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voyager12

Asheville sprawl

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Asheville's downtown is one of the best urban centers in the country for its size. Unfortunately, right after crossing the river heading west from downtown you might as well be in New Jersey :sick: The contrast is rather jarring. Was there any attempt to plan the growth for outlying areas in years past? The entire region could have been a great model for sustainable growth like Marin County surrounding SF and the Portland urban growth boundary. Its a shame. No wonder the Chamber of Commerce takes tight shots of the city skyline. :P

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I mean no offense whatsoever, but yours is kind of a dumb statement. What city doesn't have sprawl, and what city isn't still building sprawl? You might as well ask why Gastonia or Rock Hill didn't develop into models of regional sustainability, a la Marin County, California.

I will tell you that because of Asheville's geography, the sprawl seems more accentuated, because it's linear. The city is cruciform, with downtown at the crux, and the suburbs sprawling away toward the points. There aren't even that many places where the sprawl layers itself on the mountainside. There are a few though, and the results look so horrible that they get trotted out every time someone wants to make a point about bad development. It wouldn't surprise me if people who lived in those developments kept where they lived a secret for fear that nobody would speak to them otherwise.

Basically though, what you see on the other side of the river developed between 1960 and 1980, which is why it looks every bit as gruesome as Charlotte's suburbs or Raleigh's suburbs, or any other city's suburbs that developed during that time period. We had the same kind of planning attempts that every other city did, and it was only by sheer luck that Asheville's downtown survives at all because, as they did in Charlotte, there was a proposal to tear most of it down to build a mall in the name of urban renewal.

Or to really sum it up, our suburbs look as bad as yours because they were built about the same time, under the same mindset.

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Oh I am not defending or ignoring Charlotte's nasty sprawl. Its much worse and bad development is everywhere. There are a few exceptions but not enough. At least Asheville has the incentive to be proactive and work towards preventing further sprawl because its setting is beautiful. Charlotte is is well...clean and green but not very remarkable so it should not be surprising that we are ugly overall. Asheville has reason not to be.

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I see Asheville doing a *lot* more smart growth, yes there are some "sprawly" araes of Asheville though... I just haven't spent enough time in Asheville to know however.

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If you want to see the worst sprawl in the Asheville region, check out south Buncombe and north Henderson counties.. Once you pass Biltmore Village heading south from downtown Asheville, there's nothing but 30 miles of overwhelming, sidewalk-less strip malls, apartment complexes, and subdivisions, clear until you cross Fleming Street heading into Downtown Hendersonville. There's sprawl everywhere in North Carolina.

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I think he is talking about the area towards Biltmore Park...but specifically Hendersonville Road is the worst part of that part of the city.

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