from COOLTOWN STUDIOS: 19 urban development types for creatives

Came across an interesting article today and thought I’d share. Since Richard Florida first published Rise of the Creative Class in 2002, hundreds of cities have attempted to capitalize on the ongoing shift from a goods economy to a knowledge economy. Now we have a list of 19 development types geared toward creatives, suggesting the possibility that cities and suburbs might restructure themselves in order to attract and keep members of the vaunted creative class.

Interestingly, the list was initially produced by Andres Duany, godfather of New Urbanism. NU has its merits, but I have yet to see any NU projects (outside of urban infill) that are remotely attractive to the creative class. The most publicized of them, at least, seem aimed more at soccer moms and corporate suburbanites than artists and creatives. There seems to be a divide between ideals and design, or at least a somewhat myopic view of design. Maybe it’s just me.

What do you think of the list? Chances are good that if you are reading this blog you are part of the creative class, so which of the development types listed attract you? Should building for creatives also mean building for sustainability, and if so do these types of development fit the bill?

Here’s an excerpt…

Thanks to Chris Leinberger, author of the The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream, we know what the rather uninspired, industrial age 19 standard product types are that institutional investors put their money in:
Office: Build to suit; Mixed-use urban; Medical
Industrial: Build to suit; Warehouse
Retail: Neighborhood center; Lifestyle center; Big-box anchored
Apartment: Suburban garden; Urban high density
Housing: Entry level; Move-up; Luxury; Assisted living/retirement; Resort/Second home
Miscellaneous: Self storage; Mobile home park

However, what would be the 19 urban development types for the creatives that fuel the knowledge economy? Here’s one look at it, based on a list initially produced by renowned urbanist Andres Duany:

A. Primarily Commercial Mixed-Use Buildings
1. Pedestrian-Only Town Center Retail Entertainment Grouping: Providing at least a 50% tenant mix of restaurants, cafes and bars with a predominance of outdoor dining fronting a pedestrian-only paseo or plaza, or pedestrian-oriented street, supported by personal services and unique shops. The principal surrounding building types would include triple mixed-use mid-rises and flats (see following building types.) The Town Center has a typical g.l.a. (gross leasable area) of 30,000 to 100,000 sq. ft.
2. Standard Town Center Retail Entertainment Grouping: Mix of restaurants, personal services and unique shops. The principal surrounding building types would include triple mixed-use mid-rises and flats (see following building types.) A supermarket (often a co-op as chain supermarkets follow a more suburban model) would be a major tenant. The Town Center has a typical g.l.a. (gross leasable area) of 30,000 to 100,000 sq. ft.
3. Neighborhood Center Retail Entertainment Grouping: Providing a neighborhood- determined tenant mix of third-place-oriented restaurants and pubs (neighborhood-friendly places beyond home and work), personal services and convenience goods. It has a typical g.l.a. of about 20,000 sq. ft. It is anchored by a popular restaurant or pub.
4. Triple Mixed-Use Flat: Three-four story flat, one or two units/rods in width, with independent retail on the ground floor, loft office space on the second floor, and loft-type residential on the third/fourth floors, with roof deck.  Parking in the rear or below. These can be used as infill or as modular buildings to develop either the Town or Neighborhood Center Retail Entertainment Grouping.

For the full article check out cooltownstudios.

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