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CITY, SWEET CITY: A STUDY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW URBANISM AND THE PUBLIC PROCESS BY DAVID A. BANKS A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. David K. Brain Sarasota, Florida May, 2009
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks ii !"#$%&'()*(+($,A small paragraph on a page is little recompense for the generosity so many people have shown me while working on this project. Of course my parents all four of them have always shown a genuine interest in my work, which is always enough to make you keep working. The knowledge, that whatever you are writing will be read by someone, is a quick answer to that dreaded question: "so wh at?" Great thanks to my academic advisor Dr. David Brain, who has done nothing short but given shape to everything that I hope to accomplish in my professional life. A big thank you to Dr. Jonathan Roberti for helping shape everything non professional in my life. Thanks to professors Dr. Joseph Mink and Magdalena Carrasco for showing their trust in my abilities as a student by agreeing to be on my baccalaureate committee with Dr. Brain. Finally I would like to thank all of my fellow Novo Collegians who have always shown me such understanding, compassion, love, and friendship. Finally, I'd like to thank everyone in my study that put up with my questions while they were trying to do their job. Specifically, I'd like to thank "Erica" who always made time for me. If there were more people like her in city planning, it wouldn't seem like such a foreign entity. Her passion for the profession encouraged me to follow through with my own work.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. 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City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks vi CITY, SWEET CITY: A STUDY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW URBANISM AND THE PUBLIC PROCESS David Banks New College of Florida, 2009 !;-,0/", 2 In October of 2007 the c ity government of Sarasota, Florida embarked on a planning effort called the "Bayfront Connectivity Charrette." Employing New Urbanist desig n principles, the city employed a contractor to hold an intense four day design studio. In those four days, hundreds of residents interacted with public officials, professionals, and other residents to come up with a plan for a more pedestrian friendly US 41 corridor. Throu gh direct observation, document analysis, and follow up interviews, this thesis tracks the public decision making process in downtown Sarasota, Florida and asks the general question, "What are the perceptions of individuals' roles in th e process; and how does one's perception of the city's intended use, shape their opinions on how their city should look and act? By utilizing Actor Network Theory, as introduced by Michel Callon (1987), I come to the conclusion that individuals are embedd ed in actor networks that define the elements of any given component of the city. Individuals who do not share over lapping actor networks do not value the same aspects of urban design, nor are they able to acknowledge when a particular technology can sol ve their problems because they regard these technologies as somehow flawed. ___________________________________________________ Dr. David K. Brain
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 1 <$,0%)1",4%$ 2 It i s early Spring in Sarasota, Florida and the City Commision is having one of thei r regular meetings on a very important topic. Around the room, the Council looks sagely, listening intently to the impassioned words of those that have come to speak on today's issue. A resident takes to the microphone and tells the commission that the d ocument that lies before them could lead to economic hardship, environmental degradation, disrupt families, and even inhibit the life saving efforts of doctors and firemen. That by acting on this document, they would be sending their fair city into a tail spin and would bring about, "the destruction of what is held valuable in the City ( Robinson 2004a, 1) ." What could possibly be this disruptive? It is a mobility study, and the decision is to remove two lanes from a few miles of street. The meeting minut es of March 15 th 2004 tell a story of impassioned citizens, professionals, and public officials engaging in a decision making process of the most direct kind. There is a fully implementable project (literally) on the table, and different constituencies a re pitching the pros and cons of such a decision. How do people come together to decide how their city looks, functions, and grows? This is the genesis story, of a city. Confronting this topic is difficult because there is no clear starting point. Pl anning, governing, and technological innovation are continuous processes. They are susceptible to one another's influences and are sometimes difficult to separate. Open up any book on the topic of American transportation systems, and one will be hard pre ssed to come up with a definitive conclusion as to whether the highway system was the result of invention or politics. There appears to be two options: Our choice of highway engineering was an inevitable outcome of motor vehicle invention and innovation. It was
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 2 a necessary answer to the difficult question, "How do we remove the burden of traffic congestion within the city and how do we create a highly efficient inter city transportation system?" Or one can walk away with the sense that our roadways are t he direct result of calculating politics and economics. The highway system was a way to create a uniquely American manufacturing economy built on the natural resources it had available. It was a way to decentralize our cities in the event of foreign atta ck and deliver needed resources in a quick and efficient manner. As is the case with most of these complicated problems, the answers lie somewhere in the middle. In the case of Sarasota, Florida US 41 a centuries old technology called a "road" was identif ied as a problem for pedestrian access to and from the city's famous bay front. A variety of governance structures including, but not limited to -the city council, local condominium associations, professional consulting agencies, and state regulating age ncies were divided as to how to deal with this issue. Some even contested the existence of the problem in the first place. It was clear that the planning institutions at all levels of government would have to address the issue of connectivity within a cr ucial transportation corridor. The argument was years in the making, but in late 2008, it got direct attention in the form of the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette. This thesis is structured into three sections with subsections detailing specific points. The structure is an outcome of the range of content, rather than any kind of stylistic preference. The three sections differ in content as well as perspective. The proceeding paragraphs will explain what each section covers, why I chose this particular perspective or framework, and its relationship to the other two sections.