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Suburbia at it's "best"?

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I was reading a blog and came across this subdivision plan proposed in suburban Milwaukee.

My initial reaction was to hate it because it looks like every other snaking subdivision in the country - one that gobbles up natural resources with oversized houses and oversized SUVS.

But looking more closely, the only thing that really bothers me is the curvature of the road. My default is that a block by block street grid is most ideal - but I've started to understand that not everyone likes to look down a row of houses and see their neighbors. I can understand (although it's not my preference).

So I look more closely, and I think this subdivision has a good amount of merit.

The density is respectable.

The ratio of natural areas to paved surfaces is good.

Pedestrian access and protected human areas are very good for suburbia.

The snaking roads may not cut back on speeding traffic as well as alternating stop signs at cross grid streets, but it will cut back on speeding more than other feeder roads.

The central park is great.

And it seems like there is a shared natural area behind each circle of houses.

What say you?


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I too like the layout and livability of row houses, but this is appealing while keeping many 'urban' aspects like density and traffic distribution. There could probably be a couple more smaller streets connecting things here, but overall it is very respectable IMO.

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  • 7 months later...

alternatively, if the development was denser and more urban, the 'open' space could have been consolidated as well, allowing the community to have a fairly large, natural area. I am not your typical be-green-for-the-sake-of-being-green person. Suburbs are, by definition, anti-open space. This development looks to be maybe 20% open space. If it were more urban, it could have been closer to 40% or even 50% open space, protecting the environment and allowing the residents the luxury of living next to a huge park.

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