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Ideally shaped city.

 
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 01:12 pm
@2PacksAday,
2PacksAday wrote:

Oooooooh I hates that picture....pulls both pistols and shoots up the place....Yosemite Sam style.

Bryson talked about Canberra in his book on OZ....."In a Sunburned Country".



Off subject, but do you remember this sidekick Sam had in one of the cartoons, "Mavererick"?

OOOOHHHH....MAV-ER-IC!!!!

He'd come rolling up like he was wearing roller skates under his duster.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 01:31 pm
http://i31.tinypic.com/dpzkso.jpg

6000' base diameter, over 53 miles of interior space, room for millions to live.

Arcologies are the future of mankind.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 01:44 pm
There is a book called Communitas by Paul Goodman which came out in the 50s which I read in college, which dealt with the shape of cities, and was a rather merciless critique of a lot of the urban redesign projects of the 20th century, which focussed on megalithic designs, like rings. I thought it was really spot-on.

There are two questions here: how do you make existing cities more livable, and how do you set up a new city if you're starting from howling wilderness. Looking at working existent cities I think gives us some clues on how to set up new ones. And I think Boston and New York both provide examples of working existent cities, and there are actually similarities. NYC is on a grid, and Boston is higgledy-piggledy, but both actually function as a series of neighborhoods which provide most of your daily necessities fairly close by. There are a series of concentrated areas for shopping, for offices, for work. But housing is everywhere. Boston/Cambridge/Somerville have a series ofSquares (which are not actually square), roughly 3/4 of a mile apart, I'd say, which re located haphazardly (folklorically speaking, allegedly where cowpaths used to cross)connected by traffic arteries, where the things you need tend to develop--people just go entrepreneurial and open the facilities people need, so you don't have to go far to get them, you can often just walk to them. The scale isn't overwhelming, you actually end up knowing a lot of your neighbors and the shop people you deal iwth every day.

Thinking about the daily needs or wants, I'd say there are a dozen or so that Boston's squares or NY's neighborhoods (my sister's family lives in midtown Manhattan, and even in that dense area, most of them exist) provide:

resaurants (usually the first thing that comes into a newly developing area, everyone seems to have an idea for a surefire resaurant: trendy, gourmet, family, or quick)(summer seating at outdoor tables, fairly new here, really makes things more appealing and festive)
McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, etc.
grocery store/supermarket/specialty markets
Starbucks or a coffee shop (great neighborhood and suburban suburban social centers)
school and playground
churches
a park (in Cambridge and Boston, the Charles River, Frederick Olmsted's Green Necklace)
a pharmacy
convenience stores
a gas station
bars and pubs
a movie theater/theaters and clubs for music
a big box store nearby
housing everywhere, not separated, apartments near squares, family homes in between squares/business centers

Provide effective mass transit to tie the squares/neighborhoods together and to the business centers. (Someone suggested radials--problem with radials is that they're good to get into or out of the city center, but they don't work too well if that's not where you're going--you also need something, to continue the metaphor, that's like the rim of a wheel, so that you can get around the hub too, without having to go into the center and out another radial--Boston is a bit too much like a hub here. Grids work well for this too).

Provide for those things, or allow them in zoning, and you get a llivable city/town/suburb that people actually like.

realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 05:36 pm
A very interesting post, MJ. Thank you. Designing "new" cities like Canberra or Brazilia is amusing, but not, perhaps, worthy of too much talk. But I would say that building cities in "hostile" environments is really, really dumb. I will get back to that, perhaps.
Disclaimer: I am neither an architect nor an urban planner, but I know enough about each (I can talk the lingo) to be dangerous. Rather, I am a numbers guy.

Anyway, I own the corner of 11th and W Main in Cville. UVA built a parking garage 1o' to the South. They are planning another building 180' to the east (7 stories). They own a big parcel of land (once a Sears store) across the street.
UVA creeping east.
I have nothing against UVA, but this has to stop. They made me a fair offer for the property but I was able to convince my very silent kinfolk/partners that this was a bad idea. 11th and Main is where UVA ends and a new neighborhood, Mid-town Cville begins. No more red brick and white columns or gray office buildings with no retail or housing elements.
"Loose lips sink ships." One morning I heard a rumor that the couple who owned the 18,000 sq ft building on Main just to the east of UVA's Sears property were thinking about selling. 15 minutes later I had it under contract. I had no idea where the $3.2M would come from. But it happened. UVA was royally p*ssed.
I control that corner, and to the east, all the way to 8th or 7th, is largely vacant land where used car lots used to stand. Half or a whole block deep. Midtown. I envision a new urban neighborhood of shops and "affordable" condos of, say 1400 sq ft.

Oh, yeah. My partner/architect, probably 60 years old, speaks of having a professor who, 35 or so years ago, warned that oil was not the issue. Water. Water.
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 05:47 pm
@chai2,
Yep, I remember the little feller....I used to have a cousin that worked for me, he was a big Sam fan....he often called me a long haired galoot.....ya know, instead of "eared".

