Monday, June 18, 2007

OK, That's Pretty Urban. But It's Ugly.

Architect Patrick Deaton called me out for calling the proposed design of Murrow Station "urban" when it wasn't, very. Several knowledgeable people have commented to me that Greensboro just doesn't know how to build real urban buildings any more.

What does real urban architecture look like? It can look like this project in NYC. But the neighbors don't like it:

Developers are just going out of control. They are trying to build anywhere and everywhere, whether it makes sense or not, whether it’s contextual or not, whether it has structural integrity or not.” (Read the whole thing.)

Greensboro is working on a set of downtown design guidelines to avoid infill projects like this one. Many cities of Greensboro's size have them: the trick is to make them strong enough to weed out inappropriate development but not so rigid as to deaden architectural innovation and investment.

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