Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Radiant City" + Sustainability = Parkmerced

Interesting Film, "Radiant City" available at most video stores, which of course highlights why projects like Parkmerced deserve more "attention" and not destruction.

The last 50 years we have seen suburban sprawl and growth with no end. Average home sizes increased from 800sf in the 1950's to 2226sf in 2000 (US Census) The majority of new developments seem "soul-less" and without any sense of "community" being built.

The focus on developments and "life-style" living. Improving your personal being through larger space, ease of access to ammenities for commercial development, and the focus on getting you within 10-15 minutes drive to your ammenities.

Parkmerced once again, is a life-style, has large s.f. space, and ease of access to ammenities neighborhood areas, recreation and social spaces.

The new developments often end up enforcing more of the "pure-private" vs. the "pure-public"
Parkmerced's streets are public and open, the courtyards are shared and public social spaces.
Front and back of units see bothe sides, of the unit, and still allow a degree of privacy.

The emphasis in the film on the "mis-allocation" of resources can be emphasized in Parkmerced's "vision" where they propose tearing out what they just fixed... No info. has been made public on the real "condition" of the units.

The emphasis on "home-buying" and creation of 2-tiered neighborhoods (The "renter's vs. the "owners") has created more of this sense of Parkmerced as not a part of the community. This is not the fault of residents. This is the lack of scaled development of rental tenure housing.

The need for suburbs to change more radically than urban areas is very prevelant today. Density of suburbia should rank higher than re-densifying already dense neighborhoods like parkmerced.

Looking at neighborhoods as "first generation construction" and not just at Parkmerced is and should be the rule. Looking precisely at the existing infrastructure and immediate methods to densify at stops, and along transit should be the priority.
Rules must be changed in real estate, zoning, and codes to allow for the proper scaled densification along existing lines regardless of the prior property owners location and value...

Our overall value as humans dictates that the density and redevelopment of ALL areas should occur in some scale. The question is why is Parkmerced and low-middle income groups the focused target in such a rich-man's city? Why should we not look at the wealthier regions and prime real estate for this change 1st and foremost? The need for a human factor in the decisions and proper adequate and timely review is something not easily achieved.

The radiant city of the future could very well be based on the prior designs of Parkmerced. Should we eradicate the past just to promote the future of individual corporations who were the cause of the disaster we currently see?

I think we need to challenge the current methods more, or we will not escape the vicious development cycle that has ruined our state and communities...

No comments: