Thursday, October 13, 2005

New Suburban Villages in Utah

Two interesting stories in the papers today, demonstrating perhaps the efficacy of Kotkin's point about suburban villages.

The first is about the Real Salt Lake soccer stadium announcement in Sandy, which I've written about in a couple of previous blog entries. The announcement was an even stronger expression of creation of a suburban activity center, with the stadium, performance arts venue, office buildings, and commercial development. All this right across from Jordan Commons and near the SouthTown Expo Center. Sounds like much of what you find in many traditional urban cores. Read about it in the Trib and DesNews stories.

Second was the next installment of the "west bench" plan being prepared by Kennecott Land. The stories in the Trib and DesNews note that the plan shows two major urban cores, along with a number of smaller villages and town centers of mixed use in between. Sounds just like what Kotkin writes about, when he says the suburbs should be developed as "archipelagos" of suburban villages or activity centers. Only in this case, the plan was prepared by that paragon of smart growth and new urbanism, Peter Calthorpe. Most interesting.

6 Comments:

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Andrea Peterson said...

Why I ditched XMLRPC in favor of Pyro
I ran into a situation recently where I needed to pass "None" as a value to some code which runs under the SimpleXMLRPCServer in the Python standard library.
Find out how you can buy and sell anything, like things related to private road construction on interest free credit and pay back whenever you want! Exchange FREE ads on any topic, like private road construction!

 
At 5:40 AM, Blogger google_PEAK_OIL said...

I haven't quite made up my mind about "Suburban Villages". I fear that breaking up a city core into a bunch of mini-cores that are like islands in a sea of suburban sprawl will only make public transportation less viable. Unless all the mini cores are more or less in a straight line, how are you going to interconnect them with light rail?
When you build things like sports stadiums that are meant to attract people from all points of the sprawl-scape, you will only create worse traffic problems. Large numbers of people will no longer be moving from periphery to core, but from all mini-cores to all other mini-cores.

And most importantly, how are all these mini-cores with impractical public transportation service going to receive all the outsiders they need to fill their stadiums and restaurants when the percentage of Utahns who can no longer afford to live by the car is going to grow every year until it includes most of us?

I'm afraid you may have to implement one of those retype the numbers log in things to discourage blog spammers.

 
At 5:28 AM, Blogger Wilf said...

Peak Oil:

If there is a scourage in the world these days, its spammers! Where do I find info on how to keep them out of the comments?

You make some good points about whether a series of suburban centers would work better, as far as commuting is concerned. In my mind, if there is a weakness to the idea of suburban centers or villages, it is that people do wind up travelling all over the region for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is travelling for work.

It happens now. As much as we think the idea of living close to work is neat and how things work, it just doesn't. It's one of the reasons why transit will have only limited success in Davis County -- only about 10 percent of our daily commuters travel to downtown SLC, which all our transit is focused on. Most of the rest tavel all over the place -- I have people in my neighborhood who travel to the International Center by the airport, to Lake Park in West Valley City, to Draper, I even have one neighbor who travels to Orem from Kaysville every day to go to work!

So even if we go to a pattern of suburban villages, people will still travel all over the region to get to work, to go to soccer games, etc., which won't make transit as we know it very useful.

As a Davis County resident and soccer fan, I really would have preferred to see the RSL stadium in downtown SLC -- much closer for me. Now, having to go all the way to Sandy, may mean I go to fewer games. It certainly will be less convenient.

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger google_PEAK_OIL said...

wilf said:
It happens now. As much as we think the idea of living close to work is neat and how things work, it just doesn't. It's one of the reasons why transit will have only limited success in Davis County -- only about 10 percent of our daily commuters travel to downtown SLC, which all our transit is focused on. Most of the rest tavel all over the place -- I have people in my neighborhood who travel to the International Center by the airport, to Lake Park in West Valley City, to Draper, I even have one neighbor who travels to Orem from Kaysville every day to go to work!

Did you happen to see today's cover story in USA Today?
"Debate Brews: Has Oil Production Peaked?" Maybe I'm not as big a loonie as everyone thinks.
Yes there are a lot of trans-county commuters. They made seemingly reasonable decisions about where they would work and live based on the costs of real estate and transportation at the time. But those dynamics are going to change dramatically, and soon. They say Americans move every seven years on the average, and probably change jobs more often. Future decisions people make about where they live and where they work will come to be dominated by a factor that was once considered trivial - transportation costs. People are going to alter their lifestyles to be less car dependent. They will try to move closer to their jobs, schools, churches and stores. And it won't be because some damn dirty car hating hippies told them to - it will be because they just can't afford a 30,000 mile a year life anymore.

I am not totally opposed to suburban villages. They could be just the dense mixed use cores that people will need to migrate to when reality starts taking their car keys away. While they may be built with the intent of attracting commerce from all over the place, they may evolve into centers of activity mostly for those within walking and biking distance.

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Paul Adams said...

A fantastic blog yours. Keep it up.
If you have a moment, please visit my credit Utah site.
I send you warm regards and wish you continued success.

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

free ontario classified ads

 

Post a Comment

<< Home