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Topic: The death of American suburbs & new urbanism

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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

BUsiness Insider


The American suburbs as we know them are dying



The American suburbs as we know them are dying

Ashley Lutz



Look no further than the suburbs to see how American ideals about success are transforming.

People in the US suburbs are changing the way they shop, where they eat, and what they want in their homes.

Malls are shutting down as e-commerce continues to take over, and the casual-dining chains that fed shoppers after a day of hoofing it through the mall are struggling to cope.

Business Insider reporters from our consumer, transportation, news, graphics, video, and innovation teams have explored this idea in a series of stories.

We're calling it the Death of Suburbia — because if the trends that they identified continue, the many suburbs as we know them will be forever changed.
The line is blurring between city and suburb

Urban and suburban areas are becoming less distinguishable as modern populations value convenience and location over size.

The line between city and suburb has already started to blur, Fadi Masoud, an urban planning professor at the University of Toronto who contributed to a forthcoming book called "Infinite Suburbia" told Business Insider's Leanna Garfield.

"Some people still attribute the oldest part of the city, which is predominantly pedestrian-friendly and more dense as ‘urban,’ and then everything else that starts going out further in distance from the core as 'suburban.' But that definition doesn’t work as well now," he tells Business Insider. "What you would usually define as urban and suburban is eroding."

Urban planners across America are rethinking how suburbs are designed. Towns like New Rochelle, a suburb of New York City, are evolving to focus less on space and possession and more on walkability and environmental impact.

development new rochelle A rendering of the New Rochelle redevelopment. RXR Realty
McMansions are out

The cheaply-constructed mansions of old are plummeting in value as homebuyers become more discerning.

In an article from August 2016, Bloomberg cited data from real-estate site Trulia that showed that the premiums paid for McMansions have declined significantly in 85 of the country's 100 biggest cities.

For the purpose of the study, Trulia defined a McMansion as a home that was built between 2001 and 2007 and that has between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet of space.

To cite one example, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the extra money that buyers were expected to be willing to pay to own a McMansion fell by 84% from 2012 to 2016. In that same city in 2012, a typical McMansion would be valued at $477,000, about 274% more than the area's other homes. Today, a McMansion would be valued at $611,000, or 190% above the rest of the market.

Experts told Business Insider's Madeline Stone that the youngest generations of homebuyers tend to value efficiency more than ever before, and feel McMansions are impractical and wasteful.

mcmansion missouri Stereotypical 'McMansions' are out. pasa / Flickr
Suburban malls are in crisis

As anchor store behemoths like Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney close hundreds of locations, the future of malls is in jeopardy.

The commercial real estate firm CoStar estimates that nearly a quarter of malls in the US, or roughly 310 of the nation's 1,300 shopping malls, are at high risk of losing an anchor store.

Once that happens, it spells trouble for communities — especially those in the suburbs where job opportunities are more limited than in cities.

"Malls are big, big contributors to city and state taxes, jobs, and everything," Howard Davidowitz, chairman of research firm Davidowitz & Associates, told Business Insider's Hayley Peterson. "Once they close, they are a blight on the community for a very long time."

As a transformation in retail continues to shutter giants Sears and Macy's and threaten malls across the country, food court mainstays like Sbarro, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, and Panda Express face an uncertain future.

Woodbridge Mall New Jersey 7301 Business Insider/Sarah Jacobs
Companies are packing up and heading to the city

"In the past several years, a handful of America's largest corporations have joined a mass exodus from their suburban headquarters to new home bases in the city, and millennials seem to be the driving force," writes Business Insider's Chris Weller.

Beginning in 2015, McDonald's, Kraft Heinz, and ConAgra Foods have all left the leafy suburbs of Chicago for office spaces downtown.

In August, General Electric announced it was ditching Fairfield, Connecticut, for Boston. And several years ago, Swiss banking giant UBS returned to New York City after 15 years in Stamford, Connecticut. The reason? UBS realized much of its top talent lived 35 miles south, in Manhattan.
The roads that connect suburbs to city are falling apart

The roads and bridges that connect America’s suburbs are in desperation need of repair.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives the US a D grade for its roads and a C grade for its bridges. The US Department of Transportation estimates that almost $1 trillion is needed to improve the current Interstate and highway system in the US.

