Sunday, May 11, 2008

When was the last time you played at an office park?

The New York Times is on a green tear this weekend, there's an article about a recommendation to the Tarrytown, NY to start building residential housing mixed in with commercial real estate in an effort to create affordable housing. The argument is the infrastructure is already there.

It's always bothered me is that if you look at parking lots within suburban areas they look like flies moving from one piece of fruit to another. In the day there are swarms of cars surrounding offices, and at night there are swarms of cars moving to suburban housing. Why can't we have more balanced parking patterns, imagine people living on the top floors of office parks and shopping malls. Some of this is happening in places like San Jose's Santana Row is an effort at achieving that mixed use model. The verdict is still out on how successful it is. In many respects it's created a Disneylike downtown experience where the real San Jose downtown has failed, and it's done it with extreme high density, even higher than the real downtown.

Our single zoning model is predicated on affordable gas, and that may no longer be something we can assume. Putting residential into office park, or at least a mixed model like Paris's La Defense may suggest a future model.

1 Comments:

At 9:51 PM , Anonymous Kenny F said...

I work at home a lot now (home office, web developer). Telecommuting a bit more could possibly be a solution for many people; not all of course.

Additionally, my wife and I signed up to buy our electricity from all wind and solar sources; it's a bit more expensive, but we feel it's worth it. Our local utilities provider (Consolidated Edison) offers the plan as an alternative to standard power production sources.

 

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