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New Urbanism conference

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  • Jeremy Hubble
    I found the paragraph about the critics especially amusing in this article. 1) Justification for current development is that units sell, therefore
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 29, 2004
      I found the paragraph about the critics especially amusing in this
      article.
      1) Justification for current development is that units sell, therefore
      supply=demand
      2) Criticism of New Urbanism is that it is too expensive, which would
      generally mean supply<demand
      Thus the only problem these critics appear to see is that there is not
      enough development.

      My rough thoughts on this:
      1) development 1: standard subdivision, with 2500 sq. foot 2-level fully
      detached houses on 25000 square feet, with 3 car garage
      2) development 2: urban townhouse: 2500 sq. foot attached 3-level
      townhouse, no garage on 2500 sq. ft. lot

      a) land use: 10X greater for 1
      b) unit materials: (2) has smaller roof, and no garage, resulting in
      some savings. Multiple floors may negate some of the gain.
      c) unit labor: work is done in a smaller area and more difficult with
      (2), making it more expensive
      d) utilities, amenities: pipes, wires, etc. have to travel greater
      distances to service each house in (1)
      Community features:
      1) spread out; work place and errands are far away. Some vehicle is
      often desirable. Big box retailers will probably set up a few miles
      away. Very little retail expected nearby. Schools may be close but
      possible unsafe for kids to walk or bike. Transportation is primarily
      wide asphalt roads and nearby highways. Public transportation consists
      of a few buses running mostly empty on infrequent schedules.
      2) close together. Small retail shops are in easy walking distance.
      Prices are more expensive than big-boxes, but much more convenient.
      School is within walking distance. Transportation consists of high
      frequency buses or rail. There is some overcrowding during peak times.

      The variables appear to be
      1) Land cost - since this almost entirely a function of demand, it
      implies that people don't want to live in the car-burbs, and are just
      doing so because it is cheap.
      2) Transportation costs - public transit cost per rider goes down as
      riders increase. It is also highly labor intensive, providing many local
      jobs. Highway building in the suburb is heavily capital intensive,
      providing many jobs for outside contractors. It is also heavily
      subsidized by different levels of government. The costs of maintaining
      and servicing the roads are often paid out of the general funds rather
      than being required to be self-sufficient. (Police, Fire, Road Repairs,
      etc.) In most suburbs, regulations are in place, requiring them to pay
      subsidies to cars. (required parking lots, road work, etc.). In urban
      developments, it is rare to see required transportation subsidies. (I
      have seen a few communities require installation of bike racks or
      sidewalks in large developments, but these tend to be rare. I could see
      a city requiring a developer to build a subway station, but I'm not sure
      if that has ever happened.)




      --------------------
      Chicago's look, feel inspire planners
      --------------------

      By Trine Tsouderos
      Tribune staff reporter

      June 28, 2004

      Nearly 1,400 planners, architects, developers and designers from around
      the world descended on Chicago with
      one goal in mind: to change radically the way our world looks, feels and
      works.

      If these New Urbanists have their way, which is happening increasingly
      often, say goodbye to strip malls
      fronted by seas of parking, office parks with faux waterfalls and
      cookie-cutter subdivisions.

      "What is important here is to understand how close we are to victory,"
      former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist
      told an audience of about 1,000 at the Palmer House Hilton on Thursday,
      at the opening of the New Urbanists'
      annual conference, which concluded Sunday.

      "Don't give up," Norquist implored.

      The goal of the movement is to revive the kind of planning and
      architecture that shaped cities such as
      Chicago, with its scrambled, dense mix of homes, shops, restaurants,
      sidewalks, parks and offices.

      This kind of planning is basically dead in America, New Urbanists say,
      replaced by a shift toward things
      simpler and, in their opinion, soul-killing: strip malls, office parks
      and subdivisions, all accessible only
      by car.

      In other words, sprawl.

      "The antidote is New Urbanism," said Norquist, president of the Congress
      for New Urbanism. "We once knew
      quite well how to shape cities. Now we are learning once again."

      Most Main Streets across the U.S. would be impossible to build today
      because zoning codes often prohibit
      limited parking as well as building offices and apartments above stores,
      he said.

