n the Sunshine State, where the seeds of New Urbanism were first planted, a slew of developments and communities designed on new urban principles has grown up during the past few years. Whereas the 2002 edition of A Guidebook to New Urbanism in Florida presented 56 projects, the thoroughly revised second edition provides images and information covering 101 — plus 27 historical antecedents, such as Coral Gables, Winter Park, Key West, and St. Augustine.
For the first time, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) is proposing building emergency shelters in a neighborhood form that could evolve into permanent settlements over the years. Experience with Hurricane Andrew shows that people tend to stay in temporary housing for a long time and children grow up in these units, yet they have the tendency to become rundown and devalued because of the design, Andres Duany said at the Mississippi Renewal Forum.
The old FEMA designs are single-use and monotonous in the extreme [see top aerial rendering, below].
Hopes that the Civano development in southeast Tucson might continue to develop along new urban principles have now been pretty much extinguished. Pulte Homes, which took over the “environmentally sustainable” Arizona project from Fannie Mae, is using house designs and street layouts that disturb local advocates of New Urbanism.
Although the first neighborhood in Civano was built largely along new urban lines before Pulte became involved in the project, the national homebuilder is giving a more conventional character to the rest of the development.
Carothers Crossing called “precedent-setting project” for the Nashville area.
Nashville Metro Council has approved the city’s largest traditional neighborhood development (TND) to date, the 603-acre, 2,300-unit Carothers Crossing, to be developed by Don Smithson and Ed Richey.
The project will include four villages and a town center. Approximately 60 percent of the land will be retained as parks and open space, says project designer Seth Harry, AIA, of Seth Harry & Associates Inc., Architects and Planners, of Woodbine, Maryland.
The Upper Rock District, which has been called the first plan to convert an existing suburban business park into a mixed-use neighborhood, has won approval from the City of Rockville, Maryland, council (see images above and on page 1). The 20-acre project includes 844 residential units, 106 of which will be moderately priced. Two existing office buildings will be retained, one of which will be converted to residential lofts. The project will include a small volume of retail, including an 8,000 sq. ft.
Five years after the nation’s largest builder suffered a setback when its first new urban development was rejected, the project has come back with a new developer and new design.
Vizcaya, a 160-acre traditional neighborhood development designed by Rosello, Balboa & Lordi (RBL), is breaking ground in Dade County, Florida. The new developer is Transeastern Homes, led by Jose Boschetti and Art Falcone.
Not many people outside of eastern Missouri have heard of New Town at St. Charles, but that is likely to change. New Town is a large project with a head of steam in a geographic area that has seen little New Urbanism. Its understated, well-proportioned house designs are surprisingly affordable.
New Town has made the fastest progress from initial design of any traditional neighborhood development (TND) to date. The first charrette was held in early 2003.
One of the boldest new urban visions to date was created in late March for a field in South Dakota that would not ordinarily be a candidate for large-scale development. But this is no ordinary project.
Laurent, a town designed for the hearing-impaired and for sign language users, may be the first community of its type anywhere. It also may become the first new urban community incorporated as a town.
From 1999 to 2004 only one private-sector traditional neighborhood development (TND) was under construction in Louisiana. That first project, River Ranch in Lafayette, achieved commercial and aesthetic success, and New Urban News reported last year that it was inspiring a lot of Louisianians to look favorably on TND.
Recently five new urban communities came under construction in Louisiana, a sixth was approved, and a seventh was moving through the entitlement process, according to Steve Oubre of Architects Southwest, which designed River Ranch and the new projects.