Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 HELP: Any DetroitYESers going to CNU XIV in Providence? Previous Next
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Brandonz
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Username: Brandonz

Post Number: 27
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 198.108.4.105
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 2:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm sorry to clog up the board with an only tangentially-related message, but I am wondering if any SE Michiganders here are planning on attending the Congress for the New Urbanism in Providence next week.

If so, two very recent urban planning grads from UM have just lost our ride, and even Greyhound tickets are $274, so we are desperately looking for someone to carpool with and would contribute our share of fuel costs and driving... thanks in advance!

bzwagerm (at) umich.edu
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Tomoh
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Username: Tomoh

Post Number: 186
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.148.60.142
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 10:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rent a car? I'd love to go but it's hard to justify. Good luck.
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Andylinn
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Username: Andylinn

Post Number: 71
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 68.40.195.233
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 11:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

sorry bzwags.... (unrelated, but any news on semcog?)
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2643
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.167.210.191
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 11:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tell us about the CNU. What is it about? Is Detroit a topic there?
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 118
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 64.12.116.204
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 12:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

CNU promotes mostly new development, subdivisions that look like old fashioned neighborhoods (personally I don't understand why anyone would want to have an alley at Cherry Hill Village in Canton (middle of a cornfield) but hey they have em).

Some of these subdivisions are infil, but most New Urbanists start from a clean sheet of paper and try to develop a neighborhood that is 'walkable' with its own shopping, parks, schools. A case of infil new urbanisim can be seen by the guys who had the plan for the east side in the sunday paper a few years back. Not really new urbanist, but it taks a lot of the elements to help solidify the area and bring in new development.

Some of the Pluses of new urbanism:
* It looks great, homes are made out of quality materials and placed on lots so you're pervert neighbor can't look out his window, peek into yours and watch you take a dump.
* The development is walkable and full of amenities.
* A mixture of housing sizes so if all you need is a 1,000 square foot home you should be able to find it.
* Some point out that it is more efficient to live this way and it saves gas.
* It looks like an old neighborhood

Bad Points:
* You still have to drive to do real shopping as stores in these developments are small and typically expensive.
* Most of this development occurs beyond the urban fringer where large parcels can still be assembled.
* Longer commutes to jobs, longer trips to the Meijer, making any thing you save by walking to the malt shop or barber negligible.
* Costs a lot more than an old neighborhood in Detroit.

Never the less it is an interesting development philosophy. It is certainly better in most respects to what is being built in a typical subdivision. However the new development on the far urban finge/edge has its drawbacks. I would assume that many of its drawbacks are discussed at these types of meetings, and success stories are shared, as well as disappointments.

The use of CNU for infil however (in most instances) has the DetroitPlanner seal of approval! : )

No I am not going.

(Message edited by Detroitplanner on May 24, 2006)
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Mw2gs
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Username: Mw2gs

Post Number: 194
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 68.73.201.46
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 6:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So youre having a suburban sprawl conference? Why build old neighborhood replicas when there are plenty right here to redevelop?
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Brandonz
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Username: Brandonz

Post Number: 28
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 68.40.195.29
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 9:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit Planner,

You repeat a common myth about The New Urbanism that has been promoted by the media and developers who co-opt the term as a marketing tool, among others. CNU "mostly promotes" INFILL... but they realize the political and market realities and do promote Tradtional Neighborhood Development and Transit-Oriented Development as a better alternative to the uber-sprawling convential suburbs that are required by most zonign ordinances. Yes, Cherry Hill Village in Canton Township falls under New Urbanism, but even better examples are urban infill neighborhoods like Woodbridge Estates (could've been done much better, admittedly), loft conversions, and new mixed-use buildings in the City. Read the CNU Charter:

"Development patterns should not blur or eradicate the edges of the metropolis. Infill development within existing urban areas conserves environmental resources, economic investment, and social fabric, while reclaiming marginal and abandoned areas. Metropolitan regions should develop strategies to encourage such infill development over peripheral expansion."

Unfourtnately, the reality is that greenfield development, especially in the Michigan context, will continue, so my take is that more compact mixed-use greenfield like Cherry Hill Village or better yet Transit Oriented Developments are at least better than half-acre lots and cul-de-sacs. Would I personally live in such a place? No.

Maybe if we had regional governance/revenue-sharing/pla nning, better transit, less racial conflict, urban growth boundaries, etc. etc. we'd have a greater rate of infill ala Portland... alas.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 119
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 10:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sounds like you read what you want to hear. I mentioned that it does both infil and these mega projects out in the cornfields. I suppose Celebration was infil, cuz they had to fill-in a swamp to build it?

