I've collected some of the catch phrases and buzzwords a few paragraphs down.
Andrés Duany is a founding principal of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) the planners who did Seaside. The Atlanta Regional Commission hired him to organize a charrette this winter. It's all more than I can explain but in the course of the event Mr. Duany gave 2 talks that you can watch on the web.
There are 2 great things about the talks for me. First Mr. Duany is the premier "explainer" of new urbanism. Second, he talks specifically about Atlanta where I've lived for 40 years.
Now each talk lasts about an hour. If you are an Atlantan you should watch. Here is they are. But I'm going to save you some time.
- “Lifelong Communities Opening Plenary Session” with Andres Duany, 2/11/09
- ARC “Lifelong Communities Charrette Mid-point Design Review”, with Andres Duany
- Andres Duany Closing Presentation on 2/17/09 - Part 1, Overview
- Andres Duany Closing Presentation on 2/17/09 - Part 2, Site Designs
From Mr. Duany
Prior to 1950, there were no retirement communities in the world
Everything is about retrofitting suburban sprawl (Atlanta) is not Seaside...
Housing went out first, retailers moved out independently 10 years later and because it moved out separately, it landed separately; retail and housing were no longer integrated... shopping centers had a curtailed edge so you couldn't even walk to them
Essentially there is no choice in the suburbs. Everybody has the same lifestyle...Everybody drives everywhere for everything...
In the '80's the business park was invented - where you have lunchtime congestion - you have to drive to lunch
Suburbia works only for people in their middle years, with enough money to buy one car per adult
Traffic congestion makes driving really a bore... (not like the car commercials)
Everybody thinks that developers always had a bad name. Developers are like the most embarrassing thing you can have as a dad for example. That wasn't always so.
Can a young person now be stolen from you - young talent - by a cooler city?
The alley is a very nice social space where you can be messier...
Guys especially have no male space in the American House
You can build the most beautiful park in the world and if the edges are dead, the park is dead and unsafe. The trick of designing open space is what's around it.
(Malls are) spaceship landings surrounded by parking.
NORC - Naturally Occurring Retirement Community
Millennials - Grew up in the suburbs and for them the suburbs have no magic. They did the mall, they did the cul-de-sac and they love cities.
From Ellen Dunham-Jones, author of "Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs" April 16, 2009
"Drive 'til you qualify" for a home loan - current model or affordable home ownership.
A "drive-to" walkable experience. Belmar's Lakewood Colorado, Disneyworld, Atlantic Station
"Grayfield" - the parking lot around a dead or dying mall. A place or new urban redevelopment / retrofit
"Spin Farming" "S-mall P-lot IN-tensive" urban farming
"Reinhabitation" - dead malls reinvigorated often by immigrant communities. Burford Highway in Atlanta. Also by gentrifying
Instant Urbanism, Faux Urbanism. Seaside, Disneyworld, Atlantic Station, Glenwood Park. A criticism. "real" urbanism take time. Ms. Dunham-Jones says that some of the best of "old urabanism" was built over a very brief period.
Flexibility of the Grid - New York's grid has worked for everything, every density, and every period. It's the most flexible design.
Fist Fights over Everything. It's very hard.
Leap Frogging. Most "inner" suburbs and malls have been leap frogged by more distant suburbs and malls. The more distant ones get leapfrogged again. Most inner suburbs decline. Now the inner suburbs are more central and (denser, closer to transportation) ripe for retrofitting. In Atlanta think North Lake (still in decent shape), Gwinnet Place, then Mall of Georgia.
The suburbs dominate job growth.
Architecture Tourists in Atlanta should visit Glenwood Park to see why new urbanism is so appealing.Glenwood Park, Atlanta
Photo by Valerie Watson