mixed use developments

SN: Adapted from his recent book, The New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida provides CityLab a walkthrough of the decline of modern suburbs. Please take note, as in the quote above, it is the inner ring suburbs that suffer disproportionately, and despite any misgivings about how they developed and how much they contributed to the ills of the past, I would argue that just like the prior decline of our inner cities, Americans should not turn their backs on these established inner ring, or middle, burbs. It will take some creativity, the protection of existing green space, more density, an increase in mixed used development, and a whole lot of transit. Not easy, but infinitely better then abandoned 7-11s, office parks, and cookie cutter homes. The space simply needs to be repurposed and not left to blight.

From Florida and CityLab:

The New Suburban Crisis

During the mid-1980s, before anyone thought of the suburbs as being on a downward trajectory, the urban designer David Lewis, a Carnegie Mellon colleague of mine at the time, told me that the future project of suburban renewal would likely make our vast 20th-century urban renewal efforts look like a walk in the park.

Incongruous as it might seem, the suburban dimension of the New Urban Crisis may well turn out to be bigger than the urban one, if for no other reason than the fact that more Americans live in suburbs than cities. Members of the privileged elite may be returning to the urban cores, but large majorities of almost everyone else continue to locate in the suburbs.

Across the United States, more than one in four suburbanites are poor or nearly poor. In fact, the suburbs of America’s largest metropolitan areas have more poor people living in them than their inner cities do, and poverty is also growing at a much faster rate in the suburbs. Between 2000 and 2013, the number of people living below the poverty line in American cities increased by 29 percent. During that same period, the ranks of the suburban poor grew by 66 percent. Seventeen million suburbanites lived below the poverty line in 2013, compared to 13.5 million urbanites. Concentrated poverty also resides in the suburbs—the numbers of the suburban poor who lived in neighborhoods of where at least 40 percent of residents were below the poverty line grew by 139 percent between 2000 and 2012. That’s triple the growth rate for concentrated poverty populations in the cities.

Economic mobility is significantly lower in more spread-out metros today than it is in denser cities. While it remains true that persistently poor urban neighborhoods concentrate and perpetuate a cycle of poverty, poor suburban neighborhoods also present challenges: They isolate and disconnect their residents both from jobs and from economic opportunity, and also from the social services that can mitigate poverty’s worst effects. Even when suburbs have social services, the poor are less able to access them because they are harder to find and harder to reach than urban social services.

Growth today is in fact concentrated in dense urban areas and at suburbia’s far-flung peripheries. Population growth is occurring fastest in the farthest-out (or “suburbiest”) parts of suburbs and in the densest urban neighborhoods, as real estate economist Jed Kolko wrote for CityLab in 2015. It’s far less expensive to build on the wide-open, undeveloped land in outlying areas than anywhere else, and it’s easier to grow fast when you’re starting from nothing. The densest urban places are attracting people and jobs because of their convenience and improved productivity. Meanwhile, the middle of our suburban geography is being hollowed out and squeezed economically: Growth is bypassing the older suburban areas that lie between the two poles of urban center and outlying new development.

When all is said and done, the suburban crisis reflects the end of a long era of cheap growth. Building roads and infrastructure and constructing houses on virgin land was and is an incredibly inexpensive way to provide an American Dream to the masses, certainly when compared to what it costs to build new subway lines, tunnels, and high-rise buildings in mature cities. For much of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and on into the 1980s and 1990s, suburbanization was the near-perfect complement to America’s industrial economy. More than the great mobilization effort of World War II or any of the Keynesian stimulus policies that were applied during the 1930s, it was suburban development that propelled the golden era of economic growth in the 1950s and 1960s. As working- and middle-class families settled into suburban houses, their purchases of washers, dryers, television sets, living-room sofas, and automobiles stimulated the manufacturing sector that employed so many of them, creating more jobs and still more homebuyers. Sprawl was driver of the now-fading era of cheap economic growth.


wherever we are | [8tracks] [spotify] (For the Shameless Big Bang based on the Fan Fiction of the same name written by MrsKnightleysdays).

tracks: 01. Higher Love James Vincent McMorrow 02. Stuck on the Puzzle Alex Turner 03. Shelter Birdy 04. Kiss Me Jason Walker 05. Magic Coldplay 06. In the Silence Ásgeir 07. Timekeeper Lucy Schwartz 08. Resolution Matt Corby 09. Care Hudson Taylor 10. Hideaway Hudson Taylor  

anonymous asked:

A recipe book called Nut Tree Remembered the Cookbook. It contains 40 recipes, and more than 100 photos and graphics from the restaurant and retail stores that closed in 1996. As of Sep 2015 they still accept PHONE ORDERS for the remaining copies.

Originally posted by leatherjacketrenegade67

Nut Tree is a mixed-use development in Vacaville, California near the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 505. It opened in 1921 on old U.S. Route 40. It was created by Helen and Ed “Bunny” Power as a small roadside fruit stand, and built near the site of Helen’s childhood home (‘Harbison House’ dating from 1907), which she and her husband purchased from her parents not long after their 1920 marriage.

The Nut Tree grew as US 40 became Interstate 80. At its peak, it contained a restaurant, an outdoor eatery, a bakery, a gift shop, a toy shop, the Nut Tree Railroad that gave rides from the toy shop to the airport, and an airport, which is now owned and operated by Solano County. It was a welcome rest stop on the road between Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Throughout the year, kids enjoyed giant frosted honey cookies (personalized on request), the numerous “Hobby Horses” rocking horses and riding the train.

