23rd July 2007 — Press Release
A new report, Valuing Sustainable Urbanism, suggests that the government’s target of 3 million news homes by 2020 need not result in sprawl and environmental damage if we build walkable, mixed use, mixed income developments instead of car-dependent housing estates. The report published by The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, also indicates that “sustainable communities” as exemplified by Poundbury in Dorchester and Crown Street, Glasgow, are at least as commercially viable as conventional developments, and in some cases more so. In the three cases studied, the sustainable urban projects had gross development values per hectare of 18 percent to 46 percent higher than conventional residential projects in the same market area. This is because these communities appeal to home buyers, commanding higher prices, and because of the higher building intensity. Furthermore property values in sustainable communities appear to increase at a greater rate over time than their conventional counterparts, making them a more attractive investment for buyers.
A leading post-baby-boomer new urbanist architect-planner, Kevin Klinkenberg, led a five-day charrette in Evanston last week, before catching a well deserved Cubs game on Saturday. Kevin’s peers are also doing admirable work, just not as close to home as Evanston. So though I had to skip the Cubs game, I caught Kevin’s closing presentation as well as some of the question-and-answer period that followed with constituents in Evanston.
Gulfport appears to be getting serious about implementing its post-Katrina rebuilding plans, which continue to be heavily influenced by new urbanists. The Mississippi Coast's leading newspaper the Sun-Herald reports that the Gulfport City Council has voted to engage three developers, including Henry Turley of Harbor Town fame as a citywide design consultant " to guide citywide rebuilding in an effort to revitalize neighborhoods and develop walkable communities." Although you'd think his natural role would be developing projects in Gulfport, he's known for excellent work (Harbor Town won a 2007 CNU Charter Award and was praised as one of the most fully implemented examples of a new urbanist neighborhood development) so his presence is in Gulfport is a very promising sign.
On Thursday, July 19th, 2007, several members from CNU visited the new state-of-the-art headquarters for Access Living . Access Living is an advocacy agency focused on changes that benefit people with disabilities in a variety of areas (i.e., healthcare, youth services, housing, civil rights and economic development).
Fellow New Urbanists,
Fairview Village, aka Yorkship Village, has been nominated as a potential "Seven Wonders of South Jersey" by the radio station SOJO 104.9. (we were just nominated which is pretty late in the game so we have some serious catching up to do) That is where I need your help!
At CNU XV, Barney Frank argued that smart growth supporters should support liberal Democrats, because Republican support for tax cuts and military spending leaves no room for smart-growth oriented pro
Amy Saunder's article entitled "Retail ghosts"in the Columbus Dispatch discusses the increasing failure of conventional malls and the subsequent upward spike in the development of outdoor shopping and "lifestyle" centers.
Summer is all about long days and balmy nights, so why not enjoy it on the bike? Saturday I took part in one of my favorite events of the summer. The Chicago Friends of the Park LATE (long after twilight ends) ride. This is a 25 mile ride through the streets from 2-6am beginning downtown and ending with sunrise and breakfast on the lake. We met up at the Art Institute at 1:00am along with a growing batch of cyclists. It reminded me a bit of a zombie movie--only everywhere pedestrians were turning into cyclists. First I just saw a few cyclists, then several others biking all over downtown meeting up with friends, and adjusting their headlights and helmets and gathering near Grant Park, then more and more gathered. Two friends and I plus 9,000 other riders took to start line about 1:30am. There was a band and they were giving out McDonald's ice coffee and snacks to keep us awake.
The fight for the Sears Building overshadows the fact that Campbell Soup's project is a terribly designed suburban-style component of the Gateway Neighborhood Redevelopment, which ignores transportation assets. The PATCO Hi-Speedline and River LINE skirt the edge. Your comments welcome in Camden Courier Post.
Smart growth? Wise up. If only you would work.A recent Times look at how four "smart-growth" or "transit-oriented" developments.Submitted by Michael McAteer on Wed, 07/11/2007 - 10:17pm
Los Angeles Times Editorial
Though the concept hasn't delivered on its promise of getting us out of our cars, that doesn't mean it's a failure.
July 11, 2007