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orulz

Walkable villages in Hillsborough and Efland?

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As stated in this thread, The Village Project is a grassroots organization based in Orange County that believes strongly in walkable, denser, transit compatible neighborhoods. Most recently, they came up with a plan for a denser, more heavily residential Carolina North.

Before the Carolina North plan, The Village Project apparently put together fairly impressive transit-oriented development plans for two small towns in Orange County where sprawl hasn't hit in full force yet, Efland and Hillsborough, complete with models drawings. To be honest some of the material on the website is a bit flighty and idealistic, but the theme of reduced auto-dependancy and an emphasis on density, walking, and transit has left me generally impressed. This is definitely what I want to see every time I hear about a new "mixed use/new urban" project, but realistically any developments like this will have to succeed or fail on a project-by-project basis rather being adopted as the mainstream.

The idea that transit-orientedand walkable neighborhoods can succeed even in outlying areas is radical one in the present age, but if executed properly and targeted first at young and progressive types, I believe that it could capture a solid solid share of the market; certainly a lot more than the tiny sliver of the pie it does today. I'm caught wondering whether much of America's addiction to suburbia comes from a simple lack of awareness that alternatives exist. The cycle is perpetuated when developers, not wanting to bet the farm on an unknown alternative, revert to the tried and true three car garage cul-de-sac McMansions and snout-garaged "dense but distant" townhomes that have become the standard for new construction these days.

Here are some photos of the models:

Hillsborough:

hillsborough4.jpghillsborough1.jpg

Efland:

efland2.jpgefland3.jpg

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