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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 4:40 PM
miketoronto miketoronto is offline
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What planning fads of today will be looked at as possible mistakes in the future

What planning fads which are popular today do you think will be seen as either possible mistakes or not really accomplish the goals which they were planned to in the future.

Here is a partial list of some of the fads my friend and I came up with as ones which will either be failures or not meet the needs of the community in the future, or not have as big a desired affect as planned.

*Items on this list does not mean the fad is bad and should not be done. It just means that we may be putting way too much energy on that fad and it won't really make the huge impact people may think it will have.

-Downtown residential
-Light Rail Transit
-Planned (forced) government sanctioned decentralization of a metropolitan area
-Living and working in the same neighbourhood idea
-Putting more decision making in the hands of residents and neighbourhoods.
Don't take this as meaning residents should not make decisions. It just questions the total takeover in many places of decisions by NIMBY groups, instead of sound decisions made in conjunction with planners and the community, based on facts.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 4:47 PM
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The concept of light rail transit has been around for over a century, even if the term "Light Rail Transit" is new. Someone from Toronto should know this, considering the city is famous for having preserved and modernized its historic streetcar system.

The concept of "live/work" has also been around for over a century. Possibly much longer than that, in fact.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 5:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Doady View Post
The concept of light rail transit has been around for over a century, even if the term "Light Rail Transit" is new. Someone from Toronto should know this, considering the city is famous for having preserved and modernized its historic streetcar system.

The concept of "live/work" has also been around for over a century. Possibly much longer than that, in fact.
pretty much all the op does is whine about light rail in every thread
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 5:17 PM
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I hope that the modernizations and recladdings of Mid-Century Modern and Brutalist buildings will be looked at with the same scorn as the modernizations of Art-Deco/Victorian/Neo-Classical/etc Pre-war buildings.

Last edited by Kingofthehill; Apr 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM.
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 5:44 PM
min-chi-cbus min-chi-cbus is offline
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Originally Posted by Kingofthehill View Post
I hope that the modernizations and recladdings of Mid-Century Modern and Brutalist buildings will be looked at with the same scorn as the modernizations of Art-Deco/Victorian/Neo-Classical/etc Pre-war buildings.
To that note (although I don't really understand your language, honestly), I think "visors" on the top of buildings will be a fad that we'll look back and laugh at in a few decades (I'm personally already laughing!).
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 5:58 PM
miketoronto miketoronto is offline
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Originally Posted by Kingofthehill View Post
I hope that the modernizations and recladdings of Mid-Century Modern and Brutalist buildings will be looked at with the same scorn as the modernizations of Art-Deco/Victorian/Neo-Classical/etc Pre-war buildings.
Thats a good one. We are treating a lot of our Mid-Century buildings like we did our Victorian buildings not that long ago.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 5:58 PM
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Interesting question, although some of OP's examples are terrible.

Here are some things I think we'll regret, starting with the one OP got right. I'm intentionally avoiding things that used to be universally popular but are now questioned, such as universal home ownership:
  • A public process that rewards inaction and caters to NIMBYism. While there are obvious problems with the Robert Moses school of czar-led centralized planning, it does seem clear that we have swung too far in the other direction. Our planning process does not reward democracy, it rewards a vocal minority that too-often has parochial interests. Larger problems are not addressed, because it's easier to just push the problem out of your backyard and then declare victory.
  • The EIS process. While environmental analysis is crucial, our current federal process is cumbersome and ineffective.
  • HOT lanes. Eventually it is going to become obvious that all highways should have congestion tolling. HOT lanes will be seen as an incremental step. In the places where HOT lane contracts give over control for too long and tolling of the main lanes is held back, the HOT lanes will be viewed as a big mistake.
  • Architecture without ornament. It's not that we will abandon modern architecture. It's that modern architecture will evolve away from the minimalist tendencies that have made it anti-pedestrian.
Things like mixed-use, light rail, and the general return to urban living are merely the return to normalcy from a few short decades of planning that sought to reinvent the wheel. Much of what is going on today is specifically not a fad, but in fact a rejection of fads in favor of timeless practicality.
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 6:23 PM
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Anchoring "urban" developments with gigantic retail spaces. Its already failing in some instances.
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 6:41 PM
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Roundabouts/Traffic Circles (From a pedestrian perspective)
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 7:19 PM
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How are most of the items on the list "mistakes"? Downtown residential is a mistake? (????) Living/working in the same area is a mistake? Light rail is a mistake?


A real mistake is when cities plug revenue gaps with developers fees, and sprawl all the way to the bank with mcmansions and power centres.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 7:26 PM
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^^ How about disincentivizing the exact types of development you want via development fees?

Locally we have a problem with some new public open spaces being overly barren in their design. This won't age well. Gravel doesn't look zen to many people, or for very long. And as a local architecture critic recently said, the public doesn't like concrete as much as many design professionals do. We seem to be segregating shade away from benches.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 7:31 PM
matthew6 matthew6 is offline
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Living/working in the same area is a mistake?
Yeah I am really baffled by this one too. It's hard to think of a con? Maybe if you hate your work?
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 7:37 PM
matthew6 matthew6 is offline
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Whatever you call this.... Do a 360 - it really is quite impressive

http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=...156.88,,0,5.27

Maybe they should have a light rail connecting the stores

Last edited by matthew6; Apr 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 7:47 PM
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those non-core cookie cutter residential/retail lifestyle malls - although that craze seems to have died down.

frit or mesh facades. very oughts/tweens era and wont date well.

anything gehry. ^same.

one trend that i hope that grows much more widespread is tod of any kind!
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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 7:51 PM
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Mixed Use buildings that look like several different buildings but are really one. The old way was to build a building and sell it. The new owner could determine what to do with the top floors and what to do with the bottom one. Now planners have over-zoned so what you are left with are these BS hybrid buildings that function like half shopping center half condos and have no easy way of being redeveloped in the future.
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 7:59 PM
miketoronto miketoronto is offline
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Let me detail some reasons behind my list, since people are so up in arms about it.


