Friday, May 22, 2009

New Urbanism

I'm very happy our new house is in a walkable environment. This clip is an ad for the "new urbanism" movement. I hope it catches on, for both environmental and aesthetic reasons. If more areas were nice and walkable, the price of nice, walkable areas would be lower, and more people could live in them.

3 Comments:

OpenID ai-meilian said...

That was one of the things I liked most about Japan when I travelled there: so much of it was eminently "walkable." While it does have its share of sprawl, Japanese urban planning made me even more disgusted with Suburbia than I already was.

Unfortunately, I think a good chunk of that is due to something that American culture lost centuries ago: the concept of "sacred ground." It seems you're hardly ever more than two stones' throws away from a shrine or temple, even in the Tokyo urban jungle. It's very obviously helped Japan conserve her natural resources to a larger extent than other modernised countries (going from impression alone, mind you; it would be interesting to study the ratio per capita of developed to semi-preserved land by country). Christianity almost never inspires the creation of a park or garden -- just huge edifices and matching parking lots -- whereas both Shinto and Buddhism relish in natural beauty.

7:05 AM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Niko said...

I am currently writing my senior thesis on how walkability affects housing values in Portland, OR. We (my advisor and I) are using the scores from walkscore.com, which you have written about before, to get a measure of how easy it is to live 'car-lite,' and seeing if there is a premium associated with high walk scores.
We are still getting data for all the variables we want to include, and we only have the housing sale values for single-family residential houses, so the densest areas aren't included, but I'm very curious to see what we find. It's been very interesting reading up on all the literature, and learning about new urbanism. Jane Jacobs's "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," recommended to me by a friend and frequently cited in the literature, is a great book about it all (well, I haven't finished it, but it is great so far).

11:11 AM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Sarah said...

Great video. Now I feel even more psyched about our house. Even if it needs a new foundation!

8:32 AM, June 03, 2009  

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