Create Streets

Create Streets is a non-partisan social enterprise and independent research institute focusing on the built environment. We encourage the creation of more and better urban homes with terraced streets of houses and apartments rather than complex multi-storey buildings. We support reform of the planning system to make it more effectively responsive to what people like in the built environment and campaign for community-led building and locally-supported estate regeneration to deliver homes that are popular and stand the test of time. Source: what we do – Create Streets

People prefer neo-traditional buildings — Adam Smith Institute

It seems obvious to me—and I think to most people—that housing built since the 1930s is by and large much less attractive than housing built before. But if this is true, and if we are much richer now than we were in the 1930s and before, then why would we build, buy and live in housing we don’t like? We have some sort of market in housing; surely if we really all preferred traditional housing styles we’d just buy it. A new paper (slides) provides the answer—at least if we can assume the UK and the Netherlands are similar in this respect….

Classical architecture makes us happy. So why not build more of it? 

The key to a happy life, it’s been discovered, is living near to Georgian architecture and a Waitrose. Bath, York, Chichester, Stamford, Skipton, Harrogate, Oxford and Cambridge are among the towns listed in the Sunday Times 20 nicest places to live in Britain survey.Almost all these areas have one thing in common: they all feature a great deal of Georgian housing. And they’re all mostly unaffordable. There is a fair amount of research suggesting that traditional architecture, such as Georgian and Victorian terraces and mansion blocks, contributes to our wellbeing. Beauty makes people happy.This can be measured through house prices,…

Congress for the New Urbanism Illinois Academic Charter Award 2016 for Gowanus: from Resilience to Sustainability

    Judson’s graduate urbanism studio has received the 2016 academic CNU-IL Charter Award!  This makes three years in a row!  Graduate student team: Justin Banda, Kay Havlicek, Tyler Hopwood, Marvin Reyes, Tyler Wade, and Andrew Witek.

A Simple Idea for Flint — Strong Towns

It’s possible — and it’s at least worth looking in to — that large parts of Flint, and many other cities as they deal with this same problem, could be served with really high quality water for drinking and sanitation at a fraction of the cost while preserving the existing, lead-infested system for fire fighting purposes only.Two systems. Two purposes. Source: A Simple Idea for Flint — Strong Towns

The Environmental Value of Building Reuse – Preservation Leadership Forum

A report produced by the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the potential environmental benefit of building reuse. This groundbreaking study, The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse, concludes that, when comparing buildings of equivalent size and function, building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction. The report’s key findings offer policy-makers, building owners, developers, architects and engineers compelling evidence of the merits of reusing existing buildings as opposed to tearing them down and building new. Those findings include: Reuse Matters….

Why Do Old Places Matter? Economics – Preservation Leadership Forum Blog

In writing this series of essays about why old places matter, I have intentionally saved the discussion of how old places support a sustainable and vibrant economy to the last. Why? Because the other fundamental reasons for keeping, using, reusing and preserving old places are given short shrift, and professional preservationists often jump right to the argument that saving old places is economically beneficial, assuming that the economic argument is the only one decision-makers will want to hear. But it seems to me that starting a discussion about the importance of saving an old place with the economic rationale, immediately…

Donovan Rypkema on “Sustainability, Smart Growth and Historic Preservation” | Blue Planet Green Living

Sustainable development is about, but not limited to, environmental sustainability. There is far more to sustainable development than green buildings, such as: Repairing and rebuilding historic wood windows would mean that the dollars are spent locally instead of at a distant window manufacturing plant. That’s economic sustainability, also part of sustainable development. Maintaining as much of the original fabric as possible is maintaining the character of the historic neighborhood. That’s cultural sustainability, also part of sustainable development. But if we don’t yet get it in the United States, others do. There’s an international real estate consulting firm based in Great…

Oxford Brookes Study: “Learning from Poundbury” conclusion

Poundbury, then, offers manifold productive lessons across the range of physical scales. Inevitably, however, some within established professional cultures will resist these lessons, if only because Poundbury challenges established ways of doing things. A re-spatialised town planning culture is now moving in a direction which is receptive to Poundbury’s lessons, but these are evident blocks from highway engineers and to some extent from developers, who are both inclined to associate change with increased risk. We hope that practical objections of this kind will be challenged by what we have found out in this research. More difficult to challenge, because they…