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Re: SG-W:/ One More on Density



That's almost a fair critique.  I have no desire to see Ann Arbor get to
Portland size in my or my children's lifetimes.  That would be too much
development too fast.  On the other hand, downtown Portland was more
pedestrian and bicycle friendly than Ann Arbor, was less auto-friendly than
Ann Arbor, had more vitality than Ann Arbor, and had far more public art
than Ann Arbor.  Of the larger city downtowns I've seen, including New York,
Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago all in the last decade, it was by far
the most livable, and yes, beats Ann Arbor as well.  I'm looking forward to
seeing Madison and Boulder in the future.

It's certainly not fair to suggest that the things I like about Portland
have anything to do with skyscrapers.  What I liked about Portland was the
pedestrian - human - orientation of everything.  The sidewalks were wider,
their street trees and street tree coverage make us look like the shrub
city, the place was fun and interesting.  I don't like buildings taller than
5 stories.  I think the Romans were right as far as the natural maximum
height of human structures.  As far as I know saburae were rarely higher
than 5 stories.  Put another way, buildings should be built no higher than
tall native trees.

It is not extreme to like characteristics of Ann Arbor and want to preserve
them.  It is extreme to suggest that we can, or should try to, halt
increasing population in our city or region.  I think it's reasonable to try
to stop population increases over one or two percent a year.  I'd even be
willing to go so far as to limit population growth in the County to the
County's natural rate of population growth, i.e. the increase in population
due to births over deaths.

Having seen these other cities, however, there are things I like about Ann
Arbor and would like to preserve and areas in which I think we can vastly
improve.  I would hate to see us decide that in order to preserve the good
things we have we must blindly accept the things we've done wrong and avoid
fixing them.

Ken Clark

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Athan <athan@adi.com>
Subject: SG-W:/ One More on Density


> Ken Clark stated his preference for Portland over Ann Arbor.  It is
therefore
> not surprising that he is not concerned about increasing densities here.
>
> I honestly prefer Ann Arbor to Portland, and would be sorry if Ann
> Arbor became a Portland, (though I know we could do much worse!).
>
> Walking around Chicago over the weekend, I found that the areas with
> tall buildings were dark and gusty.  The areas with buildings of
> just three or four stories seemed to exist in an entirely different
> climate.
>
> The argument was made that if limits are set to Ann Arbor growth,
> outlying areas without growth limits will bear the brunt.  Is it
> extreme to think that Ann Arbor is a very unusual mix of small city
> with the cosmopolitan and intellectual, and worth preserving even
> at the expense of the outlying areas?
>
>
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smartgrowth-washtenaw:  Internet List and Forum for issues relating to
sprawl, smart growth, and preservation of the quality of life in Washtenaw
County.

Postings to:  smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net      For info, send
email to majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info
smartgrowth-washtenaw"
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