywood Hills residents were vehemently opposed to it - basically because they have to drive everywhere living so far up in the hills, and with increased density in the basin, traffic will assuredly get worse.

Anyways on every message board there are two or three of them posting about how it's not what the community wants and that if it came to a vote the entire community would vote against it en masse. Now, I have no proof other than anecdotal evidence but nearly everyone in my neighborhood seems to either have no preference or are generally in favor of it. The main opposition group heads a table at our local farmer's market with flyers and pamphlets discussing the disaster this plan will be on the community - however despite the "universal agreement" in the neighborhood, most everyone ignores them (that they are using misleading evidence as their flagship complaint really hurts their argument in my eyes).

So anyways, yes I think they are overestimating the communities opposition to "urbanist" development.

Another example would be the Beverly Hills City Council being pretty convinced a judge will rule in their favor regarding tunneling under their school (they might be right but all signs point to no). Also in the case of the Expo Line there have been some NIMBYs (these guys have no ulterior other than blocking the subway, and don' try to hide it, hence the usually unfair NIMBY label) trying to stop the line from running at grade through their neighborhood (course if they were tunneling under their houses, they would oppose that too! ). They've been struck down hard by judges over and over yet they still think they'll run into one that will not deny their appeal.

There is two more examples.

Of course I do think it goes the other way, and urbanists over-estimate how many people truly enjoy and prefer the suburban lifestyle.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:26 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 24,482,902 times
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I think generally those who are opposed to something are far more vocal than those who are neutral or who support something. I know that's often true in urban settings, and seems to be true in suburban settings, too. Unfortunately I think the vocal nay-sayers are often so loud that people (and politicians, planners, etc.) begin to assume that those people speak for a larger percentage of the community than they really do.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I agree with the above.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Of course I do think it goes the other way, and urbanists over-estimate how many people truly enjoy and prefer the suburban lifestyle.
ARG. I meant under-estimate.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,330,165 times
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hah.

I also think that some "antiurbanists" like to minimize the support of fellow suburbanites (and of revenue hungry suburban govts) for urbanism, because they prefer the narrative of "urbanism" as an imposition by elites - either by outsiders, or by the "elitist" professional planners at the suburban planning and zoning depts.

similarly SOME urban dwelling "urbanists" prefer to ignore the real positive prospects for "urbanist" style development outside of the limits of the center city.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
16,323 posts, read 18,273,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Over on NoVa forum there are some people who really dislike many aspect of "urbanism" density of course, but also street grids in place of cul de sacs, etc. In a few instance I have been told that some governing body would never allow some particular "urbanist" initiative. For example I was told that the Loudoun County bd of supervisors was not interested in urbanism - till I cited the TOD provisions in the LoCo zoning code. More recently I was told that the Reston Association (a homeowners association that covers an area the size of a town, and has zoning authority like a govt) would not approve dense multi use urbanist developments - again till I cited the part of the RA web page where they list recent zoning actions where it shows they have approved at least two such developments.

from what I can gather many suburbanites, including those who live in SFHs on cul de sacs, are happy with new urbanist developments, as long as its not right in the middle of their own subdivision. Suburban govts, who need to address budget issues, are often particularly supportive of these kinds of developments, that can add substantial tax revenues.

I think the suburbanite vs "neourbanism" wars we see on the web, often mask the reality of suburban politics.
Here's a rendering of the urbanist/TOD-ey project:


Let me start off by saying I actually like this kind of development. For one thing, it has an Alamo Drafthouse and not even my recalcitrance toward hipster trendies will stand in the way of my appreciation for any place that public shames morons talking and texting during movies while serving beer. Secondly, I actually rather like this kind of development, and if this is your definition of new urbanism, I like it. I don't like grids. This doesn't have grids. I don't like stupid TOD projects built on the edge of town. This isn't a stupid TOD project (look at them parking garages), so it's okay that it's built on the edge of town. Urbanist... well, I guess that's in the eyes of the beholder. I wouldn't call it urbanist. To each their own, I suppose. It isn't exactly standard suburban. Maybe it's neo-suburban? I don't know. There's definitely urban influences in it...

http://sustainablecalifornia.berkele...mmary_v1.3.pdf

Here in Stockton it's transit corridors... Urbanist? Well, no, but not exactly your stereotype for huge strip malls with Disneyland-sized parking lots.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
16,323 posts, read 18,273,689 times
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For fun, you could talk about how well it matches its ten principles of new urbanism