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 3 I decided to approach Section I as a condensed historical narrative, following the development of America's urban centers, and how these national events influenced and shaped Sarasot a. New Urbanism, a 30 year old movement that believes in a return to a more traditional and generalist approach to town planning, has had a major impact on the city in the past decade. The city has implemented a great deal of New Urbanist principles, but each step has been met with opposition and skepticism. I outline the pertinent information regarding New Urbanism both as a movement, and as a planning technique. This is all crucial background information that not only introduces the reader to vocabular y and the main actors in this study, but it also gives relevance and meaning to the subsequent sections by setting the observation and analysis within a larger context. Section II is an observational study of the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette: a four day intense planning effort undertaken by the Sarasota Planning Office and their consultant team "Kirk and Associates." All individuals and privately held business entities have been given pseudonyms. In this section I recount the events that take took place during this planning period and provide light analysis of what is occurring during discussions and presentations. This section is meant to be a focused account of one part of a much larger planning effort that has been ongoing for several years and shows no signs of reaching equilibrium. This section is by no means meant to be a full account of the entire process. Such a task is beyond the scope of a single book, let alone this thesis. The observation will be appended with public documents, newspa pers, follow up interviews and previously published work on similar cases. This observation will move into Section III, which will start off with an analysis of the events subsequent to the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette. It will then delve deeper
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 4 into the theoretical underpinnings of public decision making, technological invention and innovation, and the sociology of technological systems. My theoretical work is largely informed by two works in The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Dir ections in the Sociology and History of Technology (1987). The first is Michel Callon's "Society in the Making: The Study of Technology as a Tool of Sociological Analysis." He introduced the concept of Actor Network Theory, which becomes a theoretical e xplanation for seemingly contradictory actions detailed in Section II. The second article, The Evolution of Large Technological Systems ," authored by Thomas P. Hughes, helps elucidate some of the larger issues of regulation of built forms. I also employ the work of Bruno Latour and Ruth Cowan as needed. Section III ends with a brief policy stance, offering suggestions for furthering the goals of New Urbanism as a movement, and increasing the effectiveness of its application as a body of knowledge. My go al is to better understand how individuals view their built environment: what they think it should do, how it should act, and what it should look like. By better understanding these viewpoints through actor network theory, I hope to confront the real worl d problems planning departments face every day. How do people take up contradictory viewpoints on the same topic? Why do they prefer certain technologies that run counter to their self stated goals and aspirations? Why do they remain steadfast in their own opinions of urban design when empirical evidence shows their failure to meet expectations? These questions begin to congeal into definitive units of social action, thanks to the framework of actor network theory. This is a relatively small field of theoretical research that has had little connection with the profession of urban planning. I believe
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 5 this is fertile ground for further research and may help various institutions (not just New Urbanism) better understand the problems that they are dealing with and resolve them in an effective way. I chose actor network theory as my framework because it provides a dynamic unit of analysis that provides structure to a heterogeneous mix of human and non human actors that are in constant dialog with one anothe r. The built environment is inextricably linked to and constantly reacts with individual people and social constructs. The problem solving that goes on everyday in federal, state, and local planning offices is full of moments where technological innovati on, political will, scientific invention, economics, empirical data collection, and professional best practices weave themselves together to a point where they are almost hard to distinguish from one another. Car manufactures are told to increase fuel eco nomy because of political activists that lobby government organizations, because scientific societies publish popular articles about their scientific findings on CO 2 emissions. These companies fight back in courts, saying that scientific research has not invented economically viable solutions, while the other side contends the results were influenced by corporate greed. Similarly, our cities confront economic, political, social, and ecological problems that appear insurmountable. 1 While their residents work to solve these problems, t he built environment is itself a social actor. Different physical components of the city and their spatial relationship to one another are inherently social. The nonhuman elements of the city engage in social policing, the y strongly influence the relationships between institutions, and carry with them embedded cultural meaning ( Callon and Latour 1992). 1 In instances like Hurricane Katr ina's destruction of New Orleans, and Beijing, China's pollution problems during the 2008 Olympics are cases where all of these problems' interconnectedness come into stark relief.