I do believe I took a balanced approach at explaining new urbanism, you even concurred with my disappointment that much of it is new development out on or past the fringe.

Did you even read that the use of New Urbanism for Infil has my personal seal of approval???

That CNU charter reads like gobbly-gook. It is more 'look at how clever I am' as opposed to 'how do I serve the needs of my constituents?' Its full of buzz words and is based on the same planning principles as the AICP code of ethics, only it sounds more pretentious.

Your attack on me did not dispute any of my facts. It was baseless, I pointed out some real problems with new urbanism, yet you did not address them, you just called me myth supporter. Is it a myth that you must drive several miles from cherry hill village to do your grocery shopping?

Read page 10 & 11 http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/urban/urbanreview.pdf

http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~pgordon/urbanism.html

(Message edited by Detroitplanner on May 25, 2006)

(Message edited by DetroitPlanner on May 25, 2006)
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Swingline
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Username: Swingline

Post Number: 500
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 172.129.86.231
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 12:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Brandon, there's a good chance that there are some architecture/planning students from Notre Dame and/or Andrews attending the CNU conference. Call their student services offices. Maybe you could hook up in Toledo.

Also, Brandon and Detplanner, no need to get snippy at each other although I know that a discussion of new urbanism can bring out passionate opinions from both proponents and detractors. Many detractors dislike perceived arrogance of certain CNU founders and leaders. Detplanner is probably a member of the APA which for many years shunned the planning theories of new urbanism. (Architects are deeply involved in the CNU and many planners don't think that architects are qualified to get involved in planning matters.) Things have changed recently and I think that the APA even has a NU section. I once got the following from the APA NU mission statement, it's a very good brief description of NU:


quote:

"New Urbanism is a time-tested planning practice that incorporates interrelated patterns of land use, transportation, and urban form to create communities that foster the most desirable characteristics of human habitation: neighborliness, environmental sustainability, economic efficiency and prosperity, historic preservation, participation in civic processes, and human health. New Urbanism practices apply to all scales of community, from the region and neighborhood to the block and building."

"Restrictive conventional zoning and subdivision regulations over the past 50 years have led to development patterns, particularly in the suburbs, that diminish these desirable characteristics of human habitation. Separated land uses and excessive traffic and parking provisions result in increasing air and water pollution, decreasing natural environments, lack of accessibility among children and the elderly, lengthening congestion and commuting time, rising public service costs, reduced civic involvement, and declining health."

"The purpose of the New Urbanism Division is to provide planners, public officials, and other decision makers with the information, support, and tools needed to eliminate restrictive conventional development regulations and allow New Urbanism patterns to be incorporated in all communities."


SE Michigan planners, developers and municipal leaders can learn a lot from NU. The suburban land use patterns condoned by disinterested township leaders and planners over the past 40 years just plain suck. NU doesn't seek to eliminate suburban development, but rather seeks to dramatically improve it on many levels.
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1735
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 1:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner,

I don't think Brandonz attacked you, just your assertion.

In many ways I agree with you, but from what I've seen in the last couple years, there has been a really strong shift toward infill within CNU.

I think most members of CNU would say that a rapidly growing region probably should be developing greenfields, since infill won't be able to meet demand, but that a region that is not growing (SE Michigan), infill is where it is at.
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Atl_runner
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Username: Atl_runner

Post Number: 1913
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.151.12.10
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 1:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not sure how anyone can be against new urbanism, be it in the heart of the city, or in a cornfield in canton. It is a much more preferable architectural style than what 95 percent of the current Detroit Metro has to offer. Of course that's subjective, but I would be willing to bet that any poll outcome would favor CNU.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1848
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 2:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry, people vote with their wallets and they are still consistently voting against new urbanism. Otherwise we would be seeing this kind of development everywhere, not just in small pockets.
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1737
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 2:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually Ndavies,

It is consistently outlawed by most munincipalities in this nation.

People don't have the choice.

In fact, they are voting with their wallets and driving up the cost of the developments.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1849
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 2:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bullshit. If people wanted it they would get the zoning changed to make it happen. 99% of Americans want the biggest house they can afford on the biggest piece of land they can afford with the biggest car they could afford to drive.

(Message edited by ndavies on May 26, 2006)
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Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1738
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 3:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bullshit.

Most people don't move and want their area to be exactly as it was when they moved in. That means no more people (especially if they might be lower class or a minority) and as little development as possible. Changing zoning threatens them with change. That is the reason zoning doesn't change very fast.

(But it is changing, city by city, all over the country.)

