Chuck observes that the excessive length of the infrastructure (pipes, curbs, etcetera) we often build, consequently, creates an unsustainable maintenance budget. Is there a potentially good minimum total building square footage to street frontage ratio for economically sustainable development in a designated urban area? Ballparking, it seems like a 2500 square foot townhouse with 25 feet of street frontage (100:1) might be in the ballpark of a good ratio. Possibly, a good ratio may be as low as 50:1, based on a 2500 square foot detached residence with 50 feet of street frontage. What if the base property tax was then calculated on the adopted minimum development ratio, even if the property was actually developed to a lower ratio? This seems to approach an equitable allocation of fees necessary to maintain infrastructure. Properties that are developed at higher intensities (such as with several parking spaces) might be taxed more than the base property tax due to the increased infrastructure maintenance costs. Thanks! -Gordon
Gordon Hansen, AICP Strong Towns Member Planner, Town Foundations
My current interests include townhouse neighborhood design, infrastructure design for synchronized autonomous trams, and bicycle transmission design. My interests follow four decades of public and private sector work in urban planning and design.
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Prior to 1950, it seems that many subdivisions were plated with residential lots approximately 140 feet deep, and 25, 50, or 75 feet wide. Does Strong Towns advocate an optimum residential lot size for economically sustainable development?
Does anyone know of public school systems that still include one-room schools?
I would like to see improvements in our social fabric by reevaluating our public schools in Florida, which seem to be able to fund the construction of large sprawling school buildings, but seem unable to adequately fund our professional K-12 public school teachers.
Possibly, the Corona Pandemic will give more of us first-hand experience with online learning to combine it with one-room school systems similar to the ones my grandparents attended. Older students in my grandparents one-room school helped younger students, and possibly in the one-room schools of tomorrow, grandparents can help both older and younger students - and online learning could help students with specialized subjects. Rather than walking miles to my grandparents one-room school, our grandchildren could walk a few blocks to tether ball poles and a one-room school at center of their neighborhood.
Chuck- Your 4/21/20 presentation was great! I now have a much better understanding of “incremental projects”. Do you have more examples of “incremental projects"? Thanks! -Gordon
The following three resources when integrated and creatively located within close proximity of each other could help build better future neighborhoods:
Does anyone know of examples of pedicabs making a significant impact? Pedicabs have linked college bars in Tallahassee, but that is about it.
Does anyone have thoughts or experience with what might be called “Parallel Parking Speed Humps”? Could speeds on automobile travel lanes adjacent to parallel parking spaces be slowed without actually reducing the designated lane width with "Parallel Parking Speed Humps”. The "Parallel Parking Speed Humps” would be approximately 10 feet long, and could be spaced approximately 22 feet on-center to designate the length of individual parallel parking spaces - and extend partially into the automobile travel lane, approximately 3 feet beyond the width of a parked car. The "Parallel Parking Speed Humps” would narrow the “preferred" automobile travel lane width, yet still allow large trucks additional lane width. The "Parallel Parking Speed Humps” may also provide a safer area for drivers of parked automobiles to open doors for entry and departure. I would welcome any critique of the concept. A 10 foot long "Parallel Parking Speed Hump” might look something like this: https://www.speedbumpsandhumps.com/premium-recycled-rubber-speed-bumps?sku=3ZB3003&st-t=sbhgoogshop&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9bWKkOjj6AIVjMDACh0Q4gWpEAQYBSABEgJapfD_BwE -Thanks!
There is a great collection of photographs from the 1950’s and 60’s of Stourbridge, England, at https://www.stourbridge.com.
The photograph of Worcester Street, viewed from the end of Market Street in 1959 has much to say (Image 39 of 65) at https://www.stourbridge.com/stourbridge-town-centre-old-photos.htm.
The black and white photographs are a great resource, particularly, when compared to a Google maps tour of Stourbridge.
The great people that have created and maintained their Little Free Libraries https://littlefreelibrary.org/ for neighborhood children and adults have created a great sharing resource before, during, and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Can anyone give examples of inexpensive music and dance amphitheaters that have helped revitalize communities?