We are pleased to present these video recordings of Notre Dame’s June 2 urban design studio proposal for Northampton. Professor Phil Bess presents highlights of a growth and development plan for Cooperstown, NY as an example of what suggestions might come from the studio. The planning board will discuss the studio proposal at its June 26 meeting in City Council Chambers, 212 Main Street. This meeting begins at 7pm, but it may be 8pm or later before the board addresses the proposal.
Urban design studio presentation by Notre Dame Professor Phil Bess, City Council Chambers, Northampton (64 minutes)
Q&A Session (51 minutes)
Notre Dame Pitches Urban Design Studio to Northampton (6/4/08)
Professor Bess distributed this handout
(PDF). We have reproduced the first three pages below, outlining the
plan for the studio and describing the benefits of charrettes…
There are certainly aspects of sprawl that merit criticism, but planners and scholars need to understand why so
many people like detached homes, private yards and private cars. It’s
not just that they’ve been bamboozled by advertising or victimized by
conspiratorial car companies. Too often New Urbanists will insist that
dense development and mass transit are the only hope for a
resource-constrained future, when other solutions, such as more efficient cars and smaller (yet still detached) homes may prove to be more popular, and thus more workable. Popular solutions are less likely to require large government subsidies, cause voter dissatisfaction, or spur leapfrog sprawl. And, too, some of the New Urbanists’ assumptions about the energy-efficiency of multi-unit dwellings are questionable.
that said, it would be nice to add more visualizations to the debate
over Sustainable Northampton, and perhaps head off future condo monotony and large inapt buildings downtown.