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 6 The social theory behind the connections between social forces, the built environment, and the technological products of a pplied science is complex. But for now, it will suffice to say that seemingly inanimate objects are a large part of the public discourse. In section III, I revisit Michelle Callon's actor network theory to explicate the underlying social dynamics at work during the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette. When a city undergoes change of any kind, various institutions within the city must mobilize their resources for public decision making. Regular meetings are devoted to the issue and specialized meetings are c alled for public input and private, professionalized decision making. Professionals, publically elected officials, and regular citizens devote hours from busy days to enact their roll in the process. The end result is a decision. That decision can be a mong countless other things direct action, inaction, or a platform for further planning. It is at this moment of change where an astute observer can unpack the complexities of the built environment. The process starts off as messy, with countless variable s and actors intertwined in chicken and egg problems that prevent a straight forward cause and effect explication. Using actor network theory I endeavor to take these variables and actors and reconstruct them in a useful way that helps practitioners under stand the social dynamics underlying the process of New Urbanism's implementation. The policy stances I put forth are a product of this unpacking and repackaging. They demand a more comprehensive approach to introducing the public to New Urbanism, and en gaging their understanding of their built environment at a much more fundamental level.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 7 =(",4%$2< 2 !$2>?(0?4(&2%92,7(2@?($,-2'(/)4$*21A2,%2,7(2./590%$,2 B%$$(",4?4,52B7/00(,,( 2 Sarasota may not be regarded largely as one of the cities that help define Americ an u rbanism, but it does have a parallel history with much of American town building, and serves (in this thesis) as a case study for today's planning challenges confronting municipal authorities of all sizes. Incorporated in 190 3 Sarasota has been a hav en for the rich, and a comfortable town for farmers. The Ringing, Palmer and Caples families brought wealth to the region and helped establish most of the modern infrastructure, attracting rail lines, state and federally funded streets, a post office, and o ther public works. I n 1925 John Nolen drafted a working c omprehensive c ity p lan for the Sarasota area. It was the first evidence of an honest effort to organize and plan for the future of the small town Nolen's plan was only a few pages and offered a simple prescription for controlling expected growth. Nolen's plan set the city on a modified grid pattern: As development worked its way south, the roads and plots curved to the contour of the bay. Gulfstream Avenue is pictured in the original map, fol lowing almost the same path it currently does. Nolen identified several streets as main thoroughfares and others as local roads. Gulf Stream Avenue which currently runs parallel to Bayfron t Drive was identified by Nolen as a main North South thoroughfa re and vital to the communication and transportation of Sarasota residents. Horse and automobile traffic would flow through this tight grid network only slightly distorted by the contour of the bayfront.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 8 Today, t he main problem confronting Sarasota seems r elatively straightforward. There is a large four (at some places, six) lane federal highway called US 41 that interrupts casual non automobile based transportation between the downtown and the picturesque bay front The city commission wants to connect i ts downtown neighborhoods and the local store patrons, to the ir famous Gulf Coast As it stands today, a pedestrian who wants to cross US 41 at Ringling Boulevard to visit Sarasota Island Park must wait up to three minutes for a crosswalk. Problems with pedestrian mobility have been a problem for municipalities all around America for the later half of the 20 th century ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289) According to Douglas Rae, modern cities were built in a compact, multi use pattern because of the "accidents of urban creation". These accidents, l arge immigrant populations, steam power, successful farming, rail traffic, the slow roll out of the AC electrical grid, and the relatively late arrival of the automobile all contributed to the density of major American cities ( Rae 2003, P.11 516) Modern city building, however, has given great deference to the automobile for several decades. While there has been little consensus among authors about the tipping point; when cities ceased being densely po pulated commercial and industrial engines and began the trend toward administrative hubs and vilified Rae locates the weakening influences of the "accidents of urban creation" at around the turn of the 20 th century (P. 216). The 193 9 World's Fair has als o been targeted by Jackson (1985) as a staging ground for the future of suburban sprawl orchestrated by General Motors and their corporate allies Drier (200 4 ) places the causes
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 9 of widespread suburbia later j ust after World War II and points to the GI Bil l and the Federal Housing Administration as the engines of decentralizing sprawl. No matter what or where the cause of sprawl, Sarasota finds itself with a problem: there are a wide range of opinions about how the city should look and function. Some th ink there is no connectivity problem. The road must service as many cars as possible, and other modes of transportation need to behave and remain completely distinct from car based transit. Others want more deference to pedestrian comfort, they find the idea of a mixed use transportat ion corridor attractive, and believe that the sense of connectedness between the downtown and its bay front is disrupted by US 41. The disagreement was largely characterized by the concept of development density. This chara cterization on the part of the residents may have not been necessarily academically accurate, but the connection remained tight in the minds of residents and in the newspapers that they read. This disagreement required a more comprehensive approach to town planning than the conventional panel of experts and committee work. It is not surprising then, with its deeply seated, complex problem of city density (and hence, walkability), that Sarasota opted to hire a widely renowned architecture and planning firm with principals who had built professional reputations based on their proposed solution to America's planning problem: New Urbanism. On January 3, 2000, the City selected Duany Plater Zyberk & Company (DPZ), to draft a master plan for the Downtown prop er. Over a year later, on January 22, 2001, the city adopted the City of Sarasota Downtown Master P lan 2020 The plan clearly states that the way to "connect downtown to the bay front" is to make it a walkable destination and not a convenient thoroughfare for automobile traffic. This is obviously a contentious
