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City Comforts: How to Build an Urban Village
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by David Sucher (City Comforts Press, 2003)

When we find ourselves in love with a particular neighborhood or city, the reasons sometimes escape articulation. Itᅵs not necessarily about one feature, itᅵs about the feeling we have when weᅵre there. David Sucher calls this feeling ᅵcity comfortᅵᅵa sense of ease within dense areas, a pleasant experience in public places, and a regular intermingling of neighbors, all fostered by urban design strategies.

When it comes to creating an urban village, Sucher advises us to take the following three basic design principles to heart:

1. Build to the sidewalk (i.e., the property line).
2. Make building fronts ᅵpermeableᅵ (i.e., no blank walls).
3. Prohibit parking in front of buildings.

When we follow these rules, we end up with the kind of urban environment that renews our spirits rather than draining usï¿œa city that is safe, stimulating, and convenient. These kinds of cities are also the ones that use resources most efficiently, have exceptionally healthy citizens, and, perhaps most important, attract migration from understimulating and inconvenient suburbs, which results in urban density and, ultimately, curbs sprawl.

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I disagree in part with the prohibition of building front parking. It is a waste of space otherwise which requires you to build parking elsewhere. a street lined with parallel parked cars also provides a buffer from the street.

Posted by: Martin Walsh on 27 Oct 06



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