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Thursday
Jun162005

Congress for New Urbanism - general update

I just returned from the Congress for New Urbanism in Pasadena, CA, and a side trip to Denver. At the conference, we were welcomed by the mayor of Pasadena and mayor-elect of Los Angeles, who were both vigorously supportive of livable communities. Pasadena IS a livable community, far from what it was 20 years ago.

Also, we received special greetings via video from HRH Prince Charles. CNU President Hank Dittmar is CEO of the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment.

Aside from learning from the masters of architecture and planning, and rubbing shoulders with urbanists from all over the world, perhaps the best part of the conference was the tour of courtyard housing in which I participated. Dense housing can be BEAUTIFUL, and the "Seven Fountains" project is proof that it can be successful, with the highest rents in Los Angeles. ($5000-6000/month for 1600 sf)

In Denver I visited Stapleton, the largest New Urbanist project in the US, converting the former Denver Airport into cohesive urban fabric, complete with mixed uses amd densities, public parks, and town centers. I also paid a visit to Belmar, an award-winning project turning a dead shopping mall into a downtown core for Lakewood, CO.

Finally, I visited 8th & Pearl, a mixed use building in Boulder, CO. It beautifully combines streetfront retail, courtyards, single family attached houses, and structured parking into one delightful building.

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