I think that Chris Leinberger is a very strange choice for a speaker at a Cary planning event. If you are not familiar with him, visit his website chrisleinberger.com/, read is articles, and decide for yourself.
Cary is full of "car dependent" neighborhoods that are not within walking distance of bars and retail - neighborhoods that Leinberger disdains. We do not have, and most of us do not want, the kinds of development that Leinberger favors - high density mixed use.
Post by Buffy Adams on Apr 8, 2013 12:41:40 GMT -4
Strange indeed! I have known of him and heard him speak. I just reread his Atlantic article, The Next Slumwww.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/the-next-slum/306653/ about the Windy Ridge subdivision in Charlotte. For more correct information about Windy Ridge, see: www.nbcnews.com/id/42253202. I knew someone who lived in a rental house in Windy Ridge. The problem leading to the foreclosures in that subdivision were not, as Leinberger suggests, due to lack of interest in fringe car dependent subdivisions (Windy Ridge was actually a close to downtown area) but due to the lending and sales practices. At the time of the demise of Windy Ridge real subdivisions further out (and yes, car dependent) were thriving with increasing demand. Read both articles and see for yourself.
Post by CaryCitizen on Apr 9, 2013 23:56:39 GMT -4
jrbrown It is not a strange choice at all. It is very predictable. The entire Imagine campaign is run by New Urbanists including ACP, the Steering Committee and the Town of Cary Planning dept. New Urbanists run these Delphi Method programs to drive Sustainable development plans. Of course they would bring in a radical Urbanista like Leinberger for the keynote. He was picked by Jamie Greene.
Unless the citizens of Cary figure this out and stand up and fight we are going to lose our town. Nothing is "sustainable" about Cary using this ideology. This is about sustainable government.
We paid $1million dollars to be scammed. It has played out in hundreds of towns and counties across the country. See Imagine Columbia. Imagine Greenville. Image Lubbock. Imagine Austin and on and on and on.
Post by Peaches Wilson on Apr 10, 2013 7:30:07 GMT -4
CaryCitizen, Thanks for posting. I encourage everyone to register and use their names, but for now that is optional. The important thing is to join the discussion. Do you know anything about the end results in Columbia. Greenville, Lubbock. Austin, or other places? If so, please share that information with the rest of us. And, of course, it is vital that people show up at the kickoff and stay involved in the process. Peaches
CaryCitizen, Wouldn't creating more high density urban walkable areas like those Leinberger promotes decrease the amount of land area taken by people living in Cary? It seems to make sense, people divided by density equals area. More density, less area. And the more people can walk to the store or restaurant, the less they will drive, and the less traffic we will have. Junior Brown
Post by Buffy Adams on Apr 10, 2013 11:56:16 GMT -4
Please allow me to butt in and respond.
Leinberger's arguement (used by many others) misses two important points: 1) The number of people that will move into Cary is not some fixed number. It depends upon many factors, one being the number of dwelling units that go onto the rental or sales market. 2) There is not a single market for housing. People are in the market for a single family detached home, for a town home, for a condo or apartment, etc.
If it were one market, the availability of high density apartment or condo buildings would reduce the demand for single family houses. However, people who want a single family detached house on a cul-de-sac, requiring a car to get to the store or restaurant, are not interested in living in a dense, walkable apartment complex. And vice-versa.
Adding more walkable high density areas will not reduce the demand for low density drivable areas.
Post by Jamie Berger on May 4, 2013 9:58:23 GMT -4
I made the comment below in response to JR's comment on Facebook. I thought it might be useful to post it here.
I was at the summit; I’d like to touch on some of your concerns. I agree that Chris Lineberger had an opinion, but that was made obvious by a disclaimer. I think Cary residents are intelligent enough to be able to listen to a presentation and form their own ideas based on the information given. You’re correct in saying that there was no opposing point of view presented, but in my opinion, that was not at all necessary, for two reasons.
First, the alternative to what Lineberger promoted is simply the status-quo: Cary continuing to grow and develop in the same way it has for the past couple decades. We didn’t need anyone to stand up there and tell us what that growth would be like- every Cary resident already lives that reality; we *know* what the alternative to walkable urbanism is.
Second, even if they did want to present an opposing point of view, they’d have an extremely difficult time finding anyone of credibility in the real estate analysis, urban design, or planning sectors who would do that. Walkable urbanism is now widely accepted as the more sustainable, more livable, healthier, and, especially, more economical kind of design. I can say with almost complete certainty that they would not be able to find someone of Lineberger’s prominence (or even a less acclaimed expert) who would advocate the business-as-usual suburban sprawl development.
Lineberger explained that walkable urbanism would apply to many areas, not just downtown. Many of the strip malls, the mall, and large shopping centers would be fairly easy to retrofit into walkable urban spaces. Cary Towne Center and many older strip malls are declining in Cary and walkable urban districts could replace them. As Lineberger explained, this kind of development increases the property values of surrounding single-family homes by 40-200%.
Some of the issues you raise were in fact addressed. Walkable urbanism is a solution to increasing traffic. Protecting rural areas can also be addressed by infill (which Lineberger promoted) and increasing density within Cary. As they explained, Cary is over 80% built-out, and doesn’t have much room left to expand; infill and increasing density are really the only options for growth. Most rural areas are outside Cary.
Again, the density issue was addressed. Large blocks of trees and the imposition of Cary’s plan will likely be discussed further down the road.
I hope this helps to address some of your concerns. Feel free to message me if you’d like to discuss this more.
Finally, I'd like to add that there's no need to be alarmist about Cary changing fundamentally and becoming a totally urban area. Even Lineberger stressed that single family housing can and will stay. Most of the new urbanist development would occur in the downtown and in declining commercial centers.
I'd urge those of you who are skeptics to explore why it is you feel so opposed to new urbanism. There are many benefits to this type of development:
Walkable, car-independent neighborhoods are also much better for the environment. Urban sprawl is one of the main contributors to climate change. Driving less means fewer emissions and less air pollution. Higher density development also leaves more room for the remaining rural areas and forests in Cary; again, sprawl is linked conclusively to widespread habitat destruction and species loss, as well as the loss of viable farmland.
Walkable neighborhoods also make life easier for people who cannot drive (for reasons of age (young or old), income, disability, etc.) They give more mobility to the elderly and allow people to be an active part of the community for a larger portion of their lifespan.