Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sustainable Suburbia

Speaking of the suburbs, I just got this report from Houston Tomorrow (via Planetizen) by the Sustainable Cities Collective about what sounds like a very interesting conference on "The Sustainable Suburb: Reimagining the Inner Ring" at North Carolina State.  From the article:

[T]hough they once symbolized growing American modernity in the post-war period, many suburbs now suffer from the same sort of decay that has been attacking inner cities for decades.

If there’s a lesson from this, it is that the old lines drawn between city and suburb may no longer apply so neatly.

It was appropriate, then, that North Carolina State University’s 2011 Urban Design Conference, held earlier this month, focused on the “Sustainable Suburb.” Though held in a Downtown Raleigh convention hall, the meeting was enlightening in its exploration of the ways suburbs can evolve to adapt to their new realities.

Most interesting was Ellen Dunham-Jones, whose Retrofitting Suburbia (with June Williamson) has become a frequently cited handbook for people looking for ways to reconfigure their environments for a new century. The book shows how strip shopping centers can be morphed into churches and how office parks can be densified.

Sounds fascinating; check out the conference reports as well as Dunham-Jones' Retrofitting Suburbia

Matt Festa

Conferences, Development, History, Planning, Scholarship, Smart Growth, Suburbs | Permalink

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