Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Strong Towns

This is the historic way that towns and cities developed.  Whereas local-America wasted decades and acreage on unsustainable suburbs that act like a bad party, Terramagne-America figured out a lot faster that this was a dumb idea.  So while they have suburbs, they don't have as many, and more of those are logical grids than mazes.  As a patch job, support centers (restaurants, retail stores, services like hairdressers and clinics, etc.) were added to reduce the need for driving everywhere.  Rutledge is very much using the small-scale approach to improvements.  They also keep fiddling around with what they have to see if it can be made to work -- I think Family Business Rest is on at least its third iteration, or fourth if you count the same owner switching from trying to attract families on business trips to housing refugees.

For an example of how new developments are made, see Bluehill.  Cambridge Commons was a restoration project that produced a thriving downtown area.  Ivory Avenue is split because a fire destroyed everything on one side of it.  None of the displaced residents wanted to wait 2 years for new townhouses to be built, they all wanted to move into the new (almost complete) ones in Cambridge Commons.  So instead, the area was filled with nice big houses and a few apartment buildings (Professor's Row) to create a mixed-income neighborhood alongside the townhouses remaining on the far side of the street, Secretary's Row -- plus a park with amphitheater for everyone to enjoy.  In both cases, people talked about what they wanted and needed in a particular place, while considering other places in town, and then built to fill those gaps.
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