|A porch in the New Urbanism development.|
Richmond tells us that there are dozens of ways of turning subdivisions into more walkable, pleasant neighbourhoods.
I hate to break this to Fleming and Richmond but my neighbourhood, despite its crescents and cul-de-sacs, has sidewalks teaming with folk. They are out walking their dogs or simply strolling for the sheer pleasure of it. We don't need a special trail for strolling. No one does!
Heck, on my court the strollers don't even need a sidewalk.
And in my neighbourhood we don't need wrap-around porches to enjoy our paper, a coffee, and a chat with a neighbour. All the porches need to be is large enough for a chair or two. That's it.
When I was a photographer with the paper I was surprised to learn how many older homes I visited for the Homes section originally had rather grand porches. Now, those porches only exist in pictures.
Personally, I like the cookie-cutter look. It is too bad that Richmond and Fleming don't. I like the condos that are part of the development The Free Press featured as an example of New Urbanism. I'm not disappointed but I wonder how Richmond and Fleming feel. Betrayed?
John Fleming calls it "placemaking" rather than smart growth. I now know why. Smart growth could refer to weeds and not to the proposed developments that turn subdivisions into more walkable, pleasant neighbourhoods with the ultimate goal of a little more soul, a sense of place.
You know, I can't even write those words and keep a straight face.