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10907Re: Latest from Jim Kunstler

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  • Jet Graphics
    May 31, 2008
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      [Heretic flag on]
      Though loops and cul de sac street hierarchy is the typical North
      American suburban development pattern, it's so "20th century".
      Frankly, it's only useful for automobile based cultures - which
      translates to eventual extinction.

      Typical suburban lots are too small for farming, too wasteful of
      space, and usually consume a ton of time and resources to comply with
      "weed ordinances". And developers don't want to waste precious space
      on mundane features like playgrounds and common areas for socializing.
      To compound problems, "residential" areas are often distant from
      shopping, services, schools, and entertainment.

      Taking a hint from cultures that measure their sustainability over
      centuries and millenniums, suburban rural areas need to be restored to
      farming (if arable land), and consolidate scattered families into
      villages. At least, farm families won't be left on isolated farms,
      scattered about.

      (Take a "flight" via Google Earth over Europe. You'll find hectares of
      farmlands surrounding compact villages, that seem to have not changed
      in centuries. I zoomed into a tiny village, Bibersfeld, Germany, that
      appeared to be part of a larger network of farming villages.)

      And if you are uninhibited with respect to rectilinear layouts,
      consider the hexagonal array. Instead of four entry points per
      intersection, you have three. Simplifies things.

      And if you have hexagons, then you might as well make a Ring Village
      within the hexagon.

      [Contact me off list for more info about Ring Villages]

      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Miller
      <christophermiller@...> wrote:
      > I've often thought it would likely be feasible for many sufficiently
      > dense suburbs to do something like this, namely to run light rail
      > along major routes with wide-spaced stops/stations in such a way that
      > they would be accessible with a reasonable bike ride for most
      > residents. In many West Island suburbs of Montreal, or inner suburbs
      > of Washington DC, for example, this ought to be quite doable.
      > For many suburbs with loop and cul de sac street patterns, a
      > reasonable route to the station would require converting the street
      > pattern to a Fused Grid along the lines proposed by Fanis Grammenos at
      > the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (see my April 5 posting to
      > the list and the material at http://www.fusedgrid.ca/index.php ).
      > I wonder what the cut-off density is for something like this to be
      > practical. I imagine topography would also be an important factor in
      > individual cases: the wrinklier the surface, the more effort and time
      > involved in the ride...
      > On 31-May-08, at 2:42 PM, Erik Sandblom wrote:
      > > (...)
      > >
      > > 40% of urban travel in the USA is shorter than 2 miles, which is
      > > 3,2km and takes 10-15 minutes by bicycle. So people can ride their
      > > bikes to the train station. In Copenhagen you're welcome to take your
      > > bike on the subway and commuter trains.
      > >
      > Christopher Miller
      > Montreal QC Canada
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