Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Creating Livable Communities Where Feet Do the Walking

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Creating Livable Communities Where Feet Do the Walking

Article excerpt

A SMALL but growing number of land developers are rejecting car-bound subdivision designs for a more integrated neighborhood concept, where houses, stores, and offices are close enough for walking between them.

Andres Duany, with his partner and wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, is a founding leader in this suburban-planning movement. In a recent interview with the Monitor, Mr. Duany discussed suburban life and traditional neighborhoods. On the popularity of new traditional neighborhoods

This idea seems to be taking off at a rate that I never would have dreamt possible. Many things are coinciding ... the ecological movement, a generation of yuppies who don't associate small-town living with boredom. It's fantastic.

In the Midwest, people don't know what I'm talking about. They're still moving out of towns. To them, towns are still associated with boredom, bad plumbing, bad insulation, old buildings.

In places like Washington and Miami the small town is highly romanticized. It's an entirely different generation. People didn't grow up in small towns, so they have a romantic attitude, which I believe (the towns) can fulfill. The boredom factor has disappeared because of video and cable and so forth. On developers

The developers find that it's a very marketable idea. The basic increment of purchase, the house on a lot, is still what the buyer buys. What you're doing is assembling it into a community, which itself is a wonderful marketing device - living in a town or neighborhood.

What we're trying to make developers realize is that the making of public space doesn't cost them anything, that the making of community doesn't cost them anything, but people will pay for it. On parking

In fact, the towns we are designing are hybrids. The streets feel like the older towns but there is a completely modern complement of parking. …

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