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Old 08-07-05, 12:43 AM   #1
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NU and cycle-worthiness?

As promised, I have composited a list of US NU projects - this list is quite brief but they are held-out-there by your own Congress for NU. And as mentioned in my earlier thread, I am keen to know if people have cycled in these places and can make observations about how well cycling has been integrated into these communities.

I also want to make some points.

1. Australians are very quick to observe that these US projects have a very strong neo-tradition leaning. In Australia, our architecture probably has a more developed modernist aesthetic. Each to their own but if you hear an Australian respond "that is just georgeous" when shown one of these communities, it probably isn't a compliment.

2. US projects seem to be developer driven whereas Australian projects are much more strongly Government Driven. Our governments appoint developer authorities that oversee the design and implementation, and this has proven to lead to strong outcomes (see some of the australian links)

3. About Road Design, we consistently have councils demanding unrealistic road widths to accommodate rare events, such as the chance meeting of a car/truck and a garbage truck a 5:30 in morning that one day in the week that council collects. The wider the road, the faster vehicles travel and the greater the seriousness of injury in case of a collision.

We were all heartened to hear the director of Honeysuckle exclaim "who cares" in response to council engineering departments whose primary concern is how the rubbish is collected as opposed to the resultant amenity of the built form. We need to reject design to this lowest common denominator because designing roads based on turning templates (especially in residential locations) is leading to roads that are just too big which in turns leads to poor amenity and high speeds - read: places you dont want to be.

Do check out the Aussie links though. The difference in outcomes between US and Aus are striking. Anyway... please review with a mind to walkability and cycle-ability. All comments (well, almost all) welcome.

US Links
> I'on Village
> Seaside
> Celebration
> Mashpee Commons
> Battery Park
> Mizner Park
> Orenco Station

Australian Links
> SubiCentro (WA)
> Claisebrook Village (WA)
> Victoria Park (NSW)
> Honeysuckle (NSW)

And dont forget that the Europeans have been doing Urbanism for a bloody long time. We spent time in Switzerland and Austria over winter in 96/97 and were staggered by the high number of commuters on bike. -10C and there would be a few hundred bikes locked up to everything at the train stations. Narrower and slower speed roads count for a lot.


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