CURBED capturesEIGHT IDEAS for rethinking suburbia, from eliminating single-family zoning to densifying sprawl to reducing carbon footprints. The results include undoing the long-term impacts of segregation and addressing the realities of rising poverty.
Louisville, KentuckyEvent Type: Lecture, WorkshopParent Event: CNU27 Organizer: Congress for the New UrbanismEvent Website Events
The member-led session reflected on the significant changes in urban real estate markets over the last two decades that have invigorated downtowns and urban neighborhoods. Many people are forgoing private subdivisions in favor of places with a sense of community. Responding to this shift of preferences, the participants considered how can we address the challenges of economically inefficient sprawl.
The lively interactive roundtable discussion focused on successional development as a way to respond to the risks and vulnerabilities of sprawl. Four themes were addressed:
importance of incremental retrofit in a suburban context;
ways to mitigate investment risk and other exposure;
ways to stem decline before it reaches collapse; and
first steps and ability to act quickly. Each roundtable participant will share their expertise, suggest practical tools and techniques, and field questions from delegates.
Editors Notes: The annual Congress for the New Urbanism, now in its twenty-seventh year, is the preeminent national event on building better places. Each year, more than 1,500 attendees convene to hear from speakers, participate in workshops, collaborate on projects, and engage with leaders in dozens of fields.
Offering an alternative to wasteful suburban sprawl, the Greenbelt-Towns Program was a Government-led urban planning approach that began in the late 30’s. Although short-lived, lessons can be drawn from the goals, scope and reaction to the suburban demonstration towns that embodied a mix of housing, walkability, and a traditional downtown.
Much of suburban sprawl is vehicle-oriented, served by inadequate sidewalks, and inaccessible without a car. Highlighting Jeff Speck’s new book, Walkability City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Place, the article discusses how investing in walkability can enhance the appeal of places to a range of ages, increase home values and jobs numbers, and promote local expenditure on goods and services.
Author: Metropolitan Area Planning CouncilOutlet: CNU | Build a Better BurbPublished: October 26, 2018Link to ArticleArticles
Alongside unsustainable sprawl, unsightly strip malls are too often a feature of our suburban landscape. This article draws ideas from DeSoto Marketplace in DeSoto, Texas. The approach here was incremental and adaptive, introducing small cost-effective changes that, over time, transformed the underutilized shopping center into a pocket of walkability and a vibrant local business.
Galina’s opening keynote presentation positioned Sprawl Repair as a comprehensive and practical method to transform auto-dependent, single-use places into more complete, economically viable communities. It demonstrated how design, regulatory and implementation techniques derived from the “trenches” at all development scales: regional, community, block, building.
Strategies were identified to create economic and social value out of stranded real-estate assets as the demise of the industry that produced sprawl continues: Malls and office parks are dying; golf courses are closing; McMansions are losing their appeal to Millennials. The presentation not only highlighted why we should retrofit sprawl, but also showed a practical How, Who and When step-by-step path of action forward to a better burb.
Editors Notes: Retrofit Magazine held its second-annual one-day conference in October 2018 in Charlotte north Carolina. The conference brought together focused on retrofitting commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.
Author: Michael Andersen, PlacesForBikes staff writerOutlet: peopleforbikesPublished: March 7, 2018Link to ArticleArticles
At the cutting edge of sprawl retrofit, Portland is working to making biking desirable in a neighborhood originally built for cars, where the 1920s-style commercial lots to the north face unbroken sidewalks, and the 1950s-style lots to the south face a two-row parking lot.
“Portland’s leaders [are] thinking these two blocks are the perfect place to begin what many of them see as the great work of the 21st century: undoing the errors of car-dependent design that began in the 1940s.
If this row of buildings successfully leads Gateway’s transition to a more walkable, bikeable neighborhood, it’d put the street at the forefront of a national movement to redevelop close-in suburban neighborhoods.
The city’s plan is to preserve parking on both sides of the street, but flip the parking and bike lanes so a combination of curbs and parked cars would separate bike and auto traffic.
Some landlords plug empty spaces with churches, for-profit schools and random enterprises while they figure out a long-term plan. Others see a future in mixed-use real estate, converting malls into streetscapes with restaurants, offices and housing. And some are razing properties altogether and turning them into entertainment or industrial parks.
‘Many mall owners are trying to liven up the experience, bringing more dining and entertainment tenants and eschewing the traditional mix.’