Comment 39126

By Mountain Man (anonymous) | Posted March 25, 2010 at 06:35:58


“The mindset was that people wanted a village feel, but what emerged was a sort of pseudo-village,” said Michael Spaziani, a Toronto architect who a decade ago helped create Cornell’s open-space master plan, adding that Cornell is so far nothing more than a “cuter form of sprawl.”

John Evans, a father of three who moved to the Markham community about 10 years ago, said he was lured here by the promise of an imaginative urban development, only to today find his expectations not entirely met.

“I was drawn here by the novelty of the idea. But the goal of a walkable community with shops and a retail centre has not been achieved. We have to drive everywhere,” Mr. Evans said, adding that none of his children walk to school.


John Norquist, president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a Chicago-based urban planning organization, said that while transit and a healthy commercial enclave are the lifeblood of a New Urban community, they are also among the most difficult aspects to achieve.

“It takes years for retail to take shape,” Mr. Norquist said, adding that other New Urban communities have opted to subsidize retail shops as a way to keep an otherwise dying town centre with high turnover on life support. “Achieving mixed-use — where there’s retail, office and residential spaces in close proximity — is hard in the beginning stages,” Mr. Norquist said.

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