Is Martha serious about building New Urbanism?
Martha Stewart and KB Homes are making a big PR push in which they're branding their new Avellino Development as New Urbanism. And the fruits of this push are showing up all over the media (such as here and here).
Martha is known for her fastidious attention to detail, but there are signs that the plans for Avellino need more time in the kitchen before they represent a well-designed, well-connected new urbanist neighborhood. For starters, there isn't much to indicate Avellino is anything beyond an upscale residential community.
A few key questions:
Is there a mix of uses on site? Are there stores, offices, civic buildings and places of worship within walking distance of the residences? Or how about even downstairs from the residential units?
Is there a range of unit types and sizes? (The press release mentions single-family homes and townhouses, a range which could be broadened to include multi-unit buildings, live-work units and garage or alley apartments.)
And renderings of homes at Avellino, retrieved by members in the salons at CNU.org, show front-loaded garages that will make Avellino sidewalks not particularly inviting to parents in strollers and other pedestrians. Alleys would create a more rewarding public realm.
Link courtesy of Orlando Sentinel
Martha and her partners should study the Charter of the New Urbanism and work to get this development right. If not, it shouldn't be called New Urbanism.
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