Archive | Etc.

Our government-mandated parking lots

Our country features such overgrown parking lots because urban planners thought they were smarter than property owners and developers. The ego-centric belief that government do-gooders are more wise than the actual people who must pay for the property dates to midcentury.

From a 1954 American Planning Association publication:

The shopper wants a space he can find easily, with a minimum of difficulty in moving around the parking area, and one that is located near the store or store group in which he is going to shop. The fault is sometimes with the developers who have underestimated the need for parking space or found the land too valuable to be devoted to parking.

Read the article at Strong Towns.

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New Contributor: Zachary Evans

Zachary Evans is an architect and partner at Kelty Tappy Design, Inc., a Fort Wayne, Indiana, architecture, planning, and urban design firm. A graduate of Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning, he holds professional architectural registrations in Indiana and Ohio and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is an active member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Fort Wayne Chapter, and currently serves on the City of Fort Wayne Downtown Design Review Committee.

Why I care about Market-Driven Urbanism

It seems to be generally accepted now that the past several decades of American sprawl has left our downtown cores with gaping voids and inactivity. A combined result of our dependence on the automobile and Euclidean zoning practices, both citizens and governments share the responsibility of the situation we’re in.

In the same vein, it will take action by both groups to reverse course and re-energize our city centers.

We have very talented urban designers and city planners among us, but we cannot rely on them to plan and execute the redevelopment of every downtown block, lot, and streetscape. That’s why we need to encourage private investment and development with reduced land use restrictions, and allow free-market forces to drive self-sustaining development that’s dense, vibrant, and walkable.

I’d like to use this forum to have a dialogue about alternatives to land use segregation, share examples of successes and failures in other communities, and work together to find opportunities in our own community to apply the principles of market-driven urbanism.

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Now a part of the Streetsblog Network

Starting today, The Good City is a part of The Streetsblog Network, which is

The national blog network for sustainable transport, smart growth and livable streets.

Articles from this blog are now being fed into a national blog network, along with perhaps hundreds of other local blogs around the country. I’m thankful for the potential added exposure that this membership affords.

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