Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

tombarnes

New Urbanism

Recommended Posts

I'm starting this thread as a springboard for discussion of the New Urbanist principles which may well guide the Coast into the future. There have been those who have charged that New Urbanism is "waspy" and therefore not inclusive of benefits for a broad spectrum of society. I would maintain that the opposite is true. Good architecture and design need not be only for the rich. The opportunity laid out before the Coast is unprecedented. The area could be a model for the nation and the world. Rather than ruining the plans with piecemael development, the master plans should be fine-tuned and adhered to as much as possible.

I'd love to see the thoughts of others here. Though I posted the article in another thread, I'll post it here again to jumpstart a discussion. From the (Jacksonville) Florida Times Union....

http://wire.jacksonville.com/pstories/busi...1/3590944.shtml

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


This article in USA Today notes how WalMArt is attempting to get in on the New Urbanism thing. While I see this a something of a Trojan horse, I suppose one would have to be somewhat mollified that at least WalMart may be thinking of changing its usual chewing gum colored box for the Coast. I suppose we can't just wish them away, as they are a fact of life. I will be interested to see if the meetings this month produce anything of note.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-1...t-designs_x.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for being a voice of reason for New Urbanism. It doesn't cure cancer (yet!) but it is also not responsible for, or allied with many of the things critics ascribe to it. It has been called right-wing, left-wing, marxist, libetarian and every other possible thing by people who are concerned about only their narrow view of the world.

New Urbanism is:

1. A clear set of principles (The Charter of the New Urbanism)

2. A process, involving a specific, results-oriented charette where the principles are modified by the particular place and people.

3. An implemetation strategy through tools such as financing, building production methods, transportation regulations and most especially through new form-based zoning regulations, such as the SmartCode.

The opportunities for success (on all levels) is great, because New Urbanism is a practical approach, and adapts quickly to what works, as long as it produces good urbanism.

There will be failures, but the successes will provide clear and hopeful models for the future of the coast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flowood Town Center- New Urbanism Comes to Flowood

Andres Duany's designs for Flowood are to become reality. Ground will be broken this summer on the first stages of an ambitious New Urbanist development. Andres Duany is designing this one as well as Lost Rabbit in nearby Ridgeland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Town of Lost Rabbit

The Town of Lost Rabbit is being built near Madison. More information on the project can be found at the Duany Plater-Zyberk website. The plans are attractive, and ground was broken for the project some time ago. To the best of my knowledge, it's proceeding according to schedule.

Note: You must click on Mississippi on the map and go to the link from there.

More information on the town can be found here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who's doing it? How big? Is it actually in Taylor or on farmland 10mi outside of 'town'. I'll be down there for the holidays - we'll have to take a cruise down Old Taylor Rd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am impressed with what I've seen and heard about this development over the holidays. The developer consulted with the eccentric population of Taylor and has incorporated their interests in the plan. He will be adding services and infrastructure for the whole town, not just his portion (free wifi, relocating the post office and vfd, etc) and really emphasizing the art community. I think they intend to provide free studio/living space for a limited number of artists as well.

They do have a web site with a pretty picture, though it is not informative at all - Plein Air

The cost per SqFt seems to be around $160 for some very well built, classically southern (rural) cottages of small to moderate size. In the literature it states that they will not be selling lots to builders so that they retain control.

So far they have ~4-5 houses under construction and most of the core roads curbed and paved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a nice looking drawing. I hope they will meet with success. They are taking the road less traveled as far as their development plans are concerned. I hope their unconventional approach works. Taylor has a funky, rural charm which should be preserved. The drawing suggests that they are proceeding in the righ direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've talked with some of the residents there, and they are a little scared of this project simply because of the growth. This is the smallest town in Mississippi, and this project will rapidly increase its size. The people are there because they like it so small. This isn't a depressed area that could use an influx of cash. Few of the residents are rich, but they are happy with their lives. Hopefully this project won't change Taylor too drastically. It is very nice, but Taylor is great because it is so small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The smallness does make it great, however ... development happens ;) and I like this approach much better than the McMansion style development that just popped up on Old Taylor Rd just N of town or the Shiloh Place dump back near Oxford. I understand that the PleinAir developer intends to relocate the post office and vfd which will open up that odd corner for something nicer.

If they can bring in a nice market/grocery and a few other necessary neighborhood services then it should be beneficial in that it keeps Taylor-ites from driving into Oxford for simple tasks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They've updated Plein-Air's website a bit - much more informative now. Now if they would just put up some construction photos ... I would imagine that the houses that were going up over the holidays are complete by now.

Plein-Air

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Memphis Daily News article on Plein-Air development

This one adds a bit of background on one of the project backers that I wasn't aware was involved; gives some history of the development and quotes the mayor of Taylor - Jim Hamilton.

As an aside, Jim became mayor as soon as he graduated from college - no one else wanted the job. Eventually he got tired of it and stepped aside, only to come back after retirement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any relationship between Stewart Speed and Leland Speed (the former head of the Mississippi Economic Development Agency)? Just wondering. I like what I see in this project, but would like to se more specific plans for the retail/commercial components. A small hotel or inn with a good restaurant might work well here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is there any relationship between Stewart Speed and Leland Speed (the former head of the Mississippi Economic Development Agency)? Just wondering. I like what I see in this project, but would like to se more specific plans for the retail/commercial components. A small hotel or inn with a good restaurant might work well here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In MS, $100-$125 will get you more than "your typical cardboard tract houses" - I don't doubt one can find $300-$500 sq ft prices in Oxford, mainly on or around the Square - But you don't have to go all the way to Taylor, MS to find quality, affordable housing in Oxford

Prices are around $185 sq ft at Tradition in Biloxi, post-Katrina - With current housing so scarce in Harrison County, the market dictates this price per square foot - My question, is housing so scarce in Oxford that the market there dictates such?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In MS, $100-$125 will get you more than "your typical cardboard tract houses" - I don't doubt one can find $300-$500 sq ft prices in Oxford, mainly on or around the Square - But you don't have to go all the way to Taylor, MS to find quality, affordable housing in Oxford

Prices are around $185 sq ft at Tradition in Biloxi, post-Katrina - With current housing so scarce in Harrison County, the market dictates this price per square foot - My question, is housing so scarce in Oxford that the market there dictates such?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In MS, $100-$125 will get you more than "your typical cardboard tract houses" - I don't doubt one can find $300-$500 sq ft prices in Oxford, mainly on or around the Square - But you don't have to go all the way to Taylor, MS to find quality, affordable housing in Oxford

Prices are around $185 sq ft at Tradition in Biloxi, post-Katrina - With current housing so scarce in Harrison County, the market dictates this price per square foot - My question, is housing so scarce in Oxford that the market there dictates such?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the value is there - I don't know about scarcity in the Oxford market, but you certainly won't find anything like what they are building. You have high-quality construction, edgy/artsy/urbanist marketing/branding and a promising-looking 'commercial' center - where alse in Oxford, other than the square will you find that combo? So much of the new stock (last 8yrs) in Lafayette county is not high quality - slab construction, poor sites, vinyl siding, poor road connectivity, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, you probably won't find anything like that in Oxford - My issue is, they haven't laid the first brick on this "high-quality construction" and they're already asking $185 - I think we could all agree that as the development progresses and inevitably meets success, property values will rise - Then, will they ask $250-$300? - If they do and people start buying, more power to them - I just have a hard time envisioning that in Taylor, MS, that's all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.