"In suburbs, the big challenge is repairing the existing highway system," Christopher Leinberger, chair of the center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University, told Business Insider. "Ideally, there won’t be any news highway capacity built because we can't afford to maintain what we have."

California highway Feb. 21, 2017: the shoulder and one lane of westbound Highway 50 are damaged due to storms near Pollock Pines, Calif. The bill to repair California's roadways hammered by floods and rockslides in an onslaught of storms this winter is already at least $550 million, more than double what the state budgeted for such emergencies. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Golf courses are shutting down

Playing golf was once a celebrated pastime. But today, many of the country's golf courses are on the brink of shutting down or have closed already.
Over 800 golf courses have shuttered across the US in the past decade, and data from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association has shown that millennials between the ages of 18 to 30 have a lack of interest in playing the game.
High Mountain Golf Course 7525 Sarah Jacobs
Casual dining is in crisis
For many years, suburban residents sought out the treat of going to casual dining chains.

But as more people choose to make their own food at home, the restaurant industry is in crisis.

The weakest link in the industry was casual dining, which was the bottom performer in all but two months of the year. The vast majority of these restaurants are in the suburbs.

Ruby Tuesday is in search of a new CEO and in the process of selling 95 restaurants amidst falling sales. Bloomin' Brands, the parent company of casual dining chains including Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Grill, announced plans in Febuary to close 43 locations after a "challenging" 2016. Buffalo Wild Wings — where same-store sales fell 2.4% in 2016 — is engaged in a power struggle with activist investor Marcato Capital.

Outback Steakhouse Facebook/Outback Steakhouse
The suburbs are becoming unrecognizable

America's neighborhoods are changing like never before.

In this series, we will explore the cause of this phenomenon and the major shifts impacting the suburbs. We'll also show what things will be like in the future.

To kick off the series, check out this exploration of what's happening to American malls and this photo essay of deserted golf courses. You can check out the whole series here.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:42 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Death of Suburbia series overview - Business Insider
www.businessinsider.com/death-of-suburbia-series-overview-20...

4 hours ago ... We're calling it the Death of Suburbia — because if the trends that they identified continue, the many suburbs as we know them will be forever ...
Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:48 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

CONGRESS OF NEW URBANISM

What is New Urbanism?

New Urbanism is a planning and development approach based on the principles of how cities and towns had been built for the last several centuries: walkable blocks and streets, housing and shopping in close proximity, and accessible public spaces. In other words: New Urbanism focuses on human-scaled urban design.

The principles, articulated in the Charter of the New Urbanism, were developed to offer alternatives to the sprawling, single-use, low-density patterns typical of post-WWII development, which have been shown to inflict negative economic, health, and environmental impacts on communities.

These design and development principles can be applied to new development, urban infill and revitalization, and preservation. They can be applied to all scales of development in the full range of places including rural Main Streets, booming suburban areas, urban neighborhoods, dense city centers, and even entire regions.

New Urbanists want to see those human-scale neighborhoods return. We create tools to reform zoning and street design and develop underutilized building types—like shopfront houses and courtyard units—that contribute to diverse neighborhoods. We advocate for villages, towns, and cities consisting of neighborhoods designed around a five-minute walk from center to edge. These ideas are fundamental to New Urbanist thinking.


A public space in Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C. Source:© Chris Whitis

New Urbanists make placemaking and public space a high priority. New Urbanist streets are designed for people—rather than just cars—and accommodate multimodal transportation including walking, bicycling, transit use, and driving. We believe in providing plazas, squares, sidewalks, cafes, and porches to host daily interaction and public life.

New Urbanism is pragmatic. Great design is not useful if it can't be built. New Urbanists work with and include production builders, small developers, traffic engineers, appraisers and financial institutions, public officials, citizens and others with influence over the built environment to come up with implementable solutions.


A uniform urban design in Alexandria, VA.

New Urbanism is focused on design, which is critical to the function of communities. The size and shape of a plaza will help determine whether it is consistently alive with people or windswept and vacant. The organization of buildings in a neighborhood will help establish its character. Combining appropriate design elements makes places that are greater than the sum of their parts.