Downtown residential
-Cities are putting way too much energy into downtown residential with the idea that it is going to be the saviour of downtown, and turn a dead downtown into a 24 hour hopping place.

This could not be farther from the truth, and while a piece in a successful downtown, residential alone is not going to save downtown.

Downtown needs destinations and a critical mass of people attracted from across a city and region.

Downtown residents alone are not going to save downtown and downtown residential if overdone could even have the opposite effect and actually deaden vibrant areas of downtowns (see Toronto's entertainment district, which is being killed off by residential).

Again downtown residential has a place. But I think planners and city governments are going to see they put way too much eggs into one basket.
Just like stadiums, downtown malls, pedestrian malls, and mega developments, downtown residential alone is not going to fix anything by itself. Yet it is the mega project fix of the 2000's.


Light Rail Transit
-There is an ideology out there right now that LRT is going to fix everything. Put an LRT track down and all of a sudden a street is going to turn into a hip, thriving destination.

This ideology has led cities to promote LRT networks even in places where another option would be better, either subway or bus.

Many cities are spending a ton of money on LRT networks, just because other cities have one, and they want one. All while their bus networks fall apart, etc.

Other cities which need better transit are also building LRT, because it is the in thing to do. And these cities may well face a situation where LRT just can't provide the transportation needed, and they will have to build all over again with higher capacity and grade separated systems.

Or LRT will fail to attract the ridership that another transit system type may, and our cities will be left with lower transit use as a result.

Go to any public meeting and the prevailing comment always made is "well every other city has LRT, so we need one".




Planned (forced) government sanctioned decentralization of a metropolitan area
-Promoting decentralized nodal cities has been a planning fad for a while now. However the results have been very mixed and in fact most plans have not lived up to their expectations.

Promoting decentralization could actually be leading to increased sprawl and car use, because people are able to just live that little further out, if their jobs are moved out of the city to a suburban location.

In addition, despite the idea that people will ride transit to decentralized employment zones. The results have not bore out that way, and decentralized areas face low transit use. In fact the closer one lives to work, the more likely they are too drive, completely going against the idea that moving jobs out of the city to the suburbs will all of sudden make people ride transit or bike to work.

Some decentralization is going to happen naturally. But fully promoting it in a plan may not be the best idea in building a compact, transit friendly metropolitan region.

Living and working in the same neighbourhood idea
-There is this idea now that we have to force people to live and work in the same neighbourhood they live in. I am not against living and working in the same area. But I do think things like purposly slowing down transit to force people to live near work is stupid. And will just lead to more car trips.

At the end of the day with many dual income families, and big companies. The idea of having this utopia where the majority of people walk and bike to work is not turning out that way. Families can't move every time their job changes, and dual income families have to have someone commute in most cases.

While it is good to promote people living close to work if they can. We can't ignore the fact that many people don't want to live next to work or can't. So ideas like not investing in transit to make it hard for people to commute to work, etc is not a good idea.
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  #17  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 8:38 PM
matthew6 matthew6 is offline
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Originally Posted by miketoronto View Post
Living and working in the same neighbourhood idea
-There is this idea now that we have to force people to live and work in the same neighbourhood they live in.
Can you give a specific example of a city that has put such a policy in place?
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 9:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus
[*]Architecture without ornament. It's not that we will abandon modern architecture. It's that modern architecture will evolve away from the minimalist tendencies that have made it anti-pedestrian.[/list]
Cirrus, I generally agree with all that you have said except this one. Lack of ornament (perceived or not) is not a planning policy, it's just something you personally dislike.

There are countless examples of minimalist modern architecture (sans ornament of the traditional variety) that create fabulous pedestrian friendly neighborhoods. Unfortunately most of them are not in the US (lots of places in Northern Europe come to mind).

I work in a city (Santa Barbara) where minimalism and modernism in general is frowned upon and ornament is typically required at a planning level in order to get approvals. While the resultant building nuances do indeed add something to the local vernacular and quaintness of place, it also tends to feel fabricated...like Disneyland. One need only look at our brand new airport terminal to see the poor results of applique on what should be a modern typology.

But again, that is a discussion of architecture, rather than planning policies or 'fads'.
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  #19  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 9:05 PM
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well you are coming from a city that already has a growing downtown residential base, so i don't think its fair to rail against it for other other cities that are not there yet. i do not think anyone believes downtown residential is the sole anything. its just important to have it or in some cases to bring more of it back. of course downtown also needs jobs and other amenities, they all go hand in hand.

as for lightrail in the downtown core, well again you already have rail. it started with streetcars and eventually moved on to subways, etc. other cities cannot redevelop their own rail transit systems similarly?

as for decentralization, uncle sam has been promoting suburbanization over cities since the big deuce. its an ongoing battle that the suburban-minded have frankly already won in the states, yet at the same time the conflict is not over either. nothing new here.

lastly, the live-work thing. not really sure what you are saying, but as much of it as can be done is a good thing, although not possible for everyone.
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 9:35 PM
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Based on other threads, mike's problem with LRT is that it tends to be slow and/or infrequent. And that is indeed true of many of the LRT systems built in the last 20 years. Only a few of them provide frequent service at all times of day AND fast speeds comparable to heavy rail. Some of them are BOTH slow and infrequent.
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