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Paramount747

Infill in the Urban Core

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7 hours ago, Paramount747 said:

I do want at least one 700 foot tall tower to adorn our skyline, but we have 100's of surface areas that need to contain buildings rather than asphalt. Infill is the bridge.  As in software where the kernel is the bridge between the  API and the CPU, infill is the true connectivity of a city. Infill still provides the pedestrian experience, and enables people to interact. Rarely is there much interaction when people are coming and going from a large high rise structure. In many cases, the place where people congregate are the infill places, not the high rises.

 

 

 

 

This is all on point. While skyscrapers are nice, they rarely contribute to the neighborhood or pedestrian experience. In turn, infill is good, but best served in the form of mixed use. Residential is good, but unless it's combined with some form of retail it's dull at times. Our problem here in San Antonio is that we've producing a high amount of urban infill (situations similar to the Gulch, just not as tall of developments), but for the most part it's in the form of 5 or 6 floors of residential with little (approx. 2,500 sq ft) or no commercial space.

While some will knock it, hotel space in the form of infill, is highly successful. Street activation plus the typical accompanying commercial/dining space is typical and goes a long way.

Just to jog our brains (outside of Chicago, NYC, Philly, maybe a few others), I'll go out on a ledge and say that the more walkable, pedestrian friendly, urban core/CBD's with active streets have an abnormally low amount of height in their skylines. Seems coincidental, but it's not.

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As a city we want to emulate places like Denver and Portland. Excellent density like that brings so many benefits. Washington DC is another great example of a mid rise city with enormous density and walkability.

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