Thursday, March 08, 2007

New Urbanism Manifesto


A couple years ago the CNU published a credo. In it they explained their raison d'etre. Unfortunately it was written in plannerese an obscure sub-dialect of bureaucratese. I have taken the liberty to translate:

The Congress for the New Urbanism advocates: disproportionate government investment in central cities, government restrictions on choice of home or neighborhood, government mandated forced integration by race and income, increased government protections of the environment by limiting choice and uses of private property, and the application of government policies to return to old city form and dominance.

CNU seeks to restore density in the old cities, increase density in the new suburbs and place prohibitions on any land use policies that result in either lower densities or investment outside the dense urban areas.

CNU recognizes that intense limits on personal liberty and private property rights are necessary as it seems physical solutions by themselves will not solve social and economic problems inherent we percieve in our nations prefered urban patterns, but neither can economic vitality, community stability, and environmental health be sustained without a coherent and supportive physical framework.

CNU advocates the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.

CNU seeks to impose our extremeist and extreme minority views on the general population using force of government upon broad-based citizenry, composed of public and private sector leaders, community activists, and multidisciplinary professionals. We are committed to reestablishing the relationship between the art of building and the making of community, through citizen-based participatory planning and design. In short, we want to direct.

CNU dedicates ourselves to reclaiming our dominion over homes, blocks, streets, parks, neighborhoods, districts, towns, cities, regions, and environment.
----

This is why I fight New Urbanism.

29 comments:

Tony Soprano said...

First again Loosers

TK said...

CRAP

Benoit said...

Third!! :-)

Searching Google for "CashCall" currently brings up IAFF at #11... soon enough, it'll be on the first page of results, baybee!

I like how every thread here ultimately becomes a "Labels: Casey" thread. heh.

Jim, From Monterey Bay Proper said...

How about some decent public transportation so I don't spend the equivalent of a part time job in my car?

Is that too much to ask for community planning??? Apparently so.

Rob Dawg said...

Jim,
Public transit costs 4x what your "expensive" auto costs. How would you suggst we pay for it?

Rob Dawg said...

benoit,
Jeeez, do you eat the same thing every night for dinner? casey serin cashcall brings up IAFF #1 and EN #2. Kewl.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Rob Dawg:
Why do you find this suggestion a problem? "communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car"

I would love to see more pedestrian access everywhere. I find it really annoying that it's not safe for me to walk the half mile to my local supermarket because everything is geared towards the almighty car.

(LOVE this blog by the way. You guys have me in stitches all the time with your comments about Casey, aka The Witless Wanker.)

Legion said...

hey guys
That post from anon at 6:03 with the nigel rant was hilarious.

I also just looked at his big "splurge" of a seafood dinner because of all the bizness he had to labor thru that day, and I just had to laugh. Let's see, some fried clams, fried shrimp, and a gimpy looking snow crab leg stalk, total price, about 9.99. Why do I laugh? I just went to red lobster, they were having a lobsterfest, I decided, hmmm, a lobster bisque, a new england clam chowder, 1.5 lbs of KING CRAB LEGS, and a ROCKZILLA (1 lb of rock lobster tail), they tried to tell me I had side orders and saldas, I said screw that, I don't got that much room. Anyways, then I turned to my GF and asked, so hon, what are you having?
Anyways, total bill for the dinner, $175. So when I look at those two morons living it up and showing off about how rich they are that they can order a rinky dink snow crab leg cluster with fried seafood, well nuff said.
And to anon who I know is gonna respond, yes, I did break my piggy bank to collect the coins and pay for the dinner, yes, I had to ask my mom for permission first beforei went out, yes my gf was my pet sheep, yes I went home to my trailer. kay, now go screw yourself pal..by the way, going to be heading to Utah sometime soon, I'll be able to spot Nigel by the glare coming from the bald spot in the back of his head..jeez man, use some shoe polish for crying out loud.

Rob Dawg said...

Yorky,
Thanks. These "guys" are funny. I get a kick out of reading each new twisted idea.

Anyway, the problem with accomodating ped and transit and autos is that there needs to be too much space dedicated to those functions at the expense of near everything else. So much public space and so much space dedidcated to just the one aspect of mobility is an unacceptable compromise on density, cost and other issues.

We can certainly do a whole lot better in the way we accomodate the auto but overlaying other mobility mode doesn't address the central issue.

