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Re: help with a reference for my thesis

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  • thegisguru
    Than you both for your responses. My measure is a weighted count of unique land uses within walking distance. It intentionally disregards the existing build
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 24, 2004
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      Than you both for your responses.

      My measure is a weighted count of unique land uses within walking
      distance. It intentionally disregards the existing build
      environment: highways, sidewalks, etc. By doing so it becomes useful
      in determining where adding sidewalks will have the most impact.

      There is a disturbing trend in my region where developments are
      marketed as new urbanism, but are only a cartoon parity of a
      tradition town. There is a place, near me, called "Main Street at
      Exton" which is a shopping center with a sudo-street down the
      center. The street has all the elements of good urban design,
      parallel parking on each side, sidewalks, storefronts right up to the
      sidewalk, streetlights. However, the whole thing is surrounded by
      parking lots, which separate it from housing and a train station. On
      the "Main Street" each business has a fake second story designed to
      look like an apartment on the second floor, complete with lights in
      the fogged glass windows. But it is façade there is no housing on
      Main Street. My measure will show that this place is no differently
      then a mall or shopping center. I am interested in how a place
      functions not how it looks.

      New urbanism was started, predominantly, by architects, and herein
      lays both the difficulty and the opportunity. My measure is
      addressing an aspect of planning that architecture cannot. However,
      my thesis advisor says "ok, you have shown me a measure for walking,
      what does that have to do with new urbanism?" I say everything, and
      he says prove it. So I get list after list of guidelines for build
      traditional developments and a handful of the items deal with human-
      scale, pedestrian concerns but then there are items like, "preserving
      elevated sites for civic buildings." And my advisor says, "there,
      you don't account for that, you are not measuring traditional
      urbanism." And I say in order for an elevated civic building to mean
      anything it must be experience on foot, not by car. And he says
      prove it, give me a source that says that. I could go on.

      Almost every publication on new urbanism has a list of guidelines but
      I have not found one that prioritizes this list. I think, we all
      agree that large porches, retail with little or no set-back from the
      sidewalk, etc. are important but mean nothing if housing is three
      miles from retail and that is three miles from commercial land uses.
      Can anyone tell me where I can find that stated in print?

      Sorry this post is so long, I tried to keep it short – really I did.

      Thank you,

      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Patrick J McDonough
      <patrick1@e...> wrote:
      > As a former Venice resident for a glorious 4.5 months, I agree
      > wholeheartedly in spirit...though as a realist, I'll have to stick
      with my
      > current optimum for the time being.
      > Cheers,
      > Patrick
      > On Mon, 23 Feb 2004, J.H. Crawford wrote:
      > >
      > > >I am working on a similar index to study the walking environment
      > > >transit stops in our area. One metric we will use is miles of
      > > >per miles of roadway (maximum optimal condition is a factor of
      2, meaning
      > > >a sidewalk on each side).
      > >
      > > Actually, the optimal condition is a factor of infinity--no street
      > > and all sidewalk. Venice achieves this condition in most of the
      > > So do large parts of Fes-al-Bali.
      > >
      > > Regards,
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --
      ### --
      > >
      > > J.H. Crawford Carfree
      > > mailbox@c... http://www.carfree.com
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@e...
      > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-
      > > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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