Recently, I've been taking some time while touring New Urbanism to look out for examples of accessible townhouses. A growing number of New Urbanist designs for townhouses are accessible or visitable by people using wheelchairs. CNU wants to document these buildings to help educate our members about simple ways to incorporate visitable houses into New Urbanist streetscapes.
Alley sections often suffer from too wide or too narrow and even too gradated a section. Please share and comment upon good and bad conditions within alleys.
For instance, the Muse lanes in Edinburgh, Scotland are 18' wide with buildings of 2 stories at the sides. They feel wonderful to walk down and pleasant to visit within. Garage heights, however, suggest there is no way a hummer will fit in them. Contrarily the Must lanes in London are often of a much wider section or 30' or larger and provide space to service one's vehicle, or even set-up a furniture manufacturing outfit within them.
120 new urbanists and transportation engineers are currently in Boulder, Colo., for CNU's 2006 Transportation Summit. Yesterday, CNU held a workshop on the Context-Sensitive Design manual produced by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and CNU. In this second such workshop on the manual, attendees learned from the authors about the recomendations in the manual and how it might be applied, specifically in Boulder. Representatives from the City of Boulder and City of Denver presented local case studies and discussed how new urbanist principles for urban thoroughfare design might be implemented.
The Johnson's recently became the recipients of a donated manufactured home to replace their existing home in Montgomery, MD.
This home is the first of many designed by architect Steve Mouzon who also created the now infamous Katrina Cottage which he called a "FEMA trailer with dignity." The home was generously donated by Housing International, Inc., and given to the Johnson's through a local housing agency when their current home fell under sever need of repair amidst financial struggles.
Green building standards are getting greener. Charles Shaw hunts down cutting-edge environmental advocates such as green architect Doug Farr, one of the leaders of the anticipated new green rating system called LEED-Neighborhood Design (LEED-ND). The LEED-ND Core Committee hopes to launch this impressive eco-friendly rating system by 2009. Shaw’s enlightening visits uncover ways this voluntary green development option will help sustain our planet, that is if developers and homeowners choose to go green.
John Norquist and Scott Bernstein shed light on Seattle’s latest Alaskan Viaduct considerations. After reviewing WSDOT’s analysis of the “no-replacement” option, Norquist and Bernstein find exaggerated assumptions and inadequate considerations as to how traffic in downtown Seattle can be absorbed by the existing street grid. According to the columnists, the “no-replacement” option could reduce traffic congestion, increase economic vitality in downtown Seattle, and help the region meet its desired air quality standards.
One year after Katrina, New Orleans is still behind the eight ball when it comes to rebuilding. However, with the help of a Rockefeller grant, the Great New Orleans Foundation is heading a neighborhood-scale rebuilding effort that employs several new urbanist architects. In the recent posting in Slate online magazine, Rybczynski looks to a major new urbanist project in Denver as a reference point for New Orleans’ rebuilding possibilities. Many questions remain as to how an old city like New Orleans will balance its immediate needs while protecting its distinctive character.
According to Coleman Warner of the Times-Picayune, there seems to be a lot of planning and discussing on how to rebuild New Orleans but public uncertainty still looms as to what and when plans get implemented. Many residents feel that too much money is being spent on planning and consulting as housing and basic services remain inadequate. How will public input, funding sources, and political strategery determine the rebuilding of New Orleans?
USA Today’s Larry Copeland tells us that many coastal Mississippi towns are rebuilding their communities with new urbanist principles in mind. But not all towns are jumping on the bandwagon. Towns like Biloxi seem weary of recent efforts to create walkable communities with widespread access to shops and offices, a new concept for a region previously designed for the automobile. Nevertheless, new urbanists are working with public officials and companies like Lowe’s to offer residents vibrant permanent housing alternatives to the temporary government trailer.
In a USA Today cover story today, Larry Copeland gave John Norquist a chance to react to the not-so-good news found in the latest "Commuting in America" report.
John used the opportunity to say how growing developer interest in mixed-use urbanism is poised to affect the so-far declining numbers for walking as a share of commuting nationwide -- at least slowing the decline and perhaps eventually leading to a turnaround. The report focuses on the 1980-2000 period.