Let’s Take a Traditional City Break 4: Many Variations, One Theme
September 25, 2011
Buildings side by side and up against the street
Most “city design” websites I’ve visited are pretty pathetic. A lot of open-ended blahblah about things that don’t matter that much, general griping about the present state of affairs, and solutions that are mediocre at best.
Not to mention, way too many white picket fences. Please.
The one and only exception: the extraordinary Charles Gardner at oldurbanist.blogspot.com. He is very much in tune with what we are talking about here, but he has his own style and inspirations which add an enormous amount to our discussion. Among the crowd of muchkins he towers above as a top-class intellect. We need another dozen or so websites like his.
Charles recently did an excellent series about some New Urbanist projects on the coast in Florida. You know I like to kick around the New Urbanists, but these projects are surprisingly good! Yes, they come nowhere close to some of the epic successes that we like to chronicle here. They could be improved, and they show the results of fuzzy thinking. Nevertheless, I see real progress, as opposed to some other New Urbanists projects which are basically just 19th Century Hypertrophism, with maybe a back alley added and a whole lot of congratulatory verbiage. Charles Gardner’s comments are also right on: brief, insightful, focused on the important things. What’s with those academics and their hideous academic babble? They are so useless.
The Successor: Rosemary Beach
Alys Beach: New Urbanism Samples the Old
Last Look at Seaside
More nice townhouses from San Francisco.
What if you combined this, just like this right here, with a Really Narrow Street of about 16 feet wide? Seems like it would be pretty nice if you ask me.
Tokyo apartment building. Note the street width here.
Simple townhouse, Tokyo. Parking on the first level.
Townhouses with parking.
Trying to fit the cars in.
What did you think those teeny cars are for? Teeny streets!
More Tokyo. Lovely backstreet. All of those signs denote small restaurants and bars.
It’s good to have a few photos with people. Things you can do when you get rid of the CARS.
Look at the architecture in the back. Nice.
Reno, Nevada. 1940s I think.
Now that is some spectacular architecture.
This is how you are supposed to do it.
Busan, South Korea.
Somewhere in Europe…
Yes, people live here. Why not?
Where are the CARS?
Even on the more “arterial” type streets, with separated sidewalks and two full lanes in the middle, the cars just sort of disappear.
I thought it was a time for a miniskirts-in-winter photo.
“Planking,” South Korea.
A pair of very narrow townhouses. Setback in front allows for parking (bike parking in this case).
The store on the right is a hair salon.
If you’ve been following along, you know that we have had a constant back-and-forth between Asian-style contemporary hugger mugger (lots of fun, doesn’t look so hot), and European gentility (looks great, not nearly so much fun). In some of these more historical Asian areas we have a splendid combination of fabulous hugger-mugger that also looks great. Let’s just pause here to appreciate their accomplishments.
Back into the hugger-mugger …
Here’s a set of photos of ways to provide parking without the “wall of garage doors” effect.
Parking on the right.
Look at the street width here.
A little spooky if you ask me, especially in an earthquake-prone place.
This is pretty much your typical “big blank two car garage door at street level,” but for some reason I think it works here.
You wouldn’t want all the houses to look like this, but if some of them do that is OK.
The trick is to integrate it into the facade of the building in a pleasing way.
A sort of “half-carport.”
Other commentary in this series:
August 21, 2011: How To Make A Pile of Dough With the Traditional City 6: Better Than a Thousand Words
July 31, 2011: How To Make a Pile of Dough With the Traditional City 5: The New New Suburbanism
July 17, 2011: How To Make A Pile of Dough With the Traditional City 4: More SFDR/SFAR Solutions
July 3, 2011: The New World Economics Guide to Men’s Fashion
June 12, 2011: How to Make a Pile of Dough with the Traditional City 3: Single Family Detached in the Traditional City Style
May 15, 2011: A Ski Resort Village
May 1, 2011: Let’s Take a Traditional City Break 3: Life With Really Narrow Streets
April 3, 2011: Let’s Take a Trip to the Skinniest House in New York
March 20, 2011: Let’s Take a Trip to Julianne Moore’s House
February 13, 2011: Let’s Take a Traditional City Break 2: More Really Narrow Streets Than You Can Shake a Stick At
February 6, 2011: Let’s Take a Traditional City Break
December 19, 2010: Life Without Cars: 2010 Edition
October 17, 2010: The Problem of Scarcity 3: Resource Scarcity
August 22, 2010: How to Make a Pile of Dough with the Traditional City
August 1, 2010: The Problem With Bicycles
June 6, 2010: Transitioning to the Traditional City 2: Pooh-poohing the Naysayers
May 23, 2010: Transitioning to the Traditional City
May 16, 2010: The Service Economy
April 18, 2010: How to Live the Good Life in the Traditional City
April 4, 2010: The Problem With Little Teeny Farms 2: How Many Acres Can Sustain a Family?
March 28, 2010: The Problem With Little Teeny Farms
March 14, 2010: The Traditional City: Bringing It All Together
March 7, 2010: Let’s Take a Trip to Suburban Hell
February 21, 2010: Toledo, Spain or Toledo, Ohio?
January 31, 2010: Let’s Take a Trip to New York 2: The Bad and the Ugly
January 24, 2010: Let’s Take a Trip to New York City
January 10, 2010: We Could All Be Wizards
December 27, 2009: What a Real Train System Looks Like
December 13, 2009: Life Without Cars: 2009 Edition
November 22, 2009: What Comes After Heroic Materialism?
November 15, 2009: Let’s Kick Around Carfree.com
November 8, 2009: The Future Stinks
October 18, 2009: Let’s Take Another Trip to Venice
October 10, 2009: Place and Non-Place
September 28, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to Barcelona
September 20, 2009: The Problem of Scarcity 2: It’s All In Your Head
September 13, 2009: The Problem of Scarcity
July 26, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to an American Village 3: How the Suburbs Came to Be
July 19, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to an American Village 2: Downtown
July 12, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to an American Village
May 3, 2009: A Bazillion Windmills
April 19, 2009: Let’s Kick Around the “Sustainability” Types
March 3, 2009: Let’s Visit Some More Villages
February 15, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to the French Village
February 1, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to the English Village
January 25, 2009: How to Buy Gold on the Comex (scroll down)
January 4, 2009: Currency Management for Little Countries (scroll down)
December 28, 2008: Currencies are Causes, not Effects (scroll down)
December 21, 2008: Life Without Cars
August 10, 2008: Visions of Future Cities
July 20, 2008: The Traditional City vs. the “Radiant City”
December 2, 2007: Let’s Take a Trip to Tokyo
October 7, 2007: Let’s Take a Trip to Venice
June 17, 2007: Recipe for Florence
July 9, 2007: No Growth Economics
March 26, 2006: The Eco-Metropolis