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 10 point within the city. Based on meeting minutes alone, many residents prefer a car friendly cityscape, while the plan locates cars and car based construction as the main obstacle to achieving Saras ota's goals. The major source of consternation and disagreement amongst citizens, professionals, and public officials, involve s the complex issue of spatial organization and the movement of individuals within the city. T heorists Ben Joseph (edited volum e 2005), Low (2003), as well as the authors of the 2020 plan Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater Zybek have written extensively about the e ffects of car based transportation on the urban landscape. Duany and Plater Zybe r k are the founders of the Congress f or the New Urbanism, a broad civic movement based in traditional neighborhood development. According to its C harter (ratified in 1996), the Congress is an advocate of the "restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the followin g principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and comm unity institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice. We represent a broad based citizenry, composed of public and private sector leaders, community a ctivists, and multidisciplinary professionals. We are committed to reestablishing the relationship between the art of building and the making of community, through citizen based participatory planning and design (Reprinted in Duany et.al. 2000. PP. 260 26 1) ." New Urbanism's dedication to local community and its ability to "reclaim [ their ] homes, blocks, streets, parks, neighborhoods, districts, towns, cities, regions, and environment" require s a nonconventional kind of planning. The city's planning offic e decided to engage in an intense, multi day planning and design session called a "charrette" 2 2 The National Charrette Institute (NCI) is a leading force for advocatin g and training professionals for what they call the "NCI dynamic planning curriculum ." Charrette, the French word for "cart," is also used to describe the furious work of art and architecture students particularly in the cole des Beaux Arts in Paris duri ng the 19th century. On the last crucial days before a deadline, students were said to be "on
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 11 The working environment during a charrette is intense, but not rushed. M ost of the work is done in a single, open studio (preferably on site) where different p rofessionals are working simultaneously on different parts of the same project. Stake holders of all kinds, as well as local professionals and public officials are encouraged to touch, examine and enhance work in progress, with local, proprietary knowledg e. The charrette is a new kind of project management that is taking hold in municipalities around the nation. While the plan has many parts that are derived from public input, t he 2020 plan repeatedly roots itself in local history It contends that the ori ginal Nolen plan influenced the entire genealogy of Downtown Sarasota, and uses it as the first and last useable document on which to base further planning. T he plan states, "T he primary distinction between this Master Plan update and Nolen's original Pla n relates to the creation of a transect based Traditional Neighborhood Code to ensure the correct development of the ideas contained within the illustrations and diagrams. Beyond this critical addition, however, much of this new Master Plan draws inspirat ion from Nolen's original (P.II 1.5)." In the last decade Sarasota has undergone major concerted efforts to turn the city into a destination for the arts ("Mission Statment", 2002). This has led to the "Downtown Master Plan 2020" and several informatio n gathering projects. These long term projects solicited input from residents, professionals, elected office holders and community leaders. By March of 2003, the city had completely both the 2020 master plan, and the 2003 Mobility Study. Despite the se ex haustive studies proving its feasibility the only part of the propos ed Master Plan that was dropped through an amendment to the vote by the City Commission on March 30, 2004 was the reduction of US 41 to one lane each way ( "Downtown Sarasota Mobility Stu dy." ) The decision to keep Bayfront Drive as a charrette" when they worked day and night to finish drafting deadlines. On the deadline, a small cart would go through the dormitories collecting their work.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 12 major thoroughfare was hotly contested ( Robinson 2004a, 1;Robinson 2004b, 1) But even after the final decision, the debate has not subsided. The City of Sarasota is looking to revisit the area around Bay front Drive and determine, once again, how to connect the rest of the downtown with the bayfront. The City of Sarasota opted for a year and a half long planning campaign, starting in October of 2007. In the Spring of 2008 the City Commission began the sele ction of a general contractor. They selected "Kirk and Associates" who held a series of stake holder meetings, ending in a final open "Kick Off" meeting on October 14 th 2008. These meetings were meant to educate the public on what New Urbanism was and what methods it would employ, in order to create a pedestrian streetscape. The meeting also discussed preliminary information about the study area. The team held a Charrette on the 14 th 15 th 17 th and 18 th of November and a final report was then issued in January. The way forward is (as of this writing) still not completely clear. The charrette's final presentation ended with many questions unanswered, and many minds left unchanged. The same old divisions remained. While the city was certainly closer to a plan of action than they were before they started, and a lot of great work had been produced, they were far from a definitive solution. The question for decision makers in Sarasota becomes: What are the collective values and priorities of citizen sta keholders? What should be the values and priorities that physically shape our cities? Is it better to have an efficient city that provides essential services quickly and directly, or should it be a tapestry of technologies, cultures, with constantly chan ging and sometimes conflicting solutions to the same problems? Is the city best left to the best practices of the specialized professional, or to the vision of
