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The New American Landscape: A New Urbanist's Perspective

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Daniel Parolek's plenary presentation from the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute's 19th Annual Land Use Conference in Denver, CO on March 4, 2010. This session discussed using New Urbanist principles as a model for creating the “new American landscape”, focusing specifically on New Urbanism’s ability to address community design and sustainability at a variety of scales. It discussed a variety of tools that can be utilized to create a framework for change, including form based codes, the Congress for New Urbanism sustainability initiatives, and LEED for Neighborhood Design.

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The New American Landscape: A New Urbanist's Perspective

  1. 1. The New American Landscape: A New Urbanist’s Perspective Daniel Parolek Principal, Opticos Design, Inc. daniel.parolek@opticosdesign.com Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute " Annual Conference March 4, 2010 Denver, Colorado
  2. 2. My Optimistic Mindset: Wishful Thinking? 100% SPRAWL New York Times: Tucker Nichols The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  3. 3. Presentation Overview 1.  Three Important Aspects of New Urban Landscape 2.  Tools for Getting Us There: Challenging Convention 3.  An invitation for Us to Collaborate In Getting There The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  4. 4. 1 The New American Landscape Reinforces “Missing Middle” Housing Types
  5. 5. A Major Shift in the Way People Live “I think it’s amazing in America when you drive around and look at new homes that are being built, there are three-car garages. I don’t think you’re going to see families with three cars. I think you’re going to see families with one car, possibly two.” The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  6. 6. Issue: The Way We Regulate and Build Density
  7. 7. Contorting the Single Family House The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  8. 8. Density Without Amenity The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  9. 9. There is More to Smart Growth and Density Than This The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  10. 10. What is the “Missing Middle?”
  11. 11. The “Missing Middle” Building Types Mansion Apartment: 6-8 units Duplex Fourplex Bungalow Court The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  12. 12. Small Ecological Footprint 1. Supporting a pattern of walkable neighborhoods 2. Reaching transit-supportive rooftop thresholds 3. Reducing auto trips (VMT) and supporting a local economy by providing enough rooftops to support neighborhood main streets. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  13. 13. Duplexes Typical Lot Size Typical Density 60’ x 125’ 12-24 DU/Acre The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  14. 14. Bungalow Courts Typical Lot Size Typical Density 100 x 125’ 20-35 DU/Acre The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  15. 15. Mansion Apartment (6-8 Units) Typical Lot Size Typical Density 100’ x 125’ 21-28 DU/Acre The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  16. 16. Responding to Climate Change “The body of research surveyed here shows that much of the rise in vehicle emissions can be curbed simply by growing in a way that will make it easier for Americans to drive less. In fact, the weight of the evidence shows that, with more compact development, people drive 20 to 40 percent less, at minimal or reduced cost, while reaping other fiscal and health benefits. ..The term “compact development” does not imply high-rise or even uniformly high density, but rather higher average “blended” densities. Compact development also features a mix of land uses, development 
 of strong population and employment centers, interconnection of streets, 
 and the design of structures and spaces at a human scale..” “Growing Cooler” -Ewing The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  17. 17. Blending of Density Townhouse! 18 du/acre Mews House! 15 du/acre Courtyard 30 du/acre Single Family 9-13 du/acre The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  18. 18. How are New Urbanists Addressing This Issue?
  19. 19. Mansion Apartment: High-Quality Living Typical Lot Size Typical Density 100’ x 125’ 21-28 DU/Acre East Beach: Norfolk, VA. DPZ and UDA The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  20. 20. Good Example in Your “Back Yard” Typical Lot Size Typical Density 100’ x 65’ 14-21 DU/Acre Stapleton: Denver, Colorado. Calthorpe Associates The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  21. 21. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  22. 22. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  23. 23. Live-Work Unit Typical Lot Size Typical Density 25’ x 125’ 14-28 DU/Acre South Main: Buena Vista, CO. Opticos Design-Colorado Built Green Certified The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  24. 24. Form-Based Code Components 1.  Regulating Plan 2.  Building Form Standards 3.  Public Space Standards (Thoroughfares & Civic Spaces) 4.  Frontage Type Standards 5.  Block and Lot Subdivision Standards 6.  Building Type Standards 7.  Sustainability Standards 8.  Green Building Standards 9.  Architecture & Landscape Architecture Standards The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  25. 25. Menu of Building Types 1.  Single-Unit House 2.  Single-Unit House, Sideyard 3.  Carriage House 4.  Bungalow Court 5.  Duplex 6.  Townhouse 7.  Triplex & Fourplex 8.  Mansion Apartment 9.  Live-Work 10.  Stacked Units 11.  Courtyard Apartments 12.  Commercial Block 13.  Liner Buildings The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  26. 26. Building Type Standards: Supplemental The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  27. 27. Appropriate Scale Infill at 20 du/acre Existing Conditions Typical Lot: 150 deep x 60’ wide = 9,000 sf Existing zoning allows 20 du/acre = 4 units What does 20 du/acre look like? The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  28. 28. Appropriate Scale Infill at 20 du/acre Inappropriately scaled infill at 20 du/acre The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  29. 29. Appropriate Scale Infill at 20 du/acre Appropriately scaled infill at 20 du/acre The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  30. 30. 2 The New American Landscape Reinforces and Integrates Neighborhood Main Streets
