Comments about ‘New urbanism pioneer Joe Alfandre helped build communities, and now son James looks to shake them up’

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Published: Friday, May 31 2013 7:10 p.m. MDT

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canduny
Tucson, AZ

It will probably be popular, but frankly, it looks like a piece of Bangladesh or the bad side New Delhi. Maybe that's point.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

I wish this guy much success. Here in Davis County where I live one literally cannot do ANYTHING without climbing into the car. We have massive traffic issues such that whenever I'm driving in it I think "we must be stark raving mad to live in this mess." But we have married the car and with it maddening sprawl. It will be a long way back.

Third try screen name
Mapleton, UT

The origins of unintended consequences.
You wrongly define the problem and then create the wrong solution.
Take the decline of cities. People left them because of crime, racial/ethnic tension, poor schools and the desire to have some quiet space.
How about Daybreak? At the end of the day it was maximum sales contracts in minimum space. In other words, a business model designed to bring in the most dollars per acre.
Road congestion? People need to get to work. When you map out home-to-job you'll see what I mean.
There was a consultant who studied my old home of Elgin, IL. He suggested transit lines, fewer street lights and local jobs/shopping. In other words, the town in 1950.
But the watch factory is gone and people work in other towns. Businesses want to locate somewhere else for a variety of reasons.
If these urban developers want to go back to the future, they'll need to bring jobs with them. (Hint: An artist enclave and social service agency offices are not going to do it. Think SUSTAINABLE jobs that add to the economy.)

JBQ
Saint Louis, MO

The new urbanism in most urban centers is not the vision of SLC. It is such as St. Louis with a population which fell from 850K to 319K. The only reason that it did not fall any lower is because of the 70K Bosnians. St. Louis sits in the bend of the Mississippi. The houses are old and the middle class has left for the suburbs and their houses to the poor. Famous for housing projects like Pruitt-Igoe, the poor are now being "given" houses in the suburbs to create political correctness. The suburbs surround the inner city doughnut with rural areas surrounding that outside St. Louis County. Across from my childhood home, an Irish family of 10 was raised. This family has been replaced with three separate poor families living in the same structure and violating the housing code. As in most moved poor families, the breadwinner is a female who works for the post office and the males are drug dealers. The mortgage is paid for by the federal government which helped instigate the housing crisis. The Catholic schools are offering free tuition to the poor courtesy of federal grants. The middle class is suffering or moving.

ndslc
Daybreak, UT

Kentlands killed Gaithersburg

I applaud their efforts to renew that portion of SLC but as a native of Gaithersburg, I am frustrated that the SLC media does not dig deeper into the serious socio-economic issues created for the city by the Kentlands community. For SLC appropriate analogies, think, Old Downtown Malls when The Gateway was built or now The Gateway once City Creek was built. Everyone wanted new but never considered its impact on what is "old" and left-behind. That lack of foresight leaves the community reeling and the area ripe for "the next new thing."

While the Kentlands might create a positive experience for its residents, the rest of Gaithersburg has paid a long-term price at the benefit of the Kentlands.

Chachi
Charlottesville, VA

I'm all for New Urbanism. If Kentlands was bad for Gaithersburg, it was because Kentlands was designed right and is the sort of community in which people want to live. Do we blame DVDs for making VHS obsolete? Suburban sprawl makes for a lifestyle centered around waiting at stoplights. New Urbanism tries to create a lifestyle centered around a small-town sense of community. Don't blame New Urbanism if it's better than the alternative, and therefore more successful, and the old neighborhood stagnates as a result.

I don't like the shipping containers, though. Maybe the art community thinks that's very avant-garde and countercultural or whatever, but it's ugly. New Urbanist neighborhoods succeed because they're a return to the sort of traditional American towns that we romanticize and wish we grew up in--not because they're on the cutting edge of artsy trends.

danaslc
Kearns, UT

Start by tearing all the massive empty buildings and turning them back into fields of trees. Over building has killed us all. It has taken away areas for our kids to explore. Build a front porch onto your house and use it. It will cut down on crime and keep your neighborhood safer. It will make everyone better neighbors. First tear down the vacant warehouses and buildings.

ndslc
Daybreak, UT

Chachi, have you visited the Kentlands? I am guessing you haven't.

Since you are from Charlottesville, let's use this example. Pretend that UVA, which is situated on a wonderful campus with historic buildings, decided to build the supposed "perfect" new campus ten miles from the existing campus. Would you be fine with the University abandoning the existing, historic campus for greener pastures just because it is supposedly better? That's what Gaithersburg did...it threw away its historic downtown and neighborhoods for something shiny and new because the shiny and new is supposedly better.

It's easy to say "Then it did its job" but that is a close minded statement. Is urban planning supposed to constantly draw people like magnets to new areas and leave wastelands in its wake? No, thoughtful design complements existing communities and builds on past success. Look at the A.C. Miller community Spring Valley in Northwest DC or Montgomery Village in Montgomery County. In their early days they added value to existing communities and remain strong today.

milhouse
Atlanta, GA

I'm thrilled that developers are considering alternatives to sprawling suburban neighborhoods. If people didn't want to move into them, then developers wouldn't be building them.

JDL
Magna, UT

There was a day when neighborhoods worked because there were children in them with mothers and fathers, families. I remember riding my bike with my friends in old Taylorsville, Kearns, Granger area. There was allot of rural but there were also subdivisions and schools and churches. It was a great place to grow up. When I married I moved West to an area much like I grew up in. I raised my kids and they had a ton of fun. Families is what drives people to the suburbs. The new urbanism is not anywhere close to family friendly.

James quotes the Declaration of Independence "A rising generation seeks a new way of living. They want a place where life, work and the pursuit of happiness are combined in a renewed and sustainable way," It's very obvious that James doesn't even know what the Pursuit of Happiness means. It means "Real Property with title." Condo's and tenements are NOT real property with title.

I've learned that people grab hold of catch phrases and movements like sustainable and new urbanism, and have no clue what they really mean or who or what is behind them. Try UN Agenda 21

Moabmom
Moab, UT

JDL is exactly right! Call it what ever you want, "New Urbanism" = Agenda 21. ( A rose by any other name is still a rose.}

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