Another factor is that zoning (over time) is a majority rule process. If 51% of the population decides that everyone must live in large-lot sprawl, then the other 49% are SOL.
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Atl_runner
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Username: Atl_runner

Post Number: 1914
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.151.12.10
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 4:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

99% of Americans want the biggest house they can afford on the biggest piece of land they can afford with the biggest car they could afford to drive




That's not so true anymore. I didn't want to bring up Atlanta, but here, you are finding more new developments that slant toward the high density, new urbanism concept. I mean it's blatantly obvious which way the majority is voting down here. Not for the biggest house on the biggest piece of land, not by a longshot. It doesn't exist. Yes, there are Suburbs, and sprawl is bad, but 'NEW'.. not infill developments are all over the city, and the inner tier citys that ring it. I'd be underestimating if I said 85 percent of the developments were HD / CNU. I am mixing the two terms - High Density, and New Urbanism, only because they are very close relatives.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 1499
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.100.158.10
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Another factor is that zoning (over time) is a majority rule process.




Where is zoning performed on a popular-vote basis? I can't say I know of a single place that puts its zoning regs to a popular vote.

I would also take issue that everyone wants the "biggest house possible on the biggest piece of land". If that were true, developers wouldn't ever be able to sell million-dollar condos.
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Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 760
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 4:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe Ford will bite and build some retro Model As and Ts, maybe even some tractors and Trimotors, plus an occasional bomber or two.
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Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1740
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 5:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Where is zoning performed on a popular-vote basis? I can't say I know of a single place that puts its zoning regs to a popular vote.



I said "over time." Zoning decisions are usually made by City Councils, who know that if they approve a rezoning that the voters don't want, they will not be re-elected.

So the most vocal voters often make the land use decisions. The most vocal voters are quite often NIMBYs.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 121
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 - 11:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Man y'all got some anger problems when it comes to development don't y'all?

Develop or Die.
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Brandonz
Member
Username: Brandonz

Post Number: 29
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 68.40.195.29
Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2006 - 9:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow, I don't check this forum for a day, and...

Detroitplanner, I wasn't meaning to attack you, and yes, you noted that there's infill development among New Urbanists, but I was taking issue, which I may or may not have perceived correctly, that you thought New Urbanism was "mostly about" greenfield Traditional Neighborhood Developments like Cherry Hill Village. I don't disagree with many of your criticisms-- like most suburban development, especially without good regional transit, they have some major shortfalls, but I still believe they are better than conventional subdivisions, at least.

I don't know where your last post came from, exactly-- developing is exactly what we're all talking about-- just smarter development!
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Brandonz
Member
Username: Brandonz

Post Number: 30
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 68.40.195.29
Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2006 - 9:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's looking like we're taking Amtrak there and we've found a ride back from some Grand Rapidsians who are attending the concurrent Provflux. Speaking of which, I wonder what's happening on the front of neogeography/psychogeography in SE Michigan? Smaller cities like Providence and Grand Rapids seem to have more cohesive organization and community centered around these issues (which I still don't fully understand).
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Detroitplanner
Member
Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 122
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Sunday, May 28, 2006 - 12:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Neogeography and Psychogeography?

Considering that U of M does not even have a geography progam, and I'm technically a geographer, these were new terms to me. So, I looked them up. First link I got was "What the hell is Neogeography" Which explained it.

New terminology comes and goes. New Urbanism is really one of those new terms that has not been fully explored.

For example, I would never consider infil (for the most part) to be considered new-urban, neo-traditional or what ever the next term will be. I would consider it redevelopment in conext to its surroundings (except in the case of developments like Mason Run which is a New Urbanist subdivision being built in Monroe.

The development of these types of cities have been going on for ages. One might even consider the growth of cities such as Ferndale and Royal Oak as Streetcar Suburbs of Detroit Proper. At first these things were stuck out in the middle of the cornfields too. New City movements have been going on at least since the 1800's in this country. New Urbanism is a rebadging and a mixing of this development with standard practices, and traditional designs.

In terms of Southeast Michigan/Michigan being behind the times when it comes to Geography, please realize that U of M is behind the times when it comes to this. WSU, MSU, EMU, CMU all have very good geography programs, some of which concentrate on the built environment and others that look at environmental issues and geography.

Please check out the following links that contain a ton of geographic data/projects in Southeast Michigan.

http://www.semcog.org
http://www.michigan.gov/cgi
http://www.mapdetroit.com/dev1 /main_home.html

Discrimination and Detroit Residents
http://www.zmag.org/zmag/july0 0bauder.htm
http://www.pupress.princeton.e du/chapters/i8029.html
http://www.clas.wayne.edu/unit -inner.asp?UnitID=23&WebPageID =186&site=candle

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