Above are six different photos of examples of zoning in more modern times ranging in location from Florida, Colorado, and Wisconsin. The first picture shown is from Seaside, Florida which was briefly discussed in class. To me it is a unique example of where New Urbanism really shines. Mostly single homes houses can be seen centralized around the central gazebo area with streets stretching out from the center. The designs of the home are unique from one another and even in a consistently planned community shows that there is always room against conformity. The real beauty though in this community, to me, is the area around. Just outside of the community the shore is right there and makes the location that much more beautiful. Even beyond the community on land, wooded area can be seen extending all the way out past the homes, leaving the natural surroundings as a strong part of the Seaside community.
The next picture shows another similar community. Mostly single family homes can be seen, although most of these homes are similar in shape and appearance and do not bring much diversity to the design. Just beyond these single family homes, appears to be commercial buildings on the bottom with apartments on the top line the outside of the planned development, showing a mix of ordained land use. The real problem, in my opinion, with this community is outside the edges there is a single line of trees with nothing but barren field around it. While the development itself can be said to have strived to achieve a certain ‘beauty’, this falls apart outside of its borders with no complimenting nature.
The third picture in this set, from Longmont, Colorado, shows a different perspective from within the New Urbanist community. Single family homes line the streets with small setbacks and single trees in front likely qualify this as a T4 transect. In my opinion, the beauty in this layout is the simple yet comforting design. With small yards and white picket fences, these homes scream simple and safe family communities and there is nothing in this view that I would even want to describe negatively.
The next set of pictures comes from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The first shows a relatively busy street along a commercial block of buildings with a train rail cutting through the street. While I personally have nothing against the layout of the commercial area, what makes this unappealing to me is the dissection of the street by the train. As someone who has lived by the New Brunswick train station, the noise pollution from the train only compounds on top of the noise that would exist from being on a busy commercial street. This would be the only negative point that I could observe in this situation if it weren’t for the handful of parking spots allocated underneath the rail. This parking arrangement seems to me like it was setup only because there was a small amount of left-over space and is not enough parking to make a meaningful difference.
The Midwest Bank seems to be the focus of this busy street sitting on the corner. Around it you can see the commercial area extends further down on both streets from the intersection and both streets are busy. What is appealing about this street corner, other than the more modern look of the bank itself, is the street. The turn around the corner provides plenty of room to accommodate the huge amounts of traffic that must cross these streets. This is appealing because it is an important concern for aesthetic and traffic related concerns. Despite the high level of traffic volume, the streets are still relatively wide open and make even high congestion look less congested.
Finally, we come to the towering Payless Shoe Source of hideousness. This towering monstrosity looms higher than any building around it with a disgusting winding fire escape emblazoned down the center of the building for all to see. This eye-sore of a building is low-income apartments in a convenient location (there is a bus stop across the street, discount shoes in your building, and don’t ignore the liquor store on the other side) but the ugly building towering over other buildings around makes it stick out like a sore ugly thumb. In my opinion, it would look much better if it had a few other buildings around it that joined it in its vertical rise, but without that, it appears as an obvious blemish in the immediate vicinity