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urbanvb

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I was watching Maryland Public Television Monday night and saw a program on the history of Baltimore's Inner Harbor and how Harborplace totally transformed the city's waterfront and influenced waterfronts from Rotterdam, Holland to Sydney, Australia to Long Beach, California to Norfolk, Va. Did anyone catch this program? What are your thoughts about the festival marketplace frenzy of the 80's and 90's? Is it viable today?

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It sounds as though it must have been an interesting program. I think that the model from the late 1970s/early 80s might need tweaking in order to work today. Norfolk's Waterside has already undergone one metamorphosis into a more bar-restaurant orientation than it was originally planned for. Baltimore's Harborplace seems to be doing quite well, but it is also uniquely positioned to snare tourists and their wallets. I think the overall concept of the festival marketplace is still valid, but more thought needs to be given to the stores. People aren't necessarily going to flock to a place filled with stores like "I Cant't Believe It's Yogurt." Or maybe they are. Thoughts?

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It sounds as though it must have been an interesting program. I think that the model from the late 1970s/early 80s might need tweaking in order to work today. Norfolk's Waterside has already undergone one metamorphosis into a more bar-restaurant orientation than it was originally planned for. Baltimore's Harborplace seems to be doing quite well, but it is also uniquely positioned to snare tourists and their wallets. I think the overall concept of the festival marketplace is still valid, but more thought needs to be given to the stores. People aren't necessarily going to flock to a place filled with stores like "I Cant't Believe It's Yogurt." Or maybe they are. Thoughts?

I think what makes Baltimore's Harborplace an interesting spot is it has a market place where you can buy fresh produce, seafood and meats kind on par with DC's Eastern Market. Many of the delicacies are unique to the Chesapeake region. It also contains chain bars like Hooters and Phillips seafood which both attract large crowds. I also think there is a need for humans to be near the water. The most successful festival marketplaces are those that are on rivers and harbors. One of the reasons I think Richmond's Sixth St. Market failed was it was not on the water and was basically a overhead cross walk over unattractive Broad St.

The concept is still alive and well with DC's recently unveiled plan to remake the SW waterfront into a lively attraction. The concept seems to have been tweaked significantly since the 80's. This seems to include an interesting mix of housing, retail, hotels, office space, and entertainment. The festival marketplace of the 2000's seems to have morphed into the mix-use concept.

I just wish that MPT had the whole program on-line. I may actually buy the DVD which would also be a donation to MPT.

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Arlington County, Virginia!shades.gif The county that so many municipalities should emulate. Arlington was the one that defied the odds when it was growing back in the 1960's and 1970's by incorporating Smart Growth(a bad word back then). During this time Americas love for the automobile trumpeted more than the expansion of mass transit into the suburbs. Many people back then (same as today) did not want mass transit coming to the suburbs because they felt they left the crime, less fortunate and hoodlums of city life behind and did not want a way for "those type of people" to travel with their ills to their town. Today we know that most of this is false but many people still have that 1960's notion that crime comes with mass-transit.

After WWII Arlington County expanded at a record pace doubling its size in one decade. This was largely due to the influx of the exansion of the federal government into area suburbs. During this same time plans for a mass-transit sytem was taking place. Many Arlington county residents did not want Metro expanding into the county, because they just moved out of Washington DC leaving the ills behind. But Arlington County officials had a vision of having 11 stops on the subway in the county. (sound familair). Their where many meetings and studies, but against many residents will Metro was expanded into the county. Instead of bringing the crime to the county the Metro did the opposite effect by bringing companies, restaurants, businesses, retail, and most important people to these walkable neighborhoods. What you had was a community centered around mass transit instead of people having to buy a car or risk their life to cross a major highway with a car oriented development.

Arlington County has 5 major urban centers.

Crystal City, Penatgon City, Courthouse, Rosslyn, Ballston

Each one having a stop on the subway. Around these subway stops Arlington County officials had a vision of minature downtowns. The people around that urban center would walk, bike, to their shopping destination, business, eatery, movie, local bar, work, etc. Also traveling on the subway to outside destinations was a hop or skip away.

If counties today implemented smart growth much of the population would not need to use cars to get around. What you create is a culture of healthy individuals force to get out and interact, walk, and are more community oriented. Today you have far flung subdivisions that isolate families from all outside life.Who wants this and is is this what life is? Even rural communities have small towns where people gather and interact with their neighbors and they are also centered mostly around train stops. In the suburbs people gather at Wal-Mart where your only interaction is Sue the cashier which she is one of a like 200 cashing you out then you leave back to your isolated home.

Smart growth also lowers the cost of infrastructure on the county to support people. Lets say you have 10,000 resident living in 10 sq miles. These people need roads to get to their destination, water lines, electricity, cable lines, school buses to pick up their kids for school, the list goes on. Now you have 10,000 people living in 1 sq mile. Everything that was listed above but 9sq miles less of it, plus no school buses the kids would walk too school. This takes the burden off of the municipality and they can use the extra money for services like police, fire, sidewalks, libraries, schools, etc. and in the long run lower taxes.

Smart Growth is the answer to many budget problems being faced today! Arlington County residents are loving it today and is a prime example! Use it and see what comes about.

"Arlington's: Smart Growth Journey" Documentary

http://arlington.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=1206

Smart Growth in Arlington Video

http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/AVN/programs/page69227.aspx

ArlingtonTODimage3.jpg

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Pentagon_City.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlington_County,_Virginia

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Alexandria and Arlington rank 5th and 7th respectively as the largest in population percentage growth the past year between 2008-2009

Alexandria is the 5th fastest-growing city in the U.S., according to new population estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau. From July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009, the waterfront city on the shores of the Potomac added about 5,500 people to its population of 150,000 for a growth rate of 3.8 percent.

Meanwhile, neighboring Arlington County came in seventh, with a 3.5 percent growth in population, boosting its head count to 217,483. Though not technically a city, the bureau counts it that way, because of its population concentration.

Arlington County is only 25 square miles with a 1/4 of that federal land! Alexandria(15 sq miles) has not annexed any new land since the 1950's. Currently Virginia state law does not allow cities to annex any land!

http://www.virginiabusiness.com/index.php/news/article/virginia-claims-two-of-the-countrys-fastest-growing-areas/233561/

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