Benoit™ said...

@ Rob Dawg -- I don't eat the same thing for dinner each night, although I will have Casey Serin for lunch! ::rimshot::

Anyway, here's another anti-Casey blog link. It's similar to the one from yesterday, but any bad publicity for Caseypoo™ always helps :-)

Rob Dawg said...

Legion,
$175 would get you brunch at the Biltmore in Santa Barbara. I swear you don't eat for days before or after. All the top shelf seafood you can eat. Everything ultra fresh, real champagne. I must have downed 1.5lbs of shrimp, 1lb of king crab leg, yes, leg, a dozen oysters, octopus and squid, smoked salmon, ...

Sprezzatura said...

Rob, you obviously have strong views on what an "acceptable" level of density is and what you think public moneys should be spent on. And you are, of course, entitled to that opinion. However, I just don't agree with you on this issue.

I'll admit that in areas of the US like the greater LA area, which is one massive sprawl, mass transit may not be a good solution. But the world is not SoCal, and mass transit works very, very well in areas with higher population density. Cities like London, Tokyo, and New York would not be able to exist without it.

I'm sure you find it hard to believe, but there are people who actually like being able to walk to a grocery store for a quick quart of milk, or to be able to go to the park with their kids without having to spend half an hour loading everyone into the car and driving there.

Rob Dawg said...

Sprezz,
The LA Urban Area is by far and away the densest in the United States and everything advocated by the CNU makes other places more like Los Angteles. That's my point. Planners are ignoring the data. They have a bunch of ideas and no rationale.

YouSoSpecial said...

Rob Dawg said...
the problem with accomodating ped and transit and autos is that there needs to be too much space dedicated to those functions at the expense of near everything else. So much public space and so much space dedidcated to just the one aspect of mobility is an unacceptable compromise on density, cost and other issues.

Zackly.

Legion said...

Hey Rob,
That kind of seafood buffett is worth every penny. About 5 lbs of king crab leg and one wouild break even.
Know of any place like that in the LAX area?

Anonymous said...

How about that, people were trying to get Caey locked up TEN Years ago!

http://groups.google.com/group/abg.suche/browse_thread/thread/470c4a52726baf6d/6ef3daaffc5ad8ed

thatotherguy said...

Why am I not surprised to find that these guys (CNU) are based in San Fransicko?

Lou Minatti said...

Portland is "smart growth". Is the congestion in Portland better or worse than it was 20 years ago? Last time I was there they had lots of light rail but few riders. Meanwhile, everyone else was stuck in traffic on the mediocre freeways.

But who the hell am I to criticize. Portland voters wanted it that way, so they must think it's OK.

R-Boy said...

Rob, I'm still not understanding, but perhaps you can help me.

I live in a small community called Del Ray, in Alexandria Va. We're inside the DC beltway, very close to National Airport, etc.

We have bike trails everywhere throughout our community, allowing me to bike to Ballston Mall, Rosslyn and Georgetown, the National Mall, Adams Morgan, etc. In fact, our area is planned so well, we only use our car to go to work and back. We can walk to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, to multiple movie theaters, fine dining, excellent bars, playhouses, et. al. And these routes don't seem to take up a whole lot of space.

I don't think that space is as much an issue as finding competent planners.

Mozatta said...

I spent a year living in downtown LA. Their public transportation system isn't all that bad. If you mind waiting for the bus all morning because they are rarely on time, if you don't mind standing next to a dozen people who haven't showered in a week and if you don't mind taking 7 connection buses - Other than that, it works great.

You can't find a parking spot within 9 blocks of your apartment complex, you have to sprint to and from your car at night, not to mention you have to get up at 6 am to move it so you don't get a ticket. That or you do what I did and end up spending 3K a year for your bumper to get repainted and for them to take the dents out of your door. Great valet guys too!

Thanks to the parking guys at my apartment, I had to get my front bumper painted 2x and on average 30-50 extra miles a week that I never drove. Apparantly they get hungry at night and decided my car was the best to take to McDonalds.

Jim, From Monterey Bay Proper said...

@ Rob Dawg
I didn't realize public transport had a price tag of 4X. Does that include insurance and gas? I know people who are filling up 2-3 times a week at $50 per shot.

