As many of you have probably already faced the reality of stubborn utility companies unwilling to compromise on their design standards, we are constantly faced with trying to establish creative alternatives to overcoming this major hurdle in New Urbanism.
Charles backs plans to cull the cul-de-sac
Daily Telegraph, England
By Matthew Moore and PA
Last Updated: 2:32am GMT 12/02/2007
The 2007 Charter Awards were judged this February in scenic Pasadena, California. Amid beautiful surroundings, the jury got to work discussing and debating the entries for the awards.
New Urbanism is gaining steam these days, in blue states and red states. As seen in Grist Magazine's recent interview with Mayor Rocky Anderson, conservative Salt Lake City is pulsing with green technology and dense, transit-friendly development that's putting many progressive American cities to shame. The city has implemented the internationally-recognized Salt Lake City Green program, a methane-capturing facility, numerous LEED-certified buildings, and people are now willing to raise sales taxes to increase transit service.
Joel Kotkin is one of America’s most prolific commentators on urban affairs. At first glance, he appears to support something very much like New Urbanism. According to one newspaper story quoted on Kotkin’s website, he favors “suburbs that are not defined by sprawl but a sense of community. He wants village-like suburbs that combine parks, restaurants and some retail within walking distance of single-family homes.” (JoelKotkin.com) Similarly, New Urbanists have created suburbs such as Celebration, Fla. which combine stores and housing.
Sam Staley coauthored an article in the Washington Post. I think he is one of the more thoughtful smart growth critics- partially because he agrees with me sometimes, and partially because his tone is a bit more measured than some others I might name. Moreover, he seems to be playing with more or less the same deck of facts that I play with. On the other hand, he interprets those facts differently than I do; he tends to see the glass as half-empty while I see it as half-full, and vice versa. Below are some of his thoughts and my responses.
This past Friday Kevin Hardman, CNU member and former developer’s task force chair gave us a tour of his latest project Parkside at Old Town on Chicago’s near North Side. Located at Division and Clybourn in Chicago this development is part of the Cabrini Green Hope VI public housing transformation in Chicago. Under HOPE VI public housing units are being transformed across the country into mixed income communities comprised of 30% returning residents, 30% subsidized housing, and 30% market rate. The development is a mix of mid rise apartments with first floor retail lining an interior network of townhomes. Kevin explained the complications and some of the frustrations of the project beginning with the street widening. Pictured to the left is Division Street, where thanks to Division street being an IDOT state route, they forced a road widening on the city DOT. Despite CDOT and developer protests, IDOT took out a lane of parallel parking and added an additional travel lane. We did not take kindly to this turning radius and fast moving traffic including a two land right hand turn lane that turns right into a one lane side street. (pictured here). One of the streets also has a cul-de-sac which Kevin explained was not good urban design, but is attractive to parents with children. The development is adjacent to a large park and fieldhouse.
During the Florida CNU, a lengthy discussion was started on the issues that we face with regional planning in Florida. The regional planning process in Florida is very complicated, and many times the vision is never developed beyond policy. Regional Planning Councils around the State are working hard to develop plans, private developers are creating plans, and local municipalities are creating visions for their growth. All of these plans includes visions and policies that over lap city and county boundaries. Many of these policies are never illustrated, and the vision is left to the imagination of the next planning session. Amazingly enough, when a plan is drawn, these plans are rarely placed on a State wide map with adjoining regional and city plans, or compared to regional transportation or water management needs.