Monday, July 10, 2006

CNN likes New Urbanism

Unlike the QCTimes, CNN seems to appreciate the benefits of traditional neighborhood style developments.

Here's the article.

The demand for such developments is real, and it's only going to get greater as consumer preferences rapidly shift away from the McMansions preferred by boomers. According to a study by the nonprofit Congress for New Urbanism, while less than 25 percent of middle-aged Americans are interested in living in dense areas, 53 percent of 24-34 year olds would choose to live in transit-rich, walkable neighborhoods, if they had the choice. -from the CNN article

Hopefully Prairie Heights is a great success, as I think it has the potential to be, and shows other realtors and developers around here the viability of new urbanism.

21 Comments:

At 7/10/2006 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are dumb. Get off of it. New Urbanism shouldn't be forced down out prefabed throats. We have new urbanism already in the solo and need to pump some money into it to make it viable.

 
At 7/10/2006 1:35 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

So we should continue turning away dollars to Bettendorf and PV until we get SoLo cleaned up to the point where it doesn't scare rich white people away?

Subdivisions are going to keep getting built, and they are already regulated by the city. This project is just regulated in a way that people around here aren't used to yet, but hopefully it will show everyone how well walkable neighborhoods can be built with new technology.

 
At 7/10/2006 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish my neighorhood was walkable.

QCI, You live in a concrete vault! Try walking west on 4th street,up Gaines and across 14th street to Iowa and back home some night at 9:00 p.m. Please let us know how things came out.

 
At 7/10/2006 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Others are right. The new urbanism is not going to happen in a 1990 farm field, unless the city gives the land away, which might happen. It is more likely to happen in your neck of warehouses from Harrison going east. I do not fault the city for floating the idea, but Praire Heights has a stigma of failed city involvement that might not be overcome. Yes it is the long term memory of few that challenges any type of originality.

Also, the rich white people were scared off along time ago. Let's work on keeping the white-collar, and well skilled blue collar from running to Blue Grass, Eldridge . and Dewitt.

 
At 7/10/2006 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Davenport R.I.P.

 
At 7/11/2006 6:32 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I don't think Davenport is in trouble at all. I think we're at the beginning of a growth spurt, actually.

As far as Prairie Heights, that area was going to be made into a subdivision either way. The only question is if we want a regular subdivision with a high ratio of infrastructure per house, or a traditional style neighborhood without miles of curvy streets and cul-de-sacs. I think the Davenport Lofts are perfect evidence that people around here want different housing options than we've previously had available.

Davenport made a profit on the land they sold, so what's the risk?

 
At 7/11/2006 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The risk is called URBAN SPRAWL. We have too many vacant propeties already in Davenport. PH is bad planning and a bad plan. It is a generic fake new urbanism. We have the real thing in the central city closer to the downtown and the dummies can;t seem to figure that out. We would be doing such a great thing if we just rehabed and fostered real new urbanism. We would have a win win situation. Crime reduction, nicer properties, better support for downtown, ec. Why don't we understand that in Davenport?

 
At 7/11/2006 4:01 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

If the city had just sold off the land, it would have turned into subdivisions that sprawl three times worse than Prairie Heights will.

So what is your alternative for that land? The city just hangs onto it?

 
At 7/11/2006 5:10 PM, Anonymous Darrin Nordahl - City Designer said...

If anybody is interested in the evolution of the Regency Plan for Prairie Heights, I'd be happy to show it to you. They first came on-board with a more typical suburban plat. After great input from city staff, we have a proposed development that is targeted to provide a great mix of incomes, reduce storm-water runoff, is both bicycle and pedestrian friendly, and integrates an array of green spaces and city parks.

Please feel free to stop by the new Design Center & Parking Office on 2nd and Brady if you would like to learn more about this project or any other project in Davenport.

 
At 7/11/2006 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Urbanism doesn't have to be old to be real as some assert. Afterall, every old urban development was once new. New Urbanism creates an enduring sense of place.

 
At 7/11/2006 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That makes me feel better, the city staff has such a great history of planning this city.

 
At 7/11/2006 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So can we all assume then that there will be very low income housing as a part of the plan Darrin?

What is the plan to incorporate housing for the very lowest percentage of AMI?

 
At 7/11/2006 10:54 PM, Anonymous Darrin Nordahl - City Designer said...

I wouldn't say 'low income'. The plan integrates multi-family/rental units with small lot-cottage style homes aimed at first-time home buyers, and also large lot units for stately homes, and medium lots for growing families, empty nesters, etc. What is fairly unique about the proposed plan is that 5 different housing 'products' are being offered by one developer on a greenfield site. Planning and urban design of the last 60 years has been towards developing homogeneity in neighborhoods, offering only one product for a particular socio-economic group. Prairie Heights aims at getting back to the way our neighborhoods used to be developed, where renters lived across the street, the more fortunate just a block down, starting families a couple houses away---yet regardless of these differences, they all share the same public parks, the same streets, and thus can identify with each other as true neighbors.

The plan does have its shortcomings...all plans do. But it is certainly one of the most evolutionary (or revolutionary, if you take a time line stance from 1946 on)large-scale private developments Davenport, or anywhere in the midwest for that matter, has seen.

 
At 7/12/2006 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

City Designer? Sounds like another job that could be eliminated from the city payroll. It's no wonder that the council keeps adding fees on the backs of the working taxpayers: to pay salaries for jobs like that.

 
At 7/12/2006 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Davenport is bloated with "good `ol boy`s" type jobs like that one. How about Sue Kunutzen, the housing renewal coordinator. You really have to hunt to find any results from that position. Most of the money that she has given out is to people who would have done projects anyway without taxpayer assistance.

 
At 7/12/2006 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

City Designer-oh great

Housing Renewal Coordinator-oh my

City Arborist-No kidding the City of Davenport needs someone to go around the town writing out citations for not trimming your trees. this has got to be a $50,000
plus job.Perhaps he could stop by and tell me to put out my garbage I forget sometimes.

 
At 7/12/2006 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't PHs serve the very poor renters Darrin? We can't take anymore very lo wincome renters South of Locust. Why don;t you as a our city planner make a strong suggestion to promote housing for the very poor there?

 
At 7/12/2006 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add parking manager and those 10 lazy guys who work on the full depth patching crew. They could all be fired and never be missed.

 
At 7/12/2006 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the price of these various housing products at PHeights? That will tell us something about the intent to accomodate or welcome (pick your verb) low income residents. Low income residents tend to settle in a spot based on two factors. Either they can afford it without any support because it's a run down undesirable "product", or there is some kind of subsidy. Subsidy indicates an intent to accommodate. What will be form of subsidies to work with the products of PHeights?

 
At 7/13/2006 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does Redman Jones do all day? And what about the I.T. guy that has been here over a year and the City Website doesn't work any better than before he was hired. Time for the council to start firing some of this dead wood.

 
At 7/16/2006 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, Lets get'er done!

We could also roast an Alderman or two.

And maybe the Mayor (we'll pay for it some how) Windbag.

 

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