The Live-Work-Play Revolution
While 94% of Californian’s live in urban areas covering 5.1% of the state, Southern California has not capitalized on the benefits of urban living like San Francisco, Portland or Boston. This is mainly because of uncontrolled suburban sprawl and the lack of public transit, both of which have created an automobile dependency. There is a movement in Southern California towards urban living. You can feel it in the air and on the tongues of our peers, friends and families. The desire to kill the freeway commutes and live a walkable lifestyle is becoming a marching anthem. In order to accomplish this desire, New Urbanists must provide leadership in the creation of a new urban landscape where sustainability, intermodal transportation, walkability and resort like amenities are the driving force. We call this movement the Live-Work-Play Revolution. ~jph
High density development reduces our land footprint.
With 15 times the land needed compared to high density development, Suburban sprawl has come at a great cost to our Southern California environment . There are several other impacts to consider including cost of maintaining infrastructure, greenhouse gasses from automobile dependency, and lower productivity from lost commute time. Below is a model comparing the land needs of High Density Development Vs. Suburban Sprawl. Based on this study High Density Development was 73% more efficient when comparing building footprints and 94% more efficient based on project area. We believe the benefits of reversing suburban sprawl are significant and will allow us to protect precious Southern California open space and land resources for generations to come. ~ jph
Reducing development intensity and maximizing project amenities through shared space and symbiotic users.
So many development projects suffer from lack of creativity as design focuses on minimizing risk, restricting access and maximizing potential buyers. These priorities are understandable as developers must protect investment capital. However, there is an alternative path that requires innovation. Through shared space and symbiotic users projects can enhance value for all stakeholders and minimize intensity of development. Shared space is defined as amenities serving multiple users. One example of this would be hotel and residential sharing amenities. Depending on size of project this could reduce the need for 10k square feet of land and reduce project cost of duplicity. Another example can be seen in shared parking schemes for residential and office. The economic benefits of shared parking are huge, especially for projects with high land costs or subterranean parking. Symbiotic users provide reciprocal benefit. One example of this would be residential with neighborhood serving retail. The connected uses act as an installed base for the retail and increase in sales prices or rent for residential due to the resident benefit. To increase innovation in shared space and symbiotic uses cities must continue to implement form based code that incentivize creativity and developers must break tradition with simplicity and look at projects with fresh ideas. ~jph