Duany Improves on Thomas Jefferson

Planner Andres Duany proposes a plan for Goodbee Square, near Covington, LA, that adds modern light-imprint urbanism to an old Jeffersonian idea.

"Goodbee Square near Covington, Louisiana, takes one of Thomas Jefferson's ideas and turns it into a 21st Century stormwater solution.

A 1,280-unit development, Goodbee Square is laid out in checkerboard fashion with regularly placed squares. The project received unanimous approval from the St. Tammany Parish Zoning Commission in November. Jefferson proposed a similar layout as a way to blend town and rural living, and planner Andres Duany is quick to emphasize the connection in public presentations. 'There is nothing like having third-party referral from Jefferson,' Duany jokes.

The greens are stormwater detention basins in disguise. The 286-acre site has almost no topographical variations - the elevation changes only 3 feet from one end of the site to the other, says Duany Plater-Zyberk planner Matt Lambert. About 20 percent would have to be devoted to stormwater detention to ensure meeting local requirements, according to Bernard Fromherz, project manager and one of the partners in the development firm 285 LLC.

The usual solution would be to cluster the housing and reserve a portion of the land for ponds, basins, and drainage facilities. Duany asked the developers: 'Should we have ditches all over the place or should we have something great?'"

Thanks to The Intrepid Staff

Full Story: A Jeffersonian idea for the 21st century

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