Re: help with a reference for my thesis
- 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.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Patrick J McDonough
> As a former Venice resident for a glorious 4.5 months, I agreewith my
> wholeheartedly in spirit...though as a realist, I'll have to stick
> current optimum for the time being.around
> 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 ofsidewalk
> > >per miles of roadway (maximum optimal condition is a factor of2, meaning
> > >a sidewalk on each side).city.
> > 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
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