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 13 the generalist planner? These are not mutually exclusive categories and, no doubt, there are multiple combinations that exist and have their perceived positive and negative attributes. Sarasota is navigating these views and charting a course towards a best of all worlds. This thesis concerns itself with the social dynamic between the public dec ision making process and the built environment. Where do residents learn how to view their physical surroundings and make judgments about their community? What social roles has the built environment itself, taken on in the learning process? In the event s that unfold in Sarasota, Florida, where are the mechanisms for the creation of the physical manifestations of our society? What is it that we have decided to call "the city." ./"#*0%1$)234-,%052/$)267(%04(2 Since New Urbanism is a revival of a more traditional form of town building, it is helpful to engage the history of city planning and building, since it is vital to understanding the movement ( Talen 2005, 318). T h is section will focus on ho w trends and outside influences have affected Sarasota's growth as city. Many critics have labeled practitioners of New Urbanism as sentimentalists: professionals who have an obsession with an idealized past, or worse yet revivalists of a move ment that was, in itself, a revival ( Talen 2005, 318) This is the danger of studying New Urbanism without a proper historical perspective. By locating New Urbanism historically, one can discern the precise nature by which the movement fashioned itself. Looking at the history of town building through the lens of Sarasot a shows what New Urbanism has achieved and what it means for its residents. T he framers of the New Urbanism claim that their method are sensitive to historical and geographic context. They contend that New Urbanism
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 14 recognizes the proper use of concepts a s they relate to the function of the city, and not architecture for the sake of revisiting an old aesthetic ( Talen 2005, 318; Duany 1998) Sarasota: From Urbanization to Subsequent Suburbanization As stated previously, there is little consensus regardi ng the point at which American cities began their decline and fell victim to financial disinvestment and cultural stigmatization Instead of choosing one timeline or set of instigating factors, I will use a synthesis of several studies, theories, and hist orical accounts by Rae (2003), Duany (2000), Jackson (1985) and Drier et. al (2004). These authors approach the topic of how American city building has changed technically, politically, economically and socially from different angles Rae takes a very mi cro approach by finely dissecting New Haven Connecticut, and the generalizations he draws can be refocused on Sarasota's particular history. Duany, Plater Zyberk and Speck's Suburban Nation (2000) is a treatise of sorts for the end of suburban sprawl. T hey follow the cause and effect relationships between the creation of today's largely suburban landscape, and what that landscape does to its inhabitants. An additional article co authored by Duany and Brain (2005) offers a more pragmatic and detailed res ponse to how New Urbanism is an answer to the problems of sprawl outlined in Duany et.al. (2000). Both Jackson (1985) and Drier et.al. (2 005) employ macro level views of urbanization and subsequent suburbanization by studying the impact of policy and majo r historical events on America's urban centers By including their accounts of how cities have changed in their spatial arrangement s I intend to situate my choice of case study within the discourse of American city building and planning. For Sarasota spec ifics, I have chosen a mix of local news article archives and four heavily captioned photo history volumes compiled by local residents and subsequently
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 15 published. These books themselves, as historical objects, lend a considerable amount of background to t he discussion. LaHurd's Quintessential Sarasota (1990) was published in Sarasota and financially supported by a local realty firm. His later effort in 1991 Sarasota A Sentimental Journey was sponsored by Sarasota's local Kiwanis chapter. Both LaHurd vol umes thank the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation and the Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources. Elder (2005) is part of a larger series of historical picture volumes published by Arcadia Publishing as part of its "Images of America" series. The forward to Marth (1973) is the most telling of the four pictorial histories. The author recounts sitting down in front of the Sarasota County Historical Commission and their shared sense of urgency to "to publish, and thereby preserve, the pi cture history of Sarasota and Sarasota County (P. 7)." At this point in the early 70s, new local newspapers announced that some of the original town founders were quickly passing away. The recent fast paced "modernization" of the city was alienating, wit h local memorials being moved, and the downtown's landmarks being razed for office towers and parking lots. Therefore, an effort to preserve the past, by showing its connection to the present, began. The city of Sarasota is smaller than most of the muni cipalities discussed by the authors cited in this thesis For this reason, many of the historical analyses by Rae and others may not fit properly with Sarasota's timeline for several reasons. First and foremost, the city incorporated in 1903, after what is largely considered to be the "Century of American urbanism" from 1820 1860 ( Talen 2005, 318) This Century of American urbanism is meticulously dissected by Rae, ( City 2003) who points out that American cities were dense commercial centers for pragmati c reasons. What he calls