Back on topic...sorta....the picture that Cyclo posted, I can see how that would be very efficient....all needs are met/self contained community....but I'll have to admit that there is no way in hell you would ever get me in one of those things. Nearly all of the futuristic novels or movies that have this type of city....also have folks called something like....outlanders....the equivalent of the 19th century mountain men.

So, yeah, I'd be one of those guys....waving at you in your highrise, as I drove thru the snow in my moonshine powered 4x4.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 05:48 pm
@2PacksAday,
2PacksAday wrote:

Yep, I remember the little feller....I used to have a cousin that worked for me, he was a big Sam fan....he often called me a long haired galoot.....ya know, instead of "eared".

Back on topic...sorta....the picture that Cyclo posted, I can see how that would be very efficient....all needs are met/self contained community....but I'll have to admit that there is no way in hell you would ever get me in one of those things. Nearly all of the futuristic novels or movies that have this type of city....also have folks called something like....outlanders....the equivalent of the 19th century mountain men.

So, yeah, I'd be one of those guys....waving at you in your highrise, as I drove thru the snow in my moonshine powered 4x4.


We won't have a choice when the population of the Earth rises far enough. We probably ought to start planning now for that eventuality.

I saw a show on the Discovery channel the other night about putting a dome over the city of Houston. Ambitious but do-able.

Cycloptichorn
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 05:55 pm
@farmerman,
I was fading while posting on all that, yesterday, but I learned about washington and l'enfant ias related similar efforts in europe over some years. Will try to trace what I meant (I know it's a thread tangent - hah - for the fun of it after I cook dinner.

To all, re suburbs, an earlier Alieff article (see earlier post of mine as I might not be spelling the name right, right now) had hundreds of responses re the life and death and design of suburbs, pretty fascinating as a read.

Meantime, enjoying the thread.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:08 pm
@dadpad,
I haven't studied Canberra, just remember reading about people thinking of it rather badly. I've no clue how prevalent that thinking is, or who was doing the thinking, just remember a certain tone of scorn.

Well, I'll give in this much re talking about OssoTown..

my ossotowns would vary, as I said, re location/climate/culture/even whether monoculture or very mixed, and all would be sustainable or working towards that, blah blah - but I think one element would be room for change over time, a kind of plasticity, and that can have more to do with economic issues than landuse diagrams, but does have something to do with the physical diagrams. Not sure quite what I mean by this, but I see the issue of dead, indeed abandoned, suburbs as just the opposite of what I'm thinking about.


0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:11 pm
@2PacksAday,
I'm strongly wary of Bryson as a writer but will admit I've agreed with him or been interested, here or there. So, what does he say about Canberra?

And, important, was he there for more than half a day? Ok, ok, 48 hours?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:12 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Pipe dreams, Buddy. The population of the earth has already reached the point that we are on the verge of running out of potable water. We have already reached the carrying capacity of agriculture to feed the world's population. The wars over water and food will break out long before you can build your dream cities.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:14 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

What do you think it would look like?

I thinking it might be in concentric circles.


While planning my recent camping trip in Florida and making extensive use of google maps, I came across this oddity.
I have no idea how long it has been there or what the story is, but your question reminded me of it.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:16 pm
@farmerman,
Right, an example of what riles me.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:17 pm
@chai2,
Yes...
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:18 pm
@MontereyJack,
I have a book by him, somewhere...

anyway, back to reading your post.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:20 pm
@MontereyJack,
Read it, good post.

Sort of Jane Jacobian, not that I'm disagreeing.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:21 pm
@MontereyJack,
Read it, good post.

Sort of Jane Jacobian, not that I'm disagreeing.

Especially agree with the phrase, allow them within zoning. (don't get me going)
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:22 pm
Really interesting discussion I've dropped in on.

My take: the spider web. Circles are nice but you need a few easy ways to get from the center to the perimeter. I definitely would like to see cars pushed to the perimeter, for the most part.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:27 pm
@realjohnboy,
Grins to Johnboy.

I've been following the saga extraordinaire, courtesy of RJB's missives, though haven't seen the most recent stuff, and am a fan from afar of his architect partner and the real jb.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:28 pm
@realjohnboy,
And, of course, the prof was right. Or, so I think.
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:39 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I'm strongly wary of Bryson as a writer but will admit I've agreed with him or been interested, here or there. So, what does he say about Canberra?

And, important, was he there for more than half a day? Ok, ok, 48 hours?


I got on a kick and read 5 of his books in a row....yes, here and there is my opinion of him as well. In his travel books, it seems that he starts off the trip with gusto....then peters out along the way, as does his writing....as if he is ready for the trip to be over, and in turn also the book....but overall I enjoyed his stories.

I think he spent a weekend there...but to be honest I'll have to skim it again....that was toward the end of the book...and I was getting weary myself....I'll let you know later tonight.
 

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