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From: Downtown Master Plan & Urban Code

Posted by Spartan , 01 February 2010 · 1,002 views

urban design street pedestrian
Context: My stance is that the urban environment requires that the pedestrian be treated as king. All building projects should be oriented towards the street, and all streets should be built for people. Skyscrapers are an inherent part of any city- however, in this case, Spartanburg wants to establish a height restriction. The problem is that some people want skyscrapers.

I personally don't care what happens. Spartanburg has only had 1 thing that qualifies as a skyscraper built in the past 20 years, so its not like people are beating down the door to build them. As long as we stop allowing projects that ignore the pedestrian we will be in better shape all around.

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The public at large wants to keep the "small town feel" of Spartanburg. Skyscrapers don't fit in a small town.

By establishing a height restriction, the city would spread out the density and still maintain a small town feel. Land prices are at a premium in DC because of the height restrictions, so people won't lose money in the long run. The issue is not the height of the building but how it addresses the street. Density for the sake of density doesn't make a great city. Charlotte has skyscrapers, but the city's uptown is not all that great because so many of the buildings, residential and commercial, ignore the pedestrian environment. We have density in Charlotte, and we have nothing to show for it.

Source: Downtown Master Plan & Urban Code





Preserving history and building out an urban landscape (sidewalks, bike lanes, street facing businesses that don't have a parking lot between the street and the business, etc.) is MUCH more important than anything vertical. I'll trade you all the skyscrapers in the world for a true urban environment like Washington DC.
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