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 16 four events and two nonevents that comprise the accidents of urban creation (P.11). Steam power, increased food production, regular railroad lines, and large influxes of immigrant populations helped fuel the first wave of city gr owth at the turn of the 20 th century. The slow rollout of the AC electrical grid and the absence of the automobile (and truck) while major cities were being established helped consolidate development and kept it from spreading horizontally. Steam power ha d become the primary form of industrial production, making mass production of goods possible through cheap and abundant fossil fuels. With industrialization's increased productio n came the need for a steady stream of large quantities of resources: fuel, water, manpower, raw materials, and transportation. Cities provided centralized sources of all of these resources, which made economic sense for industry, residents and local government Large numbers of workers lived nearby their employers, and long dis tance transportation was never too far away ( Rae 2003, 516) This may not have had a s much of an impact on Sarasota as larger, more industrial cities. Based mainly on agriculture and tourism from the beginning, Sarasota had little to mass produce ( Marth 1973a, 160) The railroads were a concentrating factor more because of what they could not do namely start and stop frequently or navigate small areas. Trains are a method of transporting large quantities of resources and people to general locations th at were geographically separated. This meant that once trains were unloaded, their final destination should be relatively close by. It was not until the advent of the mass produced combustion engine (making trucks and cars possible) that the urban densif ication affects caused by trains began to erode ( Rae 2003, 516)
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 17 The Florida peninsula affords little in the way of direct access to the rest of the continent by land. The laying of rail had been critical in the development of Floridian cities, as evidenc ed by Flagler's influence on the East coast of Florida ( Turner 2003) Sarasota's first railway was privately financed by Hamilton Gillespie, a rich estate owner who first engaged in Sarasota speculation and boosterism. Gillespie, who later became Saraso ta's first mayor, knew that a rail line would generate growth and bring economic vitality to the region. His railroad was poorly built and was eventually supplanted by a Seaboard Line in 1902. News of the coming train line was the impetuous for Sarasota to incorporate that following year ( Marth 1973b, 160) It is clear that the rail line was a direct influence on the settlement's decision to becom e incorporated and subsequently expand. The AC electrical grid made it much easier to decentralize power cons umption. Power lines could deliver the same working capacity as on site steam turbines. Production cycles had to be geographically close, so that the maximum amount of production could be attained from the limited energy available. Sarasota's incorporati on date, coupled with the fact that it was a tourist destination for the wealthy, meant that electricity was already in the city when it elected its first mayor ( Marth 1973b, 160) Further development, however was most likely influenced by electricity a s a relatively scarce resource. Marth notes that by the time of incorporation, the city was in the process of installing telephone lines, water and sewer systems for the business district and central residential section around main (P. 60). Finally, whi le it can be said that trains generally acted as an agent for dense cities, and cars were forces for suburbanization, that would be a gross generalization that does
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 18 n ot do justice to the cause and e ffect conditions between those and other forms of transpor tation. Before the advent of mass produced cars, a majority of Americans' transportation methods were a density gradient of walking or biking, riding a trolley, stage coach or inner city motorized transit, and possibly a train for rare inter city transport ation ( Rae 2003, 516) But starting around 1910, cars became increasingly affordable, and as such, they started eating up more of the transportation network, supplanting one mode before another in the gradient. As cars became more popular, their traffic within the city increased, and residents want ed to live in places that were compatible with their large investment. The city had to spread out in order to handle more cars. This had the reciprocal e ffect of making cars that much more necessary to navigat e the landscape ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289;Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332) Trains led to a scenario in which traffic nodes needed to be connected to individual places through a gradient of transportation options: heavy rail, to light rail street cars and horses, down to walking and biking Cars, on the other hand, started off as a cleaner (trading eventual smog for no animal waste,), and easier to maintain alternative to horses, but eventually supplanted the rest of the gradient. The car had (and still has) a profound impact on the spatial orientation of Sarasota. Since the city never grew large enough to warrant major investment in public transit (the city never had local street cars and a bus system was not formed until 1939 ) the city was largely susceptible to the widespread adoption of cars ( Marth 1973a, 160) Pictures of Main Street as far back as 1918 show it fully lined with cars just as it is today. US 41 "Tamiami Trail", a major actor in this thesis, followed a natural ridge th at came
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 19 down the West coast from Tampa and down to Miami. In Sarasota, the highway was designated down Main street and Pineapple until 1960, when a suburban arterial bypass was constructed along the bay front ( LaHurd 1990, 127) This was one of the first in a series of events that began to remove the economic vitality from the downtown. The high levels of urban density and car based transportation are not completely mutually exclusive of one another, as will be seen later in the discussion about New Urb anist principles. The degree of density within a metropolitan area is defined by several different characteristics, with transportation being only one (albeit a very important one.) The conceptual urban gradient starts on one end as undisturbed nature, a nd move s through to dense downtown urbanism and special use districts ( Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332) In terms of building types, structures go from sparsely populated on winding country roads, to more formal suburban avenues, before connecting to townho mes and small businesses on small urban streets From there, gridded street patterns of tall office and condominium buildings sit along side very straight city streets. Natural features go from wild grown fields or forests, to semi structured park areas, to more rigidly defined street trees and neighborhood parks. Rae (2005) provides countless examples of how this gradient has degraded over the decades. He talks about a "working class geography" (P.120) where most workers lived within walking distance of their factory, and even the owner was at least within the city limits. But as more and more workers have access to car transportation, and manufacturing facilities are more centralized both commercial activity and residential populations move out into t he suburbs along with their taxes Cities begin to see highways and their pre requisite arterial feeder roads as bloodlines of commerce. The city