      "It's like America had a stroke and couldn't conceive of it anymore, of
      the complicated city," Norquist said
      as he showed his audience an aerial shot of Wicker Park, which he
      praised for its "messy" mix of stores,
      offices and homes.

      Coming from as far as Australia and Sweden, participants sat in seminars
      dedicated to reviving this old way
      of building communities. They took field trips around Chicago, admiring
      its neighborhoods, transit and
      architecture.

      Participants debated the merits of arcane zoning code details and
      decried the difficulties of getting New
      Urbanist projects financed, approved and built.

      "I don't think there are many places you can drive this far and not see
      sprawl," said Matthew Lambert, a
      designer at Miami's seminal New Urbanist firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.,
      while on a field trip from Chicago
      to Lake Forest. "It is so refreshing."

      Rebelling against sprawl, a group of seven architects formed the
      Congress for the New Urbanism in 1993.

      With almost religious zeal, the organization has grown in both size and
      influence, with about 2,400 members
      around the world and affiliated groups sprouting in New England,
      Pennsylvania, Florida, Europe and Israel,
      officials said.

      Members include former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening and former U.S.
      Housing and Urban Development
      Secretary Andrew Cuomo.

      "This is a group of people who get the complexities of places," said
      Ellen Greenberg, director of policy and
      research for the group, which recently moved its headquarters from San
      Francisco to Chicago.

      Over the years, New Urbanists have designed buildings, neighborhoods and
      communities throughout the world,
      from Juarez, Mexico, where designers are re-creating traditional
      neighborhoods, to Seaside, Fla., which was
      featured as an idyllic paradise of sorts in the movie "The Truman Show."

      The movement has its critics, who say the public actually likes the
      status quo. As proof, they point to the
      fact that homes in subdivisions sell, office parks fill up and shoppers
      crowd strip malls. Critics also
      accuse New Urbanists of making a fetish of traditional city design and
      architecture and building communities
      that are too expensive for the average person.

      During the conference, designers traded ideas and picked up new ones as
      they soaked up Chicago.

      "I love the density in the city," said Wendy Morris, director of
      Ecologically Sustainable Design in Victoria,
      Australia.

      Rob Bacigalupi, deputy director of the Downtown Development Authority in
      Traverse City, Mich., snapped plenty
      of photos with his digital camera to show officials back home the value
      of allowing shops, restaurants, homes
      and offices to grow around transit stops.

      "It was a real battle to convince the community that it is a good
      thing," Bacigalupi said of a plan to build
      a New Urbanist transit station in Traverse City.

      Riding Metra to Lake Forest, Lambert drooled over the network of rail
      lines covering Chicago and its suburbs.

      "To have this wonderful subway system, light rail lines, and to see it
      actually work . . . " he trailed off,
      staring out the window of the train car as Chicago passed in a blur.


      Copyright (c) 2004, Chicago Tribune
    • J.H. Crawford
      Jeremy Hubble posted on New Urbanism. I ve always had problems with NU because it always seemed more about revisiting the suburbs, not about real cities. It is
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 30, 2004
        Jeremy Hubble posted on New Urbanism.

        I've always had problems with NU because it always
        seemed more about revisiting the suburbs, not about
        real cities. It is refreshing, however, to see some
        serious talk about Chicago and its fine rail systems.

        Maybe what's really needed, though, it to found a new
        movement called, say, Real Urbanism, as distinct from
        the "New Suburbanism."

        Just a thought.

        Regards,






        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
      • Jym Dyer
        =v= It s true that new urbanism is less urban than its name implies, though I would say that its focus isn t on suburbia so much as applying lessons from
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 30, 2004
          =v= It's true that new urbanism is less "urban" than its name
          implies, though I would say that its focus isn't on "suburbia"
          so much as applying lessons from towns, villages, and at worst,
          "streetcar suburbs."

          =v= These lessons can of course be horribly misapplied, but when
          they're good, they're very good. I am especially impressed with
          the work Peter Calthorpe.
          <_Jym_>
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... Streetcar suburbs are New Urbanism classic . They re pretty good places to live--my father grew up in one, and I remember it from the early 50s. It was
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 30, 2004
            Jym Dyer said:

            >=v= It's true that new urbanism is less "urban" than its name
            >implies, though I would say that its focus isn't on "suburbia"
            >so much as applying lessons from towns, villages, and at worst,
            >"streetcar suburbs."

