It’s the first day of autumn. We at the North Carolina Land Use Litigator thought we’d take this chance to look at the world of real estate and land use a little differently.
Planning, constructing and maintaining streets is not just a utilitarian matter. Streetscapes constitute the public realm we all see, share and use every day. Designing that realm, like designing good architecture, should aspire to achieve aesthetic as well as practical goals. A good street is a public space, one that can be visually appealing as well as functional and sustainable.***
Applying conventional standards may be necessary but is never sufficient. To achieve quality, to offer aesthetically satisfying experiences for users, street design must go beyond conformance with technical criteria. Creating a beautiful, durable and ecologically sustainable streetscape requires a multidisciplinary team. Talented urban designers, landscape architects and graphic designers, in addition to technically proficient civil and environmental engineers, must work collaboratively.***
Compared with the cost of engaging a team to collaboratively design a street, the cost of construction and then decades of maintenance is enormous. Yet the payoff of high quality design can be big: a beautiful, sustainable public space through which driving, walking and biking is a delight.
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Categories: Comprehensive Plans