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 20 must become a destination within a regional super metropolis more than a self sufficient socio economic ecos ystem ( Rae 2003, 516) Sarasota is unusual in this sense. It has al ways been a tourist destination and a winter haven for the rich. The city's socioeconomic activity ebb s and flow s with the October arrival and April departure of its snowbirds. The two colleges and University satellite campus add to the January peaks and July lows. But despite the relative lack of formal industry, it has seen more than its fair share of suburbanization. As mentioned earlier, US 41's construction and later rerouting ar ound the downtown, can be traced to the decentralization of Sarasota's socio economic activity and physical development. Just as Rae tracks the departure and centralization of local businesses through the years, a similar adjustment can be seen in Saraso ta. A grocery store on Osprey Avenue and Hillview Lane managed to exist under only a handful of managers. Manager Ed Marable was dedicated to the local politics of Sarasota, and was elected to the City Commision in 1956 and became mayor in 1961 ( LaHurd 1 991, 120) But his political efforts were not enough to stop the supermarket chain Publix from setting up shop south on the trail. This first shopping center outside of downtown also boasted a toy shop, a barber, shoe repair, a hardware store, a car wash and a F.W. Woolworth. The grocery store still remains under the name "Morton's Gourmet Market", having positioned itself as a premium food provider, instead of a simple local grocery store. Another Sarasota case study is "Smack's" the local hangout for the city's younger set. LaHurd is unabashedly romantic when he recounts the restaurant's heyday: "In its day, this unpretentious drive in managed to be popular with just about everyone. Teenagers cruised it a la American Graffiti; businessmen ate lun ch there; singles met, fed nickels into the
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 21 jukebox and moved on; families came for the prices preteens looked forward to the day when they, too, could come to Smack's -without their parents. (P.92)" LaHurd blames the "rowdier bunch of teenagers" who ha d begun "bringing their own beer on the lot" for the eventual demise of Smack's in 1960. However, a much larger (and measured) perspective of the area tells a different story. US 41 had been re directed that same year The restaurant's demise probably ha d more to do with the fact that "every bus and car going to and coming from Miami drove by Smack's at about 25 miles per hour (P.94)" were now traveling 50 miles per hour around the city and stopping at many of the highway side suburban developments that h ad sprung up to the south. For instance, in April of 1957, Sarasota was the first city in Florida to have a McDonalds. It sat just off of US 41. Since this thesis investigates the construction of individuals' opinions within the decision making process i t is necessary but not sufficient that the discussion only covers the final products in the history of city building. It is not enough to know that automobiles became the dominant form of transportation, but rather why cars and the highway network, wi th its subsequent suburban design standards were the choice of home and commercial builders and their customers. These are factors that lie outside the Sarasota City limits. The Regulation and Bureaucratization of Modern American Real Estate Development Talen (2005) asserts that modernist urbanism is the "near embodiment of anti urbanism (P. 38)" and even though this modernism has lost many of the ideological underpinnings that were established in the 20 th century, it has become "a by product of
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 22 global re alities (P. 38)." This situation is made apparent in many cities across America, and Sarasota has been no different. Between 1910 and 1960, the American landscape changed dramatically. Within half a century an alphabet soup of professional organizations and lobbying associations cropped up. Geels (2005) outlines the process concisely: In 1916 P resident Wilson signed the first Federal Aid Road Act into law, creating the new federal Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) to oversee rural road construction. In the f ollowing years, the BPR's budget was substantially increased. As the 1920s progressed, the BPR developed into a well functioning highway machine', involving a large network of inter related groups, that formed a strong highway lobby, e.g. the Portland Cem ent Association, the American Automobile Association, the American Road Builders Association, the Association of Highway Officials, the Rubber Association of America, the Mississippi Valley Association of State Highway Officials, the National Paving Brick Manufacturer's Association and the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce. In response to the Great Depression, federal highway aid was further increased. Between 1933 and 1944, the New Deal resulted in more than US$1.8 billion for new roads, thus fundin g the highway boom of the 1930s." The push toward a seemingly inevitable suburbanization of the American landscape was a combination of direct action on the part of interested groups, the cooperation of the federal government, and the collective decisions of American consumers. The American Road Builder's Association (ARBA) was an expansive lobbying group that spanned many different industries and wielded massive power in the US by the 1950s ( Jackson 1985, 396) This association gathered the interests of real estate brokers hoping for new sellable land along highways, and it attracted asphalt manufactures and bus operators. Prior to the formation of the ARBA in 1943, General Motors was already trying to get the public behind their vision of the future. J ackson describes the 1939 New York World's Fair exhibit by General Motors called "Futurama." "The most popular exhibit at the New York World's Fair in 1939 was General Motors' Futurama.' Looking twenty five years ahead, it offered a magic Aladdin like flight through time and space.' Fair goers stood in hour long lines, waiting to travel on a moving sidewalk above a huge model created by designer Norman Bel Geddes. Miniature superhighways with 50,000 automated cars wove past model farms en route to mo del cities. Five million persons peered
