August 2, 2004

Livable Suburbs

Although the two can be paired as often as peanut butter and jelly, "suburbs" and "sprawl" don't always have to go together. It's more than a year old now, but I still found Utne magazine's list of the 10 Most Englightened Suburbs fairly interesting.

The Tempe, Arizona listing caught my eye:

Standard-issue Sun belt sprawl has been transformed into a genuinely lively town through smart redevelopment and historical restoration. Local planners capitalized on the presence of Arizona State University to create a lively main street that attracts shoppers, cultural patrons, and lovers of urban atmosphere from around the area.

As Framingham looks to revitalize downtown, we ought to think about how to incorporate Framingham State College into the pedestrian life and streetscape of Framingham Centre, along with making an attractive transition between the center and downtown retail district. Is there a way to draw more FSC students and teachers off campus, on foot, to surrounding areas? YES: If there's an appealing walking environment all the way from the campus to attractive destinations.

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