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Spartan

Charleston 2030

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I came accross this, and I thought I would share. It is a GIS model of Charleston's growth since 1973, and based on the current growth trends, a model of the future growth. Its really quite astounding to watch this.

Here is a preview:

urban1973b.jpg

urban1993b.jpg

urban2005b.jpg

To see the animated model, click here. It takes a minute or two to load up.

The future of Charleston will be interesting to see....

More information about this study can be found here.

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All I can say is: wow. :w00t: Officials have said that with the current growth trends, the city itself could have 300,000 people by 2015. I don't think it will get there that quick, but by 2030, I could see it having 300,000-400,000 especially looking at those maps. Imagine how big the metro area will be! Thanks for finding that study and posting it.

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I guess how you view these maps shows a lot about how you feel about suburban sprawl. I came across this project a while back while looking at the Coastal Conservation League website. I think this project actually was used quite a bit a few years ago to push for the Comprehensive Plan. As you can see, without a green belt and strict rural zoning, there'll be no way to stop sprawl. Of course, some people might look at that solid belt of development in 2030 and be happy about it.

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This plan has already begun to influence local politics, because there is pretty solid proof that this is coming one way or another...

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Yeah there are signs that Charleston is becoming the most sprawled mess in South Carolina. There is no political will there to put checks on development so you see endless big box and cul de sac development infesting all of the major highways in the area. Traffic congestion on Hwy 17 N the worst that I have seen in ANY city in both Carolinas (maybe parts of Raleigh compare, but it is much larger) and it is only getting worse.

As far as I can see there are no plans for mass transit, no plans for sustainable or transit oriented development and Charleston, North Charleston, and the other suburbs do not cooperate at all on containing growth.

Its very unfortunate this is taking place because if the 2030 prediction comes true it will be a disaster in the making.

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Actually Charleston is probably the most progressive city when it comes to combating sprawl. Charleston is the only city in SC with any new urbanist developments: I'On and Daniel Island. (Greenville has 3 planned)

You also have two projects (well, 3.. sorta) in the Upper penensula and lower North Charleston area that are gear towards the revatilizaiton and densification of that area- each of which has transit stops in mind.

  1. The Magnolia project to revitalize the Neck area will have space dedicated for a future light rail line

  2. as will the Noisette proejct in N Chas. which should revitalize the old Naval Base

  3. The other is the project to redevelop the Eastside neighborhood where the old bridges used to be... I'm not sure if that project has a name or not though.

Charleston is also the only area in SC that I know of that uses an urban growth boundary effectively. They are trying to slow growth on John's Island with ver low density requirements and restrictions on the water service that will be available in that area.

The other areas of Charelston like Mount Pleasant and Dorchester & Berkeley Counties are going to be a problem though. Charleston can't be the only proactive one in the region.

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Yet a quick drive through the area shows that it is 100% automobile oriented development and highly congested. Maybe I am missing something.

Driving on Highway 17 would show you the worst side of Charleston sprawl. The development on the highway south of the city has mostly been there for years. The development in Mt. Pleasant is mostly new, and I think it is what first woke a lot of people up to what was happening with over-development in the Charleston area. That battle is lost. However, where sprawl now threatens, some victories have occured, and people are much more knowledgeable now about what sprawl causes when a developer proposes more of it.

I think the people at Clemson, when they designed the amimated model of sprawl, could not take into account future changes in the political climate. I'm not saying we won't have a lot of sprawl in 25 years, especially if North Charleston and Mt. Pleasant cause it, but I think opposition to sprawl is growing, and that hopefully will keep the worst case scenario from happening.

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Yet a quick drive through the area shows that it is 100% automobile oriented development and highly congested. Maybe I am missing something.

The same can be said for every city in the South. Downtown Charleston is the one of the only places that doesn't apply. My point is that the area is planning for the future, not that it isn't sprawled. That area seems to at least recognize that the sprawl is going to happen, and the local politics are very cogniscent of that fact.

Another project on the horizon in Mt Pleasant's remodelling of Johnnie Dodds Blvd. which is by far the worst case scenario for sprawl. They plan to intensify the land use on and around it, making it more friendly to pedistrians and denser developments. It also includes a long range transit aspect, which I was pleased to learn about.

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Actually Charleston is probably the most progressive city when it comes to combating sprawl. Charleston is the only city in SC with any new urbanist developments: I'On and Daniel Island. (Greenville has 3 planned)

You also have two projects (well, 3.. sorta) in the Upper penensula and lower North Charleston area that are gear towards the revatilizaiton and densification of that area- each of which has transit stops in mind.

  1. The Magnolia project to revitalize the Neck area will have space dedicated for a future light rail line

  2. as will the Noisette proejct in N Chas. which should revitalize the old Naval Base

  3. The other is the project to redevelop the Eastside neighborhood where the old bridges used to be... I'm not sure if that project has a name or not though.

Charleston is also the only area in SC that I know of that uses an urban growth boundary effectively. They are trying to slow growth on John's Island with ver low density requirements and restrictions on the water service that will be available in that area.

