Author John Levy states that “Urban Design falls between the professions of planning and architecture” (Levy 172). This blend of the professions allows people involved in urban design to create places that are visually stimulating and socially positive. Levy gives the example of Battery Park City as a successful testament to urban design.
As a small city, New Brunswick offers great example of urban design, or lack there of. Here are four examples, two good and two bad.
This picture shows a great example of what makes old school downtowns appealing. There are a variety of shops and restaurants and plenty of room to walk from place to place. The buildings seem to be mixed use, which would mean that the area is not completely devoid of people at night. I subscribe to the ideals of new urbanists and think that this is a great example of walkability and mixed use.This is another great example of a mixed use building. The bottom floor is a 7-11 while the top floors are office space. This saves plenty of space within the city and allows for walkability. The large amount of glass on top give off a modern look of a well off city.
This mixed use building didn’t seem to get it right. The previous picture looked modern and classy while this picture brings up images of a blighted New Brunswick in the not so distant past. The cracked facade and tiny windows give a look that is unappealing.
This building is just plain ugly. There are yards and yards of space that lack any sort of window whatsoever. That is surprising because you would think a view of downtown George Street would raise the property value. I should also mention that long areas of buildings with just walls and no windows are usually the areas that attract crime.
New Brunswick is a city with a lot of potential, and good urban design can help bring out that potential.