Having worked in communities big and small across the continent, we’ve had ample opportunity to test ideas and find approaches that work best. Urban design details. Outreach tactics. Implementation tricks. Many of these lessons are transferable, which is why we’ve created “Back of the Envelope,” a weekly feature where we jot ’em down for your consideration.
A number of recent conversations with Stefanos Polyzoides, Howard Blackson, and Matt Lambert regarding density and residential types has me thinking about building typology as one solution to visualizing and embracing density.
The Congress for the New Urbanism’s annual convergence of giganto ideas and fine-grained pragmatism wrapped Saturday night with a party in a bar. The four days in West Palm Beach, Florida, marked the 20th anniversary of such gatherings, most of which also involved spill-over debates in venues with liquor licenses.
As usual, the CNU20 agenda was packed with passion and ambition, with a smidgeon of apocalyptic visioning to dampen out-of-control hopefulness. So what’s on the minds of the NU designers, planners and fellow travelers these days?
Okay, I’m not confident David Byrne would be all that excited about turning an ironic subtitle from the Talking Heads’ 1984 tune into a community engagement tactic. But stay with me here.
Over the last few months, the urban planning universe has been all atwitter (literally) with concern over how “those people,” the Agenda 21ers and Tea Party folks, have been making life tough in public meetings and planning processes. In February, a “Facing the Critics” session at the New Partners for Smart Growth conference in San Diego attracted a standing-room-only crowd desperate for solutions to out-of-control meetings. (You can download presentations from that session here.) And in just the last couple weeks, I’ve attended meetings in Boston and Burlington, Vermont with similar topics on the agenda.