The other areas of Charelston like Mount Pleasant and Dorchester & Berkeley Counties are going to be a problem though. Charleston can't be the only proactive one in the region.

Lake Carolina in Richland County just won a national award for its new urbanist design. There was a blurb article about it in The State the other day. And land on Garner's Ferry Road is being annexed into Columbia for a 200-home new urbanist development. These two farmer brothers have retired and are selling the land and have a hand in making sure it is developed in a new urban manner. The Village at Sandhill is going into the second phase of development now in which housing will be mixed, from condos to townhouses to patio homes, all feeding into the downtown section of the development. There are a few other developments here that are adopting the new urbanist concept, but I can't recall their names or locations off the top of my head.

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That guy obviuosly has an agenda. There are a few downsides to new urbanism, but he failed to highlight them at all. He forgets that the whole point of new urbanism is to embrace the idea pf community space, which is what playgrounds are for. Every new urbanist community that I've been to has a garage in the back for a car or two.

He also has a conflict of interest. Jeff Edgens is a Natural Resource Policy specialist at the University of Kentucky, which ought to indicate that he is against sprawl, but he seems to be an advocate for it. He fails to recognize that though cars idle longer in urban cities, they are also used less because you can actually walk to palces. And when you do drive is not as far.

Such a weak argument should not be taken seriously. It does make me wonder who else out there has this opinion and what the state government thinks about it. Its fortuantes that this type of thing is a local government issue, so the state doesn't have much control over it.

Lake Carolina in Richland County just won a national award for its new urbanist design. There was a blurb article about it in The State the other day. And land on Garner's Ferry Road is being annexed into Columbia for a 200-home new urbanist development. These two farmer brothers have retired and are selling the land and have a hand in making sure it is developed in a new urban manner. The Village at Sandhill is going into the second phase of development now in which housing will be mixed, from condos to townhouses to patio homes, all feeding into the downtown section of the development. There are a few other developments here that are adopting the new urbanist concept, but I can't recall their names or locations off the top of my head.

Ah.. sorry about that. I always forget about Lake Carolina! Sandhills is not really a true new urbanist community, though it does embrace many of its principles.

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That guy obviuosly has an agenda. There are a few downsides to new urbanism, but he failed to highlight them at all. He forgets that the whole point of new urbanism is to embrace the idea pf community space, which is what playgrounds are for. Every new urbanist community that I've been to has a garage in the back for a car or two.

He also has a conflict of interest. Jeff Edgens is a Natural Resource Policy specialist at the University of Kentucky, which ought to indicate that he is against sprawl, but he seems to be an advocate for it. He fails to recognize that though cars idle longer in urban cities, they are also used less because you can actually walk to palces. And when you do drive is not as far.

Such a weak argument should not be taken seriously. It does make me wonder who else out there has this opinion and what the state government thinks about it. Its fortuantes that this type of thing is a local government issue, so the state doesn't have much control over it...

Well, I might get lambasted for saying this, but I think he has some very good points. The biggest part of his argument is government control. If you let the government control certain aspects of how you build your home, it will control other things as well. I've been very hesitant to embrace new urbanism, and he makes some valid arguments for it, IMO. Again, I've always said that some suburban growth or "sprawl" is necessary in cities. It is necessary to provide choice in lifestyles for urban living, which includes surburban choices as well as new urbanist ones.

In Charleston's case, there will be sprawl, but with the Magnolia and Noisette projects starting construction and other projects such as on Daniel Island and Mt. Pleasant, there are some densifying projects to cutdown the amount of sprawl that we see in cities such as Atlanta.

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In this case, the government is only providing the op[portunity for developers to built this type of community. The Communities themsevels make and enforce their own rules on how the homes should look.

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Two points,

First, Charleston passed a half cent sales tax that includes funding for mass transit and conservation purchases. That coupled with the other things mentioned in other posts, clearly made Charleston the leader in SC for new urbanism and combating sprawl.

Second, the government already controls how land is developed. Zoning laws, etc have created the sprawl model, new urbanisn is really just returning to the prior (pre-WWII) model.

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Well, I might get lambasted for saying this, but I think he has some very good points. The biggest part of his argument is government control. If you let the government control certain aspects of how you build your home, it will control other things as well. I've been very hesitant to embrace new urbanism, and he makes some valid arguments for it, IMO. Again, I've always said that some suburban growth or "sprawl" is necessary in cities. It is necessary to provide choice in lifestyles for urban living, which includes surburban choices as well as new urbanist ones.

In Charleston's case, there will be sprawl, but with the Magnolia and Noisette projects starting construction and other projects such as on Daniel Island and Mt. Pleasant, there are some densifying projects to cutdown the amount of sprawl that we see in cities such as Atlanta.

Government control already exists on property, in addition to how to develop it. Zoning, building regulations, easements are already in existence - if these practices are established for the betterment of the community, design standards can be too. But more importantly - land use is not designated for 'new urbanism', only developers or with the assistance of municipal planners develop 'new urbanist' developments. I think the writer intended to use the term 'smart growth', which proposes greater level of density towards the city center while preserving greenspace on the outskirts.

