Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How May Town Center Could Destroy New Urbanism

Before the Planning Commission and Metro Council jump into bed with the Giarratana development team on May Town Center, they better think about how it could actually destroy prospects for new urbanism in Nashville. Jeff Woods with the prognosis:
The planning staff says we should all accept May Town because it now includes so-called New Urbanism concepts--bells and whistles like sidewalks and trees. The staff is even demanding that developers build a pedestrian bridge. But nobody's buying this bullshit. First of all, almost as soon as this albatross is approved, Tony Giarratana will start asking for cost-cutting "amendments" to the fabulous plan, claiming job losses unless the commission knuckles under. Second, the planning staff's logic is flawed in that it ignores the bigger picture: By allowing May to build a second downtown, we're turning our backs on all we've accomplished over the past decade to make Nashville a more livable city. So what if he plants a few trees?
So, we end up with some younger trees more carefully spaced that the older growth trees Tony G knocks down to build, plus a lot of cost-cutting measures that erode many of the wonderful concepts sold to us in mock-ups now. Sounds great for Nashville and new urbanism, doesn't it?

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