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Tag Archives: walkability
To be perfectly honest, I had never heard of New Urbanism or Seaside until I moved to Florida in 2008. The sunshine state is gaga for New Urbanism, and while any planning discussion walks a tightrope of divisiveness DPZ’s landmark resort was nearly universally praised by those I spoke with. Sure, its utopian urban design made it an easy visual joke as the shooting location of The Truman Show. And, no, it was never intended to be anything more than a wealthy resort town. But I kept hearing how wonderful the experience of actually being there was, and after two years of this finally got to spend a few hours last week exploring it myself.
Note from planologie—I saw this comment by Planetizen user ConcernedAboutWinnipeg at the end of Alex Krieger’s article, “Being Urban Minded: Three Current Debates Around Urban Design Practice,” and thought it worth singling out. It seems like in any profession a rift inevitably forms between the creatives and the technicians, and that this silo-ing is especially pernicious when it affects entire populations. I’ve spoken with several transportation engineers who echoed ConcernedAboutWinnipeg’s sentiments, namely that most of them work within the paradigm they were taught, that awareness of the old paradigm’s destructiveness is spreading rapidly, and that the younger crop of transpo engineers have “seen the light.”
The true test of walkability I think is this: Can you spend a pleasant half hour walking or on transit and end up at a variety of great places? The quality of having a feast of options available when you walk out your front door is what I starting to think of as “deep walkability.” Continue reading
According to The Economist, Mercer, and Monocle, Vancouver is one of the world’s most livable cities. They cite its ecodensity, cosmopolitan population, scenic natural surroundings, progressive governance, general safety and cleanliness. Others, less enthralled, have taken to calling the city Blandcouver, or even Vanshitty. I had visited Vancouver twice before boarding Amtrak’s 510 Cascades Line train out of Seattle, had fallen in love with the city twice, but both trips had been brief, summertime affairs. Everywhere was shimmering blue water, glittering glass and steel, lush green forests and mountains. Vancouver sure knows how to get dolled up for a date, but what does she look like the morning after, in sweat pants and no makeup, during the long, wet, gray winter? Continue reading