June 29, 2004

If New Urbanists Have Their Way…

"...which is happening increasingly often, say goodbye to strip malls fronted by seas of parking, office parks with faux waterfalls and cookie-cutter subdivisions," says a Chicago Tribune report on the New Urbanists' annual conference.

Goodbye to strip malls fronted by seas of parking -- wouldn't that be great!

"The goal of the movement is to revive the kind of planning and architecture that shaped cities such as Chicago, with its scrambled, dense mix of homes, shops, restaurants, sidewalks, parks and offices.

"This kind of planning is basically dead in America, New Urbanists say, replaced by a shift toward things simpler and, in their opinion, soul-killing: strip malls, office parks and subdivisions, all accessible only by car. . . .

"Most Main Streets across the U.S. would be impossible to build today because zoning codes often prohibit limited parking as well as building offices and apartments above stores, said [former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, president of the Congress for New Urbanism."

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