  31. 31. Why Are Neighborhood Main Streets Important? 1.  Import way to reduce VMT and GHG emissions 2.  Foster sense of community (“Third place”) 3.  Incubate and support small, local businesses Denver, CO The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  32. 32. Very Similar to Small Town Main Streets Salida, CO The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  33. 33. Issue: Many Obstacles for Main Streets New & Old
  34. 34. Are Your Regulations Killing Your Main Streets? Jocelyn Caste Neighborhood, Omaha, NE The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  35. 35. Are Your Regulations Killing Your Main Streets? Hurdles to Reuse for Pastry Shop: 1.  Zone: R7-Allows 75’ tall residential, but not commercial 2.  Two-part special use permit ($560) A.  City Planning Board (meets once a month)- will deny application B.  Planning Board of Appeals (meets once a month) $1,000 3.  Nine-Space Parking parking lot required for occupancy permit (det. by # of tables) $20,000 if space 4.  Lost rent: $2,000-$4,000 min. Jocelyn Caste Neighborhood, Omaha, NE The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  36. 36. Why are They Not Being Built Very Often? 1.  Podded land use mapping does not allow for them 2.  New road networks and design discourage them 3.  ULI’s Neighborhood Center= 20,000 sf grocery store and supporting strip mall 4.  Regulatory barriers: Parking, setbacks, etc. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  37. 37. How are New Urbanists Addressing This Issue?
  38. 38. Reinforcing Existing Neighborhood Structure Neighborhood, District, and Corridor Documentation: Grass Valley, CA. Opticos Design, Inc. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  39. 39. Neighborhood Main Street Documentation Neighborhood Main Street Documentation: Opticos Design, Inc. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  40. 40. Form-Based Codes: Providing Predictability The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  41. 41. Refining Mixed Use Regulations with Form-Based Codes 1.  Encouraging revitalization and preservations 2.  Transforming strip centers into main streets 3.  Removing obstacles for main streets in new neighborhoods The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  42. 42. From Strip Mall to Main Street Livermore, CA, Development Code Update: Opticos Design, Inc. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  43. 43. From Strip Mall to Main Street Livermore, CA, Development Code Update: Opticos Design, Inc. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  44. 44. From Strip Mall to Main Street Livermore, CA, Development Code Update: Opticos Design, Inc. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  45. 45. Prospect New Town: Incubating Local Businesses Prospect New Town: Longmont, CO. DPZ The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  46. 46. I’On: Social and Commercial Center I’On Neighborhood: Mount Pleasant, SC. DPZ and Dover Kohl The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  47. 47. Central Hercules: Several Complete Neighborhoods Hercules Waterfront Plan: Sargent Town Planning, Central Hercules Plan: Dover Kohl The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  48. 48. East Beach: Social and Commercial Center East Beach Neighborhood: Norfolk, CA. DPZ and UDA The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  49. 49. 3 The New American Landscape Clearly Defines and Regulates for a True Rural Environment
  50. 50. Typical Rural Context Towns Villages and Countryside: Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council w. Dover Kohl. St. Lucie County, FL The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  51. 51. How to Get to a True Rural Landscape? 1.  Realizing that large lot single family does not equal rural 2.  Understanding rural urbanism: What it is and how to regulate for it 3.  Rural development should not be suburban development 4.  Clustering only works at very large scale The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  52. 52. 4 The New American Landscape Needs New Tools to Get Use There
  53. 53. CNU is a Multi-Disciplinary Think Tank The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  54. 54. Rethinking the Way We Design and Engineer Streets The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  55. 55. First Rating System for Green Neighborhoods The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  56. 56. Making Zoning Default to Walkable Urbanism “Top 20 Ways to Make a Green, Smart City” #2 Replace Your Euclidean Zoning 
 with 
 Form-Based Codes Rob Dixon, Albuquerque developer in his plenary presentation at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, January 2009 The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  57. 57. Form-Based Codes: Regulating Places Not Uses The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  58. 58. Performance Measures for Places The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  59. 59. Priorities for a New Generation of New Urbanists
  60. 60. Supporting Local Economies and Food Production The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  61. 61. Triple Bottom Line for Businesses The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  62. 62. Practicing What We Preach The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  63. 63. 5 The New American Landscape Is in Progress
  64. 64. My Mindset: What I’ll Settle For MEETING THE DEMAND OF 40% OF THE MARKET FOR WALKABLE URBANISM 100% SPRAWL New York Times: Tucker Nichols The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  65. 65. Seasdie, FL, Private Residence: Opticos Design, Inc. The New American Landscape" The New Urbanist’s Perspective
  66. 66. The New American Landscape: A New Urbanist’s Perspective Daniel Parolek Principal, Opticos Design, Inc. daniel.parolek@opticosdesign.com Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Annual Conference March 4, 2010 Denver, Colorado

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