Monday, November 06, 2006

Voila -- Suburban Centers!

With the emphasis recently on the new development of downtown SLC and the Downtown Rising project, I felt a little out of sync in discussion the "centerization" of the suburbs -- see some of the recent blog postings.

But now, here comes a story in today's Trib about the attempted creation of "downtowns" in some of the suburban communities. No question it's hard to create from scratch, and it may not always succeed, but the attempt is underway. The emphasis still seems to be heavily on retail, however, with office and job centers as kind of an afterthought. We have the same issue going in Davis County with Farmington Station. We need to get those jobs in there to make them more truly viable "urban" centers.

17 Comments:

At 10:09 AM, Blogger google_PEAK_OIL said...

The quote "It was born of a sense of loss" caught my eye. People are finally starting to wonder whatever happened to the public realm they remember from an earlier times in their lives or they heard about from their parents or saw in old movies. Driving to the distant mall or big box to wander among strangers just isn't the same thing.

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger vagabond said...

I think the trend toward town centers is a combination of things. I do believe there are still enough of us who remember a time when things were simpler and perhaps slower paced and we long for that.

Look at the trend toward building retro athletic stadiums and renovation of older buildings and homes.

Anyone heard of the Antiques Roadshow?

People are perhaps disenchanted with the light speed of today's modern society and the emptiness of our commercial spaces which may fill our bellies and closets but can't address the nagging collective loneliness in our hearts.

Architecture and planning, when delivered well, can provide a sense of well being. Perhaps the new town centers being planned will partially off set the "sense of loss" that people are feeling. What I am truly hoping for is that the next generation will cherish our return to "retro" land use enough to embrace and improve upon it.

Until then...happy commuting.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Utah Peaknik said...

I hope that everyone here reads Andres Duany's "Suburban Nation."

It's written in such a way that anyone can read it, but it still gives a lot of good insights to sprawl that I had never even thought of.

Have you ever thought of just how much real estate is wasted with conventional suburban development? Think of all of those parking lots that are just half full most of the time, front yards that are rarely if ever used, etc.

 
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