Planning at its best!
I picked up a copy of Suburban Nation (Andre Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck, 2000) largely to help fill the reading void this semester created by the impossibly difficult to read Municipal and Planning Law, and nap inducing Land Use Planning Made Plain (literally made plain).
The authors (more famously known as DPZ…excluding Mr. Speck) spearheaded anti-sprawl/suburbia movement known as the New Urbanism which is probably most publically visible in Seaside, Florida (of The Truman Show fame).
It reads a lot like Jane Jacob’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities, but with a suburban and more current flavour. It serves up inspiration (god, I didn’t want to use that word – it’s been beaten to death this week) in a similar fashion and offers the alternative of something better than the status quo. This planning generations Death and Life of Great American Cities?
The are piles of critiques against New Urbanism and neo-traditional architecture (I personally don’t find the architecture to be much different than the ‘cookie-cutter’ variety) but I’m enjoying reading the idealized theory of this vision, especially the scathing assaults on the automobile-centric world of suburban areas.
Some quotes of choice from DPZ’s Suburban Nation.
…and and acronym for fun NORC – Naturally Occurring Retirement Community.
Cornell – Ontario – New Urbanist Community