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New Urbanism

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NEWS
March 20, 1995 | By Neal R. Peirce
The critics say urban sprawl is a lousy idea - trashing the land with schlock development, polluting the air, costing billions for duplicated roads, schools and water systems. But they've been short on compelling solutions. Most sound like snores - "infill development," "concurrency," "urban growth boundaries," for example. Of late, however, there's been a rush of popular attention to the idea called "New Urbanism" - returning to an America of more compact neighborhoods of houses and walk-up apartments on smaller, less sterile streets, places with real town centers and pedestrian-accessible parks and gathering places.
NEWS
November 9, 2007 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
For all their idealistic talk, it often seems that New Urbanist developers are looking to save the world in all the wrong places. They insist they want to create sustainable neighborhoods where you don't need a car to get to work or run out for a quart of milk. But then they locate their utopias in a landscape governed by the logic of sprawl, far from convenient shops, jobs or transit stops. It's long been known that New Urbanist developments look and perform best when they can latch onto existing infrastructure, like street grids and transit networks.
NEWS
September 9, 2001 | By Diane Mastrull INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The apostles of New Urbanism have come to Pennsylvania with a message for suburbanites squeezed by sprawl: Move. Not deeper into the rural frontier, but back to the city, or to the small, aging towns on the inner rim. And if you must build, raise pedestrian-friendly villages instead of space-eating subdivisions. That's one tough sell to Philadelphia-area denizens, whose passion for single-family houses and big yards is among the most intense in the nation. But the fledgling Association for the New Urbanism in Pennsylvania is just as committed to an opposing dream: to rein in runaway development by promoting the kinds of communities that flourished until the last half of the 20th century.
NEWS
February 13, 2007 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
More than 100 years ago, houses sprouted around the Main Street business district in Collingswood. Residents walked to stores and had a close-knit sense of community. As automobiles made traveling to shopping centers easier, many people moved to suburban developments with half-acre lots and cul-de-sacs. Now, a group of architects, planners, developers and public officials, hopes to reverse the exodus by recapturing the best of the past and giving it a modern twist. They will be meeting in Collingswood from 6 to 8:30 p.m. today, visiting a town where the ideas are being put into practice.
NEWS
March 26, 1995 | By Neal R. Peirce and Curtis W. Johnson
THE BIG RAGE IN URBAN PLANNING circles these days is the idea of creating a more livable future by going back to the past. Some call it the "New Urbanism. " Others use the clunkily descriptive term "transit-oriented development. " Leading proponents include California architect Peter Calthorpe and the Miami-based husband-and-wife team of Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. Their goal is to re-create the kind of walkable, cohesive towns where our grandparents grew up. Their method is to eschew the extra-wide, winding residential streets, the large subdivisions with cul de sacs, and the sterile commercial strips that have characterized so much development since World War II. Each development, as they envision it, should include a mix of single- family homes, apartments and townhouses, a town center, mixed-use commercial facilities and employment centers.
LIVING
May 18, 2007 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
Ah, the poor, maligned suburban developer. Finding someone to speak up for the breed is almost as difficult as securing approvals for a big, buildable tract in Chester County. But now comes Witold Rybczynski, the best-selling author, distinguished Wharton School professor, accomplished architect, and Chestnut Hill resident. In his latest book, Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville, he tells of the trials and tribulations of Joseph and Jason Duckworth, father-son developers from Wayne-based Arcadia Land Co., as they struggle to create an old-timey, walkable small town in a time of PVC keystones, composite floorboards, and factory-manufactured production houses.
NEWS
May 18, 2007 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Ah, the poor, maligned suburban developer. Finding someone to speak up for the breed is almost as difficult as securing approvals for a big, buildable tract in Chester County. But now comes Witold Rybczynski, the best-selling author, distinguished Wharton School professor, accomplished architect, and Chestnut Hill resident. In his latest book, Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville , he tells of the trials and tribulations of Joseph and Jason Duckworth, father-son developers from Wayne-based Arcadia Land Co., as they struggle to create an old-timey, walkable small town in a time of PVC keystones, composite floorboards, and factory-manufactured production houses.
NEWS
May 18, 2007 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
To those civilians who merely live and work in buildings, architecture may appear to be a genteel profession dominated by people in cool eyeglasses and black clothing. Little do they know of the furious clashes raging between the Modernists and the New Urbanists, an ideological rift every bit as bitter and unbridgeable as America's Red State/Blue State divide. After Hurricane Katrina, when many Americans had harsh words for the Bush administration, FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers, the Modernists trained their ire on the New Urbanists and their rebuilding proposals.
NEWS
October 18, 2004 | By Lini S. Kadaba INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
On this sun-splashed evening, Jane Quinn and Tina Zolfaghari are visiting on the sidewalk. Quinn's daughter toddles ahead and three boys - the Velez children - swish past on bikes. Down the path, Larry Huber walks his yellow Lab, and the Humes return from a hand-in-hand, after-dinner stroll, stopping to greet the Xanders. Here is a scene out of small-town America. Yet the Quinns, Zolfagharis and others live on Lindley Lane in Ridglea, a three-year-old suburban outpost in South Coventry.