I'd have to sit and do the math, but I'll tell you, I'd be much more inclined to go across LA on a train than sit in my car for 1.5 hours to go 30 miles.

@ Sprezzatura
I'm confused as to why you don't think transit isn't a good solution in LA (aside form the 4X cost). My only experience is in NY and Japan, but if you take Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures, you have a lot of area that is easily traversed through train/subway/bus. It would obviously take a lot of work to get that implemented in LA, but it seems doable.

Anonymous said...

Portland traffic has gotten a lot worse in the past five years because of all the Californians migrating north.

Rob Dawg said...

I didn't realize public transport had a price tag of 4X.

Most people don't because there's this massive disinformation campaign going on. If you were paying 80¢/mile for your bus or subway trip you'd probably use less transit right? If lots of people did the same thing transit would collapse back down to the societal safety net subsistence program it deserves to be. As it is now we are fostering a dependence on an expensive and inefficient transportation mode. Not good public policy.

Does that include insurance and gas? I know people who are filling up 2-3 times a week at $50 per shot.

Yes and it is gonna be $60-$70 per shot this summer. Hard to belive but even with soaring prices POVs are still averaging less than 25¢/passenger mile. Total costs. You'll see places like the AAA cost to own calculations that show something like 40¢ but they assume you are driving a new car off the lot and having it worth $0 after 5 years. The average auto in the US is closer to 9years old.

I'd have to sit and do the math, but I'll tell you, I'd be much more inclined to go across LA on a train than sit in my car for 1.5 hours to go 30 miles.

Wouldn't we all? It is a problem that what if ou were required to report the amount of subsidy Metrolink grants you as taxable incom like what happens with our auto expenses? The typical Ventura County Metrolink rider has an $85k income and recieves $7300/yr in transit subsidy. That's enough to buy these people each a good car and pay for operating expenses.

Anonymous said...

We've been conditioned into believing that burning gasoline equals creating wealth. I guess it's partly intuitive, I mean, how many slaves would it take to push a car along at sixty miles an hour? That's how a society gets "addicted to oil". Ultimately, it doesn't matter if peak oil has arrived or is thirty years out, we've got so much invested in this infrastructure that extricating from it will be painful. Libertarian diatribes regarding "property rights" will seem rather quaint in the future. That said, I think I'll walk to the beach.

Jim, from Monterey Bay Proper said...

@ Rob-Dawg

Not that I'm not believing you here, I just want to understand the entire issue. So assuming that we do pay more for public transportation. How do these benefits factor in:
A. Cleaner energy / less pollution
B. Less parking space required (more efficient use of space)
C. Less court time for civil suits for auto incidents (just spent 2 days on jury duty last week).
D. More efficiency - in my experience it is standard for the average person to arrive 20-30 minutes late daily due to traffic.
E. I'm assuming there would be less drunk drivers?

thanks - I'm finding this interesting

Jim

Rob Dawg said...

We've been conditioned into believing that burning gasoline equals creating wealth.

No, we've demonstrated that mobility equates to wealth. Always has long before gasoline and will be long after. There's a difference.

Akubi said...

Rob Dawg,
I thought this article might be of interest to you http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2007/03/09/carollloyd.DTL&feed=rss.surrealestate

Rob Dawg said...

I like Carol Lloyd but this time it is the same old song that' developers sing when they want subsidies. I'll devote another entire post to the myth of affordable housing. I'll add it to the list:
Portland Myths
Transit Myths
Roads Myths

Thanks for the heads up.

R-Boy said...

Ideally, we'd be free to live where we want to live and communities would develop in accordance to those tastes.

The problem is that, say, folks like a small town, is that newcomers aren't coming from that small town, and thus bring other things, and then say "Where's the blockbuster" and soon enough, you have another cookie-cutter suburban city. Bleh. We tend to associate with those like us, and our homoegenous impulses destroy the very differences and quirkiness that attracts us to live somewhere in the first place.

"Keep Austin Weird"

For what it's worth, as a private citizen I have been a participant in three fights over development plans in the Arlington/Alexandria area. Sadly, we keep losing them to the planners, who insist that there's demand for 300 unit condos. And each time one goes up, young yups move in, and then wonder, what happened to the quirky bars, the dives, the ecletic shops, and the ethnic restaurants that they loved about the area.

Clarendon, we'll miss you.

R-Boy
Libertarian Economist
Somewhere in the DOJ