New Urbanism is holistic. All scales, from the metropolitan region to the single building, are related. A building that is connected to a transit stop will help the region function better, and well-organized region benefits the buildings within it. Streets that rely only on engineering tend to move automobiles and little else; all disciplines related to the built environment must work together to create great places.

Reclaiming underutilized and neglected places is a special focus of New Urban design and building. Through the federal HOPE VI and Choice Neighborhoods programs, for example, New Urbanism has transformed deteriorating public housing into livable mixed-income neighborhoods. Commercial strips with single-use development and excessive asphalt are transformed into lively main streets or boulevards through new urban design.


A cyclist on the quiet streets of Habersham, SC.

Above all, New Urbanism is about creating sustainable, human-scaled places where people can live healthy and happy lives. The walkable, vibrant, beautiful places that New Urbanists build work better for businesses, local governments, and their residents. Anyone that works to create, restore, or protect a great place can join in the New Urbanism movement.
Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:09 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

.
Flint River District Strategy Sasaki Plan | Flint River ...
www.frcalliance.org/flint-river-district-strategy-...

Flint River District Strategy Sasaki Plan. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. The Flint River District will become a vibrant, mixed-use urban area containing stable, ...

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Flint River District will become a vibrant, mixed-use urban area containing stable, diverse and safe residential neighborhoods, successful research and development businesses, and new eighborhood-scale retail uses, all centered around an interconnected network of riverfront parks and natural open spaces. The vision for the District builds on three major framework elements:

Reclaiming the Flint River to create an attractive and inviting open space feature at the center of the District that is integrated with the regional open space network
Transforming Third Avenue into a new University Boulevard with a strong visual identity that gives prominence to adjacent institutions, and encourages new investment in surrounding neighborhoods.
Implementing several strategic development initiatives that will build on these two framework elements.

you need to download the PDF


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:14 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

download the Flint Sasaki plans and you will understand the development that is occurring in Flint for years.
Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:19 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

REIMAGINING Chevy in the Hole - Genesee County Land Bank
www.thelandbank.org/downloads/reimagining_chevy_in_the_hole....

1 Introduction. 4 Site Context and History. 8 Industrial Land Use Legacy. 10 Imagining New Futures for Chevy in the Hole. Flint's Urban Riverfront. 12 Phase 1.
REIMAGINING Chevy in the Hole
chevyinthehole.blogspot.com/

The Reimagining Chevy in the Hole booklet was finished in Fall 2007 (see sidebar for ... The Chevy in the Hole Subcommittee (Flint River Corridor Alliance) has ...
Wasteland of Flint's Chevy in the Hole will become walkable green...
www.mlive.com/entertainment/flint/index.ssf/2014/04/chevy_in...

Apr 10, 2014 ... The transformation of the abandoned industrial brownfield in the middle of Flint called Chevy in the Hole into walkable greenspace is about to ...
Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:35 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

REIMAGINING Chevy in the Hole - Genesee County Land Bank
www.thelandbank.org/downloads/reimagining_chevy_in_the_hole....

1 Introduction. 4 Site Context and History. 8 Industrial Land Use Legacy. 10 Imagining New Futures for Chevy in the Hole. Flint's Urban Riverfront. 12 Phase 1.
REIMAGINING Chevy in the Hole
chevyinthehole.blogspot.com/

The Reimagining Chevy in the Hole booklet was finished in Fall 2007 (see sidebar for ... The Chevy in the Hole Subcommittee (Flint River Corridor Alliance) has ...
Wasteland of Flint's Chevy in the Hole will become walkable green...
www.mlive.com/entertainment/flint/index.ssf/2014/04/chevy_in...

Apr 10, 2014 ... The transformation of the abandoned industrial brownfield in the middle of Flint called Chevy in the Hole into walkable greenspace is about to ...
Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:37 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Initiatives for Uptown: Flint Uptown Reinvestment Strategy Master Plan
uptownreinvestment.org/wp.../04b111_789a2696782b3b544e491f73e69a8a42.pdf
FLINT UPTOWN. REINVESTMENT STRATEGY. Prepared for. Flint Uptown Reinvestment Corporation. Prepared by. Sasaki Associates, Inc. Watertown ...

From 2003 However some of the concepts were thought of prior to this .
Post Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:37 pm 
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