Monday, February 02, 2004
Slow Food & New Urbanism
IS THIS the best American cheese?
Globalization is a good thing. Corporate agri-business globalization and the universal export of American exurban sprawl are usually bad things. Slow Food and Smart Growth are free-market movements that want to make the world a better place.
A debate is starting on this subject, because some feel it is the urbanists in the Congress for the New Urbanism, rather than the Smart Growthers, who like those in the Slow Food movement respect both the market and the importance of quality. Andrés Duany has written about this on the internet in the pro-urb and cnu lists.
In any case, try the Hudson Valley Camembert from the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company. It's better to get it from your local store than from blacksheepcheese.com, and not only because of the benefits for the local economy. The small 5 oz. Hudson Valley Camembert package is the best one, in my opinion, and while the package only costs $5, shipping it costs $25.
It's as good as any French camembert I've had.
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Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2004 08:28:51 -0500
Subject: Smart Growthers = "Higher morality sorts"?
"The New Urbanists don't want to eliminate the existing system," [Duany] said in a telephone interview from Seaside, Fla., a town he designed as a model of New Urbanism. "Unlike Smart Growthers and other higher morality sorts, I just want the market to operate."
Transecting zoning laws
Co-founder of New Urbanism to speak in area twice this week
By ANDREW S. HUGHES
Tribune Staff Writer
Andrés Duany doesn't want to outlaw suburbia.
He does, however, want to make alternatives to it legal.
Most zoning laws written after World War II mandate single-use development and make it illegal to build the mixed-use developments Duany advocates cities and towns adopt and that fall under the rubric of New Urbanism.
"The New Urbanists don't want to eliminate the existing system," he said in a telephone interview from Seaside, Fla., a town he designed as a model of New Urbanism. "Unlike Smart Growthers and other higher morality sorts, I just want the market to operate."
He and other New Urbanism planners, Duany said, want a "level playing field" for creating new developments.
"I want the two-thirds of Americans who want to live (in traditional, mixed-use neighborhoods) to get it," he said. "I don't want our clients to have a more difficult time. That's a level playing field. ... But the level playing field requires two technical
Duany has a proposal for that second "technical system": the transect.
A co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism and partner in the Miami-based architecture and urban planning firm Duany Plater-Zyberk, Duany will give a lecture Wednesday night in South Bend on transect-based zoning.
Transect-based zoning proposes that zoning should be based on density and building type rather than use.
"The transect is a way of showing diversity," Duany said. "(Social diversity) is not assured by zoning that segregates everything from everything else, nor is it assured by the public process."
As it is, Duany said, each new New Urbanism-based development "requires a new beginning" because existing zoning laws must be challenged and changed in each community.
"The market is highly constrained," he said. "We're not allowed to build communities that we aspire to and admire, so it's not true that the market is free, although it is true that about one-third of Americans really do like suburban sprawl the way it is. There's another two-thirds that doesn't, and they're not being provided for, and that's the reason our communities become expensive."
Mixed-use development, which is also known as Traditional Neighborhood Design, includes residential, commercial, professional, civic and recreational development within a clearly defined area that can be walked from one end to another in about 10 minutes.
Early in the 20th century, environmentalists developed the idea of the transect to illustrate gradations of nature.
Philip Bess, the director of graduate studies in the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame, said the progression from Lake Michigan to beach to fields to orchards is one example of a natural transect.
Duany and other New Urbanists, Bess said, want to apply that theory to town planning by using seven zones that move from lowest to highest density of population, from most rural to most urban.
"The reason they became the basis for zoning is that if the assumption is that all of them are mixed-use and walkable, when you zone for T3 or T4 or T6, you're not zoning for use, you're zoning for density and building type," Bess said. "When you zone for density and building type, you immediately step out of modern zoning. The whole fallacy of modernism is that every building has to be specific to its function. The reality is that in cities, needs change all the time."
New Urbanists, Duany said, want to provide new versions of traditional neighborhoods, which still exist and that two-thirds of Americans say they want to live in.
"There is a parallel reality in America: There are lots of people living in suburbia, but there are just as many people living in traditional neighborhoods still, cities like New York," he said. "The downtowns of most cities are traditional; they're functioning. (Sprawl) did not replace that. We have two, parallel realities. It's not nostalgic. It's sort of ironic the way New Yorkers living in a city that's a 19th century-city think it's a modern city. It's not. It's a 19th century-city."
New Urbanism, Duany said, addresses the problems caused by suburban sprawl, which include environmental, social and economic factors.
"So many of the issues today that seem intractable and that seem disconnected are due to the fact that the human habitat is not well-served by suburbia," he said. "The agenda of the New Urbanism is to restore the primacy of compact, walkable, mixed-use, diverse communities as the primary model of development."
Staff writer Andrew S. Hughes:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation (1808T)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
email - email@example.com
ph - 202-566-2864
fax - 202-566-2868
FedEx/Courier delivery Address
EPA West Building (room 1416-F)
1301 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Development, Community & Environment Division:
A partner in the Smart Growth Network: http://www.smartgrowth.org
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Posted by: Lucy Rowland at Feb 3, 2004 10:29:54 AM