I recently attended the CityBuildingExchange.com 2-day conference in New Orleans. This on the ground practical urban design and urban planning education is unparalleled in the take-home doable information and ideas. Here are two audio excerpts from the conference: If you have any questions about the above info please contact the OxnardRenaissance.org author.
A recently built accessory dwelling in a new urban subdivision in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Source: Mission Heights development. ROBERT STEUTEVILLE AUG. 30, 2018 Fayetteville, Arkansas, is a rapidly growing city—the largest in Northwest Arkansas, a region with major corporate headquarters including Walmart, and a major research university in the University of Arkansas. Fayetteville is a low-density city with a large supply of single-family houses from the middle of the 20thCentury. Fayetteville has a lot in common, geographically and demographically, with many suburbs nationwide and many other Sunbelt cities. How can Fayetteville become more pedestrian-friendly and mixed-use, and appeal to a growing number … Read more
Cities can make middle-scaled buildings the most economical development program. by Matthew Petty Pattern-book permitting is as easy as 1-2-3. Credit: Matthew Petty, Infill Group, and Matthew Hoffman, Miller Boskus Lack The last decade has been punctuated with celebratory stories of once-again active downtowns and town centers. Many places seem to have cracked a once-secret code for commercial redevelopment and new mid-rise housing. Yet for every revitalized town center, there are miles and miles of auto-dominated streetscapes and low-density housing overshadowing progress on Main Street. Retrofitting suburbs nationwide is critical to address the extraordinary challenges of our time, like climate … Read more
Oxnard has a severe housing shortage. Earlier this year SB 827 attempted to help communities build more housing. If the direction of SB 827 is correct the “fixes” relate mostly to zoning that incentives sprawl and makes it almost impossible to build in city cores. I will not go into the failure of SB 827 here but making zoning changes that incentivize the building, making the building of housing easy instead of almost impossible, housing in downtown (Oxnard) was the main thrust of the legislation. Housing will happen eventually. Oxnard is working on Development Standards and Design Guidelines that, if … Read more
The skyline of Worcester, Massachusetts after sunset in 2017. SHUTTERSTOCK By Bill Lucia AUGUST 22, 2018 New research highlights concerns that local officials are hearing a narrow subset of views at public meetings. For local government officials who consider public comments when making decisions about housing policies, an academic paper released earlier this year offers a cautionary note. Researchers at Boston University found that people who turn out to speak at planning and zoning board meetings tend to overwhelmingly oppose new housing development. Compared to other residents, these meeting goers are also more likely to be older, male, and homeowners. “It’s problematic … Read more
The real question will be, ‘How do I get out of this place?’ LLOYD ALTER August 13, 2018, 12:58 p.m. You can only do this for so long. (Photo: Mick Tinbergen via Wikipedia) The oldest baby boomers have just turned 70, and most can drive to their birthday parties. They’re being followed by 70 million other boomers, all happily motoring along. Their parents? Not so good these days. Janet Morrissey of The New York Times looks at the issue of transportation for senior citizens and sees a problem: lack of transportation. It’s no longer enough to call a taxi or regular … Read more
Over two years ago, Barcelona set the transportation world aflutter when it announced it would be attempting to reinvent parts of its city by developing a Superblock system by transforming targeted street grids to prioritize people over cars. On selected small street networks large parts of intersections and roadways would be taken back for parks and community gathering. Vehicles would not be banned, but it would redesign the grids so that fast thru-traffic was discouraged thru a series of driving direction changes, street narrowing and speed limits. Thus, almost all vehicles present would be either local residents or people with … Read more
“Brilliant podcast on placemaking, public policy, planning departments and the public. I cannot recommend this podcast highly enough.” Editor. JULY 26, 2018 BY STRONG TOWNS This is our sixth dispatch from the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), which took place in Savannah, Georgia in May. Chuck Marohn attended CNU and hosted a series of in-depth podcast conversations about some of the most pressing topics for cities today, with leaders, thinkers, and activists in a whole range of fields. Now we’re bringing those podcasts to your ears throughout the summer. In this episode, Susan Henderson (principal and director of design at Placemakers), Hazel Borys … Read more
© OxnardRenaissance.org Roy’s Oxnard Renaissance Placemaking Newsletter 2018 ~ #39 ZONING is the Greatest Impediment to Great Placemaking “”Summer in the City: Hottest Design Elements for Placemaking in the Public Realm,” featuring Susan Henderson of Placemakers and Victor Dover of Dover Kohl & Partners.” click the image below to view video CHALLENGE: If you had to pick one design element to make a great public realm, what would it be? CHALLENGE: What are the greatest barriers to the work you do? View the video for the answers.
The Commons in Downtown Ithaca. Wikimedia Commons Historic street grids can handle greater traffic of all kinds—so why aren’t we building more of them? ROBERT STEUTEVILLE JUN. 28, 2018 As far as I have been able to determine, no one has ever scientifically compared the capacity of historic street grids with modern road systems. If they did, this comparison is well hidden—which is amazing because the US has invested trillions of dollars on automobile-oriented street networks on the principle that these networks have greater ability to handle motor vehicles. On the contrary, I propose that historic street grids have greater capacity … Read more