In Praise of Mid-Century Modern Planning

Richard Reep decries the New Urbanists for ignoring the era from 1945-1955, when cars were part of the landscape but not the dominant force. He believes the planning of that time could be a perfect middle ground.
January 11, 2010, 11am PST | Tim Halbur
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Reep writes, "With building fronts set back just enough for parking, yet still close together to give a pleasant pedestrian scale, these little districts remain abundant in the landscape of our towns and cities – nearly forgotten in the fight over form, perhaps because they are doing just fine. They were built when everyone was encouraged to get a car, but before the car became a caveman club pounding our suburban form into big box 'power centers' and endless, eight-lane superhighways of ever-receding building facades. These districts were developed before the local hardware store was replaced by Home Depot and many remain intact, thriving, and chock-full of independent business owners. Many of these are true mixed-use districts – with light industrial, second floor apartments, retail and other uses peacefully coexisting."

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Published on Monday, January 11, 2010 in New Geography
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