It welcomed several celebrities, including Ronald Reagan when he became California governor in 1967, Richard Nixon, Danny Kaye, Shirley Temple Black, Peter Marino and Bing Crosby, among others. On March 4, 1983 Nut Tree catered a luncheon hosted by CA Governor George Deukmejian for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the State capitol [1]

Beginning in 1980, Nut Tree was home to a month-long October harvest event called 'Pumpkin Patch’. Pumpkin Patch attractions included a great scarecrow contest, a giant pumpkin display and weigh-in, and pumpkin carving contests.

The Nut Tree Restaurant was an early pioneer of California cuisine, with fresh fruits and vegetables featured in the recipes. By 1978, it was identified as “the region’s most characteristic and influential restaurant.”[2] It also featured small loaves of wheat and rye bread, cooked fresh each day on the premises. A notable feature of the restaurant was its large indoor aviary, which had glass walls extending from floor to ceiling. Nut Tree knives and cutting boards, as well as books on aviation, were sold in the gift shop. A recipe book called Nut Tree Remembered - The Cookbook was printed by the Vacaville Museum in 1997. It contains 40 recipes, and more than 100 photos and graphics from the restaurant and retail stores that closed in 1996. As of September, 2015, they still accept phone orders for the remaining copies.[3]

anonymous asked:

Hello! Weird question in your opinion do you think its plagiarizing when you're copying someone art style but not their work? For example I can't draw good on my own but if I look at someone's work I can(??) (like I made an original art but it looks like it could be yours) idk I want to draw stuff but I don't want to seem like I'm copying off people

it’s a pretty gray area, anon- some artists get concerned when they see their styles being mimicked or find work that’s very very similar to theirs, others don’t particularly mind~

the best way to go about it, I think, is to mimic various aspects of works that inspire you, but not the whole style :> I feel like you’d be able to develop your art more that way, especially since it’s an exercise of finding the most appealing parts and working to put them all together into something entirely new!


New Urbanist Andrés Duany created the rural-to-urban transect as a model of urban planning. The transect defines a series of zones that evolve from sparse rural farmhouses to the dense urban core. Each zone contains a similar transition from the edge to the center of a neighborhood. The transect is an important part of the New Urbanism and Smart Growth movements.

Transect planning can be seen as a contrast to the single land-use pattern favored by modern city zoning and suburban development. In these patterns, large areas are dedicated to a single purpose, such as housing, offices, shopping, and they can only be accessed via major roads. The transect, by contrast, involves mixed-use development and therefore decreases the necessity for long-distance travel by any means.

Politico looks at the makings of Atlanta's Snow Jam 2014

Your must-read article for the week is Politico’s The Day We Lost Atlanta How 2 lousy inches of snow paralyzed a metro area of 6 million. Local writer Rebecca Burns takes a look at the dysfunctions of Metro Atlanta that led to people being stranded on highways, in schools and in stores by the snow and ice over the last two days.

The highlight of the piece, for me, is her exploration of the regional peculiarities that laid ground for a situation wherein one million motorists were on the interstates at the same time, headed home to the suburbs in the snow.

Here’s a quote that answers the question of why the suburbs are so much more populated with residents than the center city:

In the 1970s…the city of Atlanta witnessed an exodus of 160,000 people. The white flight of the 1960s and 1970s, triggered by integration of schools and housing, was followed by reverse migration as blacks from the Northeast and Midwest returned to the Atlanta region but opted to move into the suburbs of DeKalb, Fulton and Clayton counties[*]. Atlanta the city, became—and despite a slow uptick in population, remains—the commercial district to which people commute from Atlanta, the suburbs.

[* For the reasons why so many new residents “opted” for the suburbs in the last couple of decades, look to the drive-until-you-qualify affordability of housing built along interstates, and the mortgage assistance offered in the 90s that enabled ownership of suburban homes. Add in the City of Atlanta’s inability to encourage transit-connected, affordable housing in it’s limits – as well as the corruption of public schools driving away families – and you’ve got a perfect storm of car-centric sprawl for the metro area.]

She also looks at the lack of transit connectivity in the metro and the failed attempt to correct that situation with the recent TSPLOST vote. It’s a great article.

Incidentally, I spotted Rebecca walking down Broad Street on Tuesday after the snow had fallen and I was coming back inside with my son after playing in the snow in the park. I almost introduced myself but she was walking with a sense of purpose that made me suspicious. It wasn’t until I got inside and saw the news that I realized the horrible things that were taking place on the roads, forcing her and others to abandon their cars.

My urbanist’s prayer: please let the silver lining of this experience be a strengthened resolve to, 1.) put affordable housing near MARTA rail stations; 2.) improve city schools so they families aren’t tempted away from the city when kids reach school age; 3.) build infill housing and mixed-use developments in the suburbs that reduce the number of car commuters in our region.

In my highly-biased opinion, the source of the problem is our sprawling, car-focused environment. It will continue to cause problems for us with or without icy roads. The best thing we can do for future generations in our region is to build (and re-build) in a way that lets alternative-transportation options thrive.

Photo by Flickr user James Bursa