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response to Adam's email

response to Adam's email

Added by colin #442 on 2004-11-26. Last modified 2004-11-26 10:54. F0

Above in thread: New Urban Living Magazine

Adam, Thanks for the note- the reality I found after having visualized it was a glossy lifestyle mag focusing on new urban style communities for people who want to live carfree. New Urban Living isn't exactly that, but close.

The vengeance was that from what little I saw of the mag from the website, the magazine and the communities it covered seemed computer-generated / plastic / disneyified, and in some ways sterile and empty.

It is a common mistake to read carfree as carefree, and I wonder if while typing carefree you were thinking carfree, but it doesn't sound like it.

I know the work you and all new urbanists, whatever their style/orientation is very important and worthwhile, and that I am mostly ignorant of the fine points of new urbanism, but in general, since I don't present myself as an authority (and this site could hardly be called well-polished), I'm pretty sure my quick, off-the-cuff impressions and opinions aren't doing much harm.

That said, I really am quite anti-car and do not expect to ever tone down on that.

I just read Joe Kane's Savages ...


Colin Leath <>    

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   Adam's response, by colin on 2004-12-24 00:43:52

Colin: Thanks for the explanation. Yes, I was thinking care free not CAR free. Whew! I'm totally with your automobile free movement.

I actually work full-time for Disney as a computer programmer, and my hobby is studying and promoting New Urbanism. I agree with you that many New Urban communities do seem glossy (not a big fan of the term disneyified). However, over time that gloss WILL fade away, and what will remain will be a livable community that stands the test of time. This is already happening here in Disney's town of Celebration. Our trees are starting to completely cover the streets, and the town is aging quite beautifully.

A common view around the town of Celebration is that traffic and parking is a mess. I'm the loudest voice in expressing my opinion on this topic. If traffic is a mess in a New Urban town, mission accomplished. New Urban towns are designed to promote walking or segwaying not to promote driving. So while I don't mind the "gloss", we have something in common with the car.

BTW, so many people crack on Disney, however in reality Disney and especially Walt has given the car free society so much. Disney maintains the most traveled Monorail system in world. So, as a result many suburban residents are getting exposed the benefits of mass- transit. In fact, an old Disney monorail is currently still in use in Las Vegas connecting many of the casinos. While Mainstreet USA in Disneyland was being constructed so was the horrible sprawl we see today. Many New Urban scholars credit Disneyland as capturing or imaginations and realizing the utility of our old downtown districs. Finally, despite the gloss, The Walt Disney Company really put New Urbanism in the limelight with their highly succesfully town of Celebration.

Colin, Good luck. Sorry for the confusion about CARE vs. CAR. Here is a great summary of New Urbanism which includes the principles of New Urbanism.

I think you are fighting a good fight.

Adam Parish Celebration, FL

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