NEWS
February 26, 2007
If teachers got respect, they'd stick around Your Feb. 11 editorial, "Retaining good teachers: Leaving too soon," would have us believe that substandard working conditions are the reason young people don't stay in the teaching profession. I submit that it is the total lack of respect from the general public that is at the root of the problem. Check it out: We have been blamed for everything from the fiscal irresponsibility of state governments to childhood obesity. A U.S. secretary of education called us terrorists.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
REAL_ESTATE
March 9, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Someone asked me the other day: Why are you fascinated with the concept of reemerging boroughs? Because it's happening, period. These are suburban communities that began as 18th-century farming villages, evolved into 19th- and 20th-century factory towns such as Ambler and Phoenixville, then struggled when the industries were closed. The ones near Philadelphia and other cities also are known as first-ring suburbs, created as public transit made those areas more accessible. In the fall of 1999, I attended a session on the decline of first-ring suburbs at an Urban Land Institute (ULI)
NEWS
November 16, 2012 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia City Council on Wednesday resolved the first big conflict to emerge from the zoning code overhaul, reaching an agreement on a 50-foot buffer for streams and rivers, but other challenges to the new code still loom. The buffer pitted environmentalists trying to protect waterways against developers concerned about the impact. A compromise brokered largely by Councilman Bobby Henon makes four riverfront uses - marine-related industry, marinas, utilities, and city-owned facilities - permissible within the buffer.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 11, 2012 | By Samantha Melamed, For The Inquirer
When the Wiglesworths first saw their house, a compact L of glass, stone, and stucco built into the slope of a hill in Glenside, it had been languishing on the market for some time. Filled with incongruous colonial-style furniture and chandeliers, "the house did not show well," Michael Wiglesworth said. But underneath the years of wear and bad renovations, the inconspicuous little house on Station Avenue had a formidable pedigree: It was designed by John Whitehead, a protégé of Philly modernist Louis Kahn.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 16, 2009 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
With a lofty name like Noble American Cookery, it should come as no surprise that every aspect of this promising new restaurant is steeped with tall ambition and a deliberately haute-Yankee twist. The space itself is one of the most handsome new dining rooms around. Owners Todd Rodgers, Bruno Pouget, and chef Steven Cameron have transformed the old Gioia Mia into a stylish bi-level haven of urban eco-farm chic. There's reclaimed antique hickory from an old Jersey barn on the floors, a naturally fallen bobinga tree carved into a bar and table tops, clever flip-up cafe windows for an indoor-outdoor community table at the entrance, and skylights upstairs that allow a soft natural light to fill the airy second floor, atop of which a mini-farm garden grows herbs, tomatoes, and veggies for the seasonally inspired menu.
NEWS
April 28, 2009 | By JOHN DAVIDSON
In its simplest form, transit-oriented development means that if you want to build up neighborhoods and businesses, you have to recognize transit as a key element. Rising gas prices, a growing concern for the environment and a renewed interest in urban living has moved transit from a government priority to a priority for savvy developers. Transit-oriented development - or TOD as it's called in planning and design circles - creates mixed-use and high-density developments that rely less on automobiles for transportation, and features pedestrian-friendly design.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2009 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
After spending a decade carving this region's countryside into housing developments, Craig Poff had a bout of introspection. That led to a radical step: He left the business. Granted, the economy had turned a boom industry into a bust. But Poff said his decision to abandon his trade came from a more philosophical place: "I was becoming increasingly distraught at the brokenness of residential land use. " That's no small statement from a man who had reached the top post of the Home Builders Association of Chester and Delaware Counties.
NEWS
November 9, 2007 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
For all their idealistic talk, it often seems that New Urbanist developers are looking to save the world in all the wrong places. They insist they want to create sustainable neighborhoods where you don't need a car to get to work or run out for a quart of milk. But then they locate their utopias in a landscape governed by the logic of sprawl, far from convenient shops, jobs or transit stops. It's long been known that New Urbanist developments look and perform best when they can latch onto existing infrastructure, like street grids and transit networks.
LIVING
May 18, 2007 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
Ah, the poor, maligned suburban developer. Finding someone to speak up for the breed is almost as difficult as securing approvals for a big, buildable tract in Chester County. But now comes Witold Rybczynski, the best-selling author, distinguished Wharton School professor, accomplished architect, and Chestnut Hill resident. In his latest book, Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville, he tells of the trials and tribulations of Joseph and Jason Duckworth, father-son developers from Wayne-based Arcadia Land Co., as they struggle to create an old-timey, walkable small town in a time of PVC keystones, composite floorboards, and factory-manufactured production houses.
NEWS
May 18, 2007 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
To those civilians who merely live and work in buildings, architecture may appear to be a genteel profession dominated by people in cool eyeglasses and black clothing. Little do they know of the furious clashes raging between the Modernists and the New Urbanists, an ideological rift every bit as bitter and unbridgeable as America's Red State/Blue State divide. After Hurricane Katrina, when many Americans had harsh words for the Bush administration, FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers, the Modernists trained their ire on the New Urbanists and their rebuilding proposals.
NEWS
May 18, 2007 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Ah, the poor, maligned suburban developer. Finding someone to speak up for the breed is almost as difficult as securing approvals for a big, buildable tract in Chester County. But now comes Witold Rybczynski, the best-selling author, distinguished Wharton School professor, accomplished architect, and Chestnut Hill resident. In his latest book, Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville , he tells of the trials and tribulations of Joseph and Jason Duckworth, father-son developers from Wayne-based Arcadia Land Co., as they struggle to create an old-timey, walkable small town in a time of PVC keystones, composite floorboards, and factory-manufactured production houses.
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