For Charleston - this is a no brainer & should result, as it already is, in the most dense SC city. With limitations to development due to wetlands & a concentrated corridor along I-26, Charleston, unlike other southern cities that have no limitations, should almost naturally develop denser. Of course sprawl does occur, & likely will occur, but it can be limited far more than most southern cities.

Lastly Charleston Native - you do bring a great point that should still be considered - lifestyle choice. Sprawl has made Greenville, Charlotte & Atlanta affordable because it does provide families a greater range of housing options. This will be the most pressing issue for cities that do densify greater & create artificial / natural controls on land use - affordability. It is a problem with Portland OR, which I can agree should not be accepted as a 'one size fits all' land use plan for all cities. Realistically - for southern cities we need to accept it is the low density sunbelt lifestyle that is attracting people.

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This could definitely be a separate issue, but one reason why a lot of people (especially in my age range, mid 20's) move out into the sprawly areas (even those within city limits) is because the housing is relatively affordable and they want to begin building equity. With the push for home ownership, many people see their best options being on the outer fringes. I have nothing against people wanting to live in the suburbs per se, but for goodness sakes, can we at least invest in a home built with quality materials and not these cheaply built, brand spanking new subdivision homes? I think if one more of my peers goes this route (and virtually all of them which have purchased recently have), I will SCREAM!

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I don't think smart growth necessarily has to take away from affordability, or most of the positive things people like about suburbs. All that smart growth would mean (in Charleston at least) would be:

1) Building shops, parks, school, and so forth within as close proximity to houses as possible (i.e. don't have every business crammed against the highway where we're forced to drive miles to get to them)

2) More choice in transit options and better road design

3) Have slightly higher density. In Charleston, I think the model for this would be pre-WWII neighborhoods like Avondale and Wagener Terrace. Everyone can still have their backyards, but maybe just a smaller, more "urban" one. In our city, living in high-rise apartment buildings will remain an option for some, but won't be the dominant one. Heck, even in New York City, most of the houses in places like Queens are still two-story single family homes with backyards.

The reason New Urbanist neighborhoods are expensive is because they are still rare. Once there are many options, the price to live in one of these neighborhoods will come down. If people want to live in "old-school" suburban neighborhoods, they'll still be around. We built so many of them; I don't think they're exactly endangered. Your grandkids will be able to buy a house in one of these neighborhoods, even if they've stopped building new ones by then.

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^ That's the one of the main reasons I am so hesitant about buying a new urbanist house...the cost! I hope you're right about the prices coming down. I think once that happens, more people who live in a city will be open to the idea of living in that type of community.

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^ That's the one of the main reasons I am so hesitant about buying a new urbanist house...the cost! I hope you're right about the prices coming down. I think once that happens, more people who live in a city will be open to the idea of living in that type of community.

But what do you mean by a 'new urbanist' house? You kind of have to build it in a development designed as 'new urbanist' in order for the home to be 'new urbanist'.

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But what do you mean by a 'new urbanist' house? You kind of have to build it in a development designed as 'new urbanist' in order for the home to be 'new urbanist'.

Sorry about the confusion...I meant that the cost of living in a new urbanist community is still too high for me to consider buying a home there. Krazee made a fantastic point earlier...people in their 20's to 30's flock to the suburbs to buy a cheap home, build the equity, and make money after selling it prior to living in it for a few years. That is exactly what my wife and I are doing, we are living in a suburban starter home. Basically, these starter homes will not be in these new urbanist communities until the prices for them go down. Suburban neighborhoods will still be the prime choice for starter homes because of their affordability.

Charleston's real estate prices further escalate the tendency to live further in the 'burbs. Even older suburbs such as West Ashley have high price homes for small living space. For a small 1200 square-foot home in Byrnes Downs, a post-WWII neighborhood, houses can cost up to $230,000!

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Basically, these starter homes will not be in these new urbanist communities until the prices for them go down. Suburban neighborhoods will still be the prime choice for starter homes because of their affordability.

I think the best bet for starter homes in New Urbanist communities will be some of the neighborhoods that are being redeveloped around Noisette. I know a couple of them are being designed by the same folks who did I'On. I've been kinda disappointed in the lack of entry-level housing we've had in New Urbanist communities so far (although there haven't been many except I'On and a few smaller in-fill projects), but I realize that New Urbanist developers are profit-driven, just like other developers, and it makes more sense to market their neighborhoods to early-adopters who are willing to buy a New Urbanist house the way a techie might shell out big bucks to buy a plasma TV. Once New Urbanism becomes more mainstream, I think first-time buyers will be able to get their foot in the door. At least I hope so. I'm in that boat too. I take hope from the fact that every New Urbanist planner I've ever heard talks about making housing for the all income levels.

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Sorry for misunderstanding charleston native - but you're really right. Most, ok -nearly all new urbanist developments are geared for the upper middle income to upper income. This is at least the case with Atlanta, especially in the suburbs where these 'new urbanist' projects are glorified boutique type subdivisions. Very attractive but highly exclusive.

I understand your feelings, & I think the pioneers of new urbanism like Andres Duaney do as well, his intent has been that new urbanism should bring all economic groups together, but so far that hasn't been the case.

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