Quote:
10 PRINCIPLES OF NEW URBANISM
1. walkability
Most things within a 10-minute walk of home and work
Pedestrian friendly street design (buildings close to street; porches, windows & doors; tree-lined streets; on street parking; hidden parking lots; garages in rear lane; narrow, slow speed streets)
Pedestrian streets free of cars in special cases
2. connectivity
Interconnected street grid network disperses traffic & eases walking
A hierarchy of narrow streets, boulevards, and alleys
High quality pedestrian network and public realm makes walking pleasurable
3. mixed-use & diversity
A mix of shops, restaurants, entertainment, offices, apartments, and homes on site. Mixed-use within neighborhoods, within blocks, and within buildings
Diversity of people – of ages, income levels, cultures, and races
4. mixed housing
A range of types, sizes and prices in closer proximity
5. quality architecture & urban design
Emphasis on beauty, aesthetics, human comfort, and creating a sense of place; Special placement of civic uses and sites within community. Human scale architecture & beautiful surroundings nourish the
human spirit
6. traditional neighborhood structure
Discernable center and edge
Public space at center
Importance of quality public realm; public open space designed as civic art
Contains a range of uses and densities within 10-minute walk
Transect planning: Highest densities at town center; progressively less dense towards the edge. The transect is an analytical system that conceptualizes mutually reinforcing elements, creating a series of specific natural habitats and/or urban lifestyle settings. The Transect integrates environmental methodology for habitat assessment with zoning methodology for community design. The professional boundary between the natural and man-made disappears, enabling environmentalists to assess the design of the human habitat and the urbanists to support the viability of nature. This urban-to-rural transect hierarchy has appropriate building and street types for each area along the continuum.
7. increased density
More buildings, residences, shops, and services closer together for ease of walking, to enable a more efficient use of services and resources, and to create a more convenient, enjoyable place to live.
New Urbanism design principles are applied at the full range of densities from small towns, to large cities
8. green transportation
Pedestrian-friendly design that encourages a greater use of bicycles, scooters, and walking as daily transportation
9. sustainability
Minimal environmental impact of development and its operations
Eco-friendly technologies, respect for ecology and value of natural systems
Energy efficiency
Less use of finite fuels
More local production
More walking, less driving
10. quality of life
Taken together these add up to a high quality of life well worth living, and create places that enrich, uplift, and inspire the human spirit.
It's sort of walkable, at least unless you have to leave the neighborhood in which case it's hopeless. So that's an improvement of its immediate surroundings with a large but.
It doesn't have a grid, but grids are crap so that's an improvement.
mixed-use development: Not really. All the residential is with the residential. All office is with the office. All commercial is with the commercial. It's just smaller single-use.
Mixed housing: No. Housing is large and between $400 and $600k. Poors and young adults need not apply here.
I'd say it does pretty well on the architectural stuff, open space, design, parks and what not. It's obviously not traditional but it has traditional elements.
Increased density: consider the location, yes.
Green transportation: Probably not. Most people won't work in the office buildings in the neighborhood. They might walk around the neighborhood, but they'll still be commuting to work.
Environmental impact: Sort of.
Quality spiritual uplifting nonsense is just that.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,330,165 times
Reputation: 2575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Here's a rendering of the urbanist/TOD-ey project:


Secondly, I actually rather like this kind of development, and if this is your definition of new urbanism, I like it. I don't like grids. This doesn't have grids.
I can't tell about the pedestrian (or for that matter the road) connectivity based on that picture.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
16,323 posts, read 18,273,689 times
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Odd... try enlarging it. I can quite easily tell that isn't a grid. For starters, there's only one road going from each residential sector to the commercial/business park sector. Within the residential sectors, if you look closely, you'll also see many non-through roads and even cul-de-sacs. Permeability seems quite adequate to me. Where it isn't, such as cutting through the park area, there's a pedestrian walking way or MUP so you don't have to detour all the way up to the one connecting road. it's no trouble for a car to detour four blocks and it beats the heck out of running four roads through the middle of the park. Anyway, I never understood grid-lust. The singular advantage is that it's literally impossible to get lost on a grid if alpha-numeric. In every other way it's a terrible layout. It uses the most land for roadways, it causes pollution and traffic congestion and is inconvenient automobiles and pedestrians alike since there's way too many intersections, it's too permeable for automobiles which means neighborhood streets get taken over by through traffic rather than having it confined to a few streets.

More pictures here
http://www.oneloudoun.com/rendering-...oneloudoun.php

Last edited by Malloric; 08-24-2012 at 05:53 PM..
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