Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why (as a municipal planner) if you only attend one planning event in 2011, it should be CNU.

The Congress for the New Urbanism’s annual gathering is June 1-4 in Madison, Wisconsin. As a municipal planner you likely have a few conferences to choose from including the obvious choice, the American Planning Association Conference, both national and local. And while you should continue to be a regular attendee at APA, every once and a while, perhaps this year, consider attending CNU. A few reasons:
  1. New Ideas: CNU is the brewery for big ideas that change everything. For example, you are familiar with the “growing local” movement and strategies for maintaining rural character, but agricultural urbanism is a design-based integration of community-supported agriculture into the weave of neighborhoods and regions. In several new towns across the country like Serenbe GA, and Hampstead AL, as well as in major cities like Atlanta, Montgomery and Madison, the movement is taking root. Design approaches that address the challenges of rising fuel costs, health problems due to inactivity, the social balkanization of America, and climate change, are coming from the CNU. What’s more, it’s a congress, not a conference: delegates vigorously debate the ideas, and challenge each other to advance the state of the art. You’ll have a chance to engage directly with other thinkers, not just sit through panels.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Columbia Pike Land Use & Housing Study - Foxcroft Heights Hands-on Session

As part of the Columbia Pike Land Use & Housing Study, the Dover, Kohl & Partners team led a Hands-on Session with property owners and residents of the Foxcroft Heights neighborhood on Saturday, March 26, 2011. The team gained valuable insight from the participants on what they envision for the neighborhood in the future. A follow-up meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 20th at 7pm at the Walter Reed Community Center, to present sketches produced from the input we have received so far. We hope the Foxcroft community is able to join us again to review the work-in-progress!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Steering Committee Endorses Hammond, LA Comprehensive Plan

A steering committee of 25 members has endorsed the Hammond Comprehensive Plan and voted Thursday to forward it to the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission for adoption. The first hearing is scheduled for April 7.

The Steering Committee represents a broad array of interests: representatives from the development community, architectural community, local clergy, the local Chapter of the Sierra Club, Downtown Development District, Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Historic District. The endorsement meeting follows a process that involved an extensive amount of public involvement including a one-week charrette and fourteen Steering Committee meetings. Steering Committee Chairman, Jeffrey Smith, AIA, said of the plan, “The plan is very good work and I look forward to its adoption.”

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Andrassy Boulevard - Budapest, Hungary

Andrassy Ut (Boulevard) in Budapest, Hungary is a lesser-known, but truly world-class example of a multi-way boulevard. It was built during the rapid Belle Epoque expansion of Budapest that occurred during the last decades of the 1800s. The boulevard was completed just in time for the 1900 Millennium Celebrations centered in the grand new City Park located on the edge of the growing metropolitan core. The first subway in continental Europe is located beneath Andrassy Boulevard, and was constructed to transport Celebration attendees from the center of the city to the City Park. This subway line is still in operation and can be accessed from station entrances spaced along the walkway down the access lane median.

The boulevard spans a range of urban contexts. At the end closest to the center of the city, beautiful  four and five story continuous neoclassical apartment block fabric lines the way.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

City Plan 2030 Builds Upon the Award-Winning City Plan 2025

City Plan 2030 will go to the City Planning Commission on March 28 for its first public hearing. City Plan 2030 is the five-year update to City Plan 2025 the City’s Comprehensive Plan. In 2006 Dover, Kohl & Partners lead the public process and visioning workshops that lead to City Plan 2025. In 2006 City Plan 2025 won an award from the Arkansas Chapter of the American Planning Association and a Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism. With City Plan 2030 the City has lead the process and visioning, yet according to Karen Minkel, Director of Internal Consulting for the City, “the guiding principles and most of the original objectives from City Plan 2025 remain the same for City Plan 2030. This means the overall concepts have now been supported by two administrations and two City Councils.”

Updates to City Plan 2025 are expected to include amendments to the Green Network and Master Street plans, tiered impact fees, form-based coding in more of the City, and a proposal for statewide Transfer of Development Rights enabling legislation. The City is also committing to creating a neighborhood or corridor plan using a charrette every other year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Welcome to the Dover, Kohl & Partners Blog

The Dover-Kohl team would like to welcome you to our blog!  Throughout our firm's history we have noticed a thing or two about the places we've worked, traveled, and seen.  There are many things to be emulated, and many that should not be repeated.  The common thread between cities and towns across the world is that design matters.  Small decisions made in the detailing of a building, street, public space, sidewalk or the like, have a profound impact on the way in which that part of the public realm will be experienced.

In this blog Dover-Kohl team members will share their thoughts and observations about the public realm.  We might have noticed something on our last journey, read a good book or article, or heard something in the news.  We hope you enjoy our take and we would be glad to hear suggestions on what you might like us to write about.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bradenton Form-Based Code Moves to City Council

On Wednesday, March 16th, the Bradenton Planning Commission voted 3-2 to forward the “Bradenton Form-Based Code” to City Council. The first reading of the code is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23 in Council chambers.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Town's Blueprint - Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands

Following up on a week-long charrette conducted in December 2010, the Dover-Kohl team is completing a Summary Report and draft Form-Based Code and will return to Charlotte Amalie to continue planning efforts for The Town's Blueprint on March 18, 2011. The trip will include a Community Update Presentation and a Form-Based Code Workshop.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Maxwell Boulevard Charrette, Montgomery, Alabama

Dover Kohl has completed a charrette for the Maxwell Boulevard corridor in Montgomery, Alabama. The charrette included plans for Overlook Park & adjacent properties, as well as a new neighborhood on the former Riverside Heights property recently acquired by the City and the adjacent neigbhorhood south of Maxwell Boulevard. The planning area is strategically located next to Maxwell Air Force Base and adjacent to the Alabama River and Powder Magazine Park.

The charrette, held February 28 to March 5 was well attended by local community members and city leaders. In addition to Dover Kohl, the team included Hall, Planning & Engineering, Urban Advisors, Gibbs Planning Group, Keizer Consulting, and Gary Justiss, and was greatly assisted by city staff.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Plan El Paso Comprehensive Plan

Plan El Paso is the public process that will lead to the Comprehensive Plan for the City. Plan El Paso utilizes a public design session process called a “charrette” to engage the community. Part 1 was a charrette in June focusing on ASARCO and transit-oriented neighborhoods throughout the City. Part 2 was a November charrette focusing on East-Central, East Side and Mission Valley. Part 3 was a February charrette focusing on the Northwest, Northeast, Fort Bliss, and Central Areas. In the coming weeks, the planning team will be creating the draft Comprehensive Plan which will incorporate public input, urban design plans, and visualizations created during each of the charrettes.

For more information visit