            Streetcar suburbs are New Urbanism "classic". They're pretty
            good places to live--my father grew up in one, and I remember
            it from the early 50s. It was pretty and pleasant, and most
            people who lived there commuted on the streetcar to their
            jobs downtown. It's just that these places are NOT cities;
            they're suburbs, just better than modern ones.

            >=v= These lessons can of course be horribly misapplied, but when
            >they're good, they're very good. I am especially impressed with
            >the work Peter Calthorpe.

            I have, in the past, specifically exempted Peter Calthorpe from
            my complaint about NU not being urban. Calthorpe understands
            this stuff, even though he is not carfree in his approach.

            Patrick J McDonough said:

            >I am also on the New Urbanist PRO-URB list, and while I have my issues
            >with New Urbanism, I believe the Car Free movement should embrace NU and
            >advocate replacement of the suburban development model with NU,
            >particularly in the United States.

            I haven't done a lot of coordination with the NU folks. My buddy
            Jim Kunstler is the unofficial spokesman for the group (and wrote
            the preface for Carfree Cities). We ought to try to work more
            closely with them and to try to get them to adopt carfree district
            centers at a minimum; they'll certainly understand the benefits,
            although they may regard carfreedom as not practical in reality.

            >A lot of compelling work has come out
            >of this group, particularly in the way of their SmartCode document and
            >their notion of the urban Transect.
            >
            >Perhaps the role of the Car Free movement should be to push NU towards
            >including a Car Free district at the core of its transect.

            This is a useful tool, but most of the illustrations are predominately
            suburban. We should, however, use it for the development of
            illustrations of carfree areas, in which case it contains only three
            zones: rural; medium-density, predominately residential; and
            high-density, mixed-use areas. I have altered my thinking a little
            since drawing the Reference District and now believe that there
            should be some graduation in density from the center of the district
            to the edge; still, the least-dense areas should be at least
            three-story townhouses.

            .....

            >I believe Leon Krier's illustration of the transect at the second link
            >makes a lot of sense.

            Krier is a true urbanist and a very interesting fellow.
            I haven't read as many of his books as I'd like, but what
            I've seen is very good indeed.

            Regards,



            -- ### --

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
          • Patrick J McDonough
            I am also on the New Urbanist PRO-URB list, and while I have my issues with New Urbanism, I believe the Car Free movement should embrace NU and advocate
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 30, 2004
              I am also on the New Urbanist PRO-URB list, and while I have my issues
              with New Urbanism, I believe the Car Free movement should embrace NU and
              advocate replacement of the suburban development model with NU,
              particularly in the United States. A lot of compelling work has come out
              of this group, particularly in the way of their SmartCode document and
              their notion of the urban Transect.

              Perhaps the role of the Car Free movement should be to push NU towards
              including a Car Free district at the core of its transect.

              Some transect resources:

              http://www.newurbannews.com/transect.html
              http://www.dpz.com/transect.htm

              I believe Leon Krier's illustration of the transect at the second link
              makes a lot of sense.

              Patrick McDonough
            • Doug Salzmann
              ... Which (actually constructed) project of Calthorpe s would you cite as an example of very good New Urbanism? -Doug ... Doug Salzmann Kalliergo Post Office
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 30, 2004
                On Wed, 30 Jun 2004, Jym Dyer wrote:

                > =v= These lessons can of course be horribly misapplied, but when
                > they're good, they're very good. I am especially impressed with
                > the work Peter Calthorpe.

                Which (actually constructed) project of Calthorpe's would you cite as
                an example of "very good" New Urbanism?


                -Doug



                ---
                Doug Salzmann
                Kalliergo
                Post Office Box 307
                Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

                <doug@...>
              • Patrick McDonough
                Hi- I ve been scouring the Car Busters website and the 22september.org website, but I have been unable to find print-quality graphics of the evolution logo
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 11, 2004
                  Hi-

                  I've been scouring the Car Busters website and the 22september.org
                  website, but I have been unable to find print-quality graphics of the
                  "evolution" logo without it being wrapped up in the flower logo.

                  Does anybody have this logo in a high-quality format capable of being
                  printed at poster sizes etc using professional printing techniques?

                  Many thanks,
                  Patrick McDonough
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