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 23 eventually at such novelties as elevated freeways, expressway traffic moving at 100 miles per hour, and modern and efficient city planning breath taking architecture each city block a complete unit in itself (with) broad, one way thoroughfares space, sunshine, light, and air.' The message of Futurama' was as impressive as its millions of model parts: The job of building the future is one which will demand our best energies, our most fruitful imagination; and that with it will come greater opportunities for all.' (P.248)" With GM at the forefront ARBA was the second largest lobbying firm in the US. The largest, the defense industry, started to jump in on the action as well, calling for a decentralization of Amer ican townships, so as to reduce the ability of the Soviet Union fro m destroying entire cities. In 1956, the Interstate Highway Act became law, setting up a dedicated "Highway Trust Fund" that would keep tax dollars raised for highways separate from all ot her tax revenues, and would prevent this money from going into other forms of transport such as rail based transportation ( Jackson 1985, 396) With automobiles and their publicly financed roads expanding at a rapid pace, a new breed of housing needed to go along with it. With so many veterans coming home from World War II, America had two problems: 1) a housing shortage, and 2) a lack of semi skilled job positions. The single solution to both problems lay in constructing an entirely new single zoned l andscape with new kinds of financial instruments. New jobs could be found in creating the needed housing stock, and building newer manufacturing facilities on cheap unincorporated land ( Bruegmann 2005, 301) Housing loan instruments made it easier and ch eaper for developers to build new single family detached homes, and new 30 year mortgages made Americans buy them ( Jackson 1985, 396;Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289) Sarasota benefited greatly from many federal programs instituted since the Gr eat Depression. Roosevelt's Work Progress Administration (WPA) gave Sarasota its Air Force base (now Sarasota Bradenton International Airport), Municipal Auditorium, Post
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 24 Office, and a casino on Lido Key. These projects put Sarasota residents to work, an d during World War II, 3,000 soldiers were stationed at the base ( LaHurd 1990, 127) Tourism saw a big boom after the war was over. In 1952 alone, there were 16 new motels and six new apartment buildings Tourism to Florida was reaching new highs, as mo re middle class tourists hit the road ( Warner 1952) By the 60s, Sarasota's barrier islands and points South on Tamiami Trail were being developed by major corporations. The Arvida Corporation began its development of Bird, Longboat and Lido Keys in 195 9. Arvida gave a presentation to over a 1,000 real estate brokers, salesmen, and citizens in the Civic auditorium, extolling the economic virtues of developing the barrier islands. With overwhelming support, Arvida started a nation wide publicity campaig n to get buyers for the new lots. Further south, the Mac kle Company began development of Port Charlotte. The article published in the New York Times on March 13 th 1960 is a great example of the developers' ability to paint the picture of fast paced exc itement for modern community building: "First, the community must be built on high, dry, well drained land, located on a main highway, in a fine year round dwelling and recreational area, near an already established community. Second, unlike most older c ities, it must be completely planned in advance, with an eye to future growth and expansion Having selected the land, a corps of engineers went to work. They prepared a master plan to make the most of its natural attributes and preserve its natural beaut y. They laid out streets and waterways set aside areas for schools, churches, shopping, parks, playgrounds, bathing beaches, golf course, fishing pier, and recreation centers. Ne x t, a team of architects designed special houses to take full advantage of F lorida's wonderful year round climate homes that combine comfortable living, long life, and ease of maintenance homes that are built to rigid FHA specifications of materials and workmanship." Across the country, small towns began to see the benefit of hi ghway traffic. These arteries of economic activity made a new kind of economy based on the car.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 25 Drive thru restaurants, malls with fields of parking, and big box retailers are all economic institutions built around the suburban land use model. This mean t that downtowns began to decay. Manufacturing left the city as trucking made it economically viable to build ( easier to construct and cheaper) horizontal factories on unincorporated land At the same time, communications technology made it possible for administrative branches of business to remain in downtown high rises. As mentioned before, shopping centers and social gathering spaces began to leave the downtown in favor of the new Tamiami Trail. The regional metropolis was no longer the main econom ic unit of land development. Through the efforts of the constituent corporations of ARBA and federal cooperation, American families were steered toward the suburban model of living: the detached single family home, in the total community, connected by a b rand new highway system. For Sarasota, this meant realigning itself as a best it could with US 41 as its economic lifeline, sometimes at the expense of a sense of community. LaHurd dedicated four pages (he gives the same amount of page space to the enti re pictorial history of Bird Key) to the World War I memorial installed at Five Points on Main Street in 1928. An eight sided cut stone monument that acted as both flagpole and traffic light, the monument was the site of many Veterans' Memorial Parades. Despite its strong community popularity, in 1954 the state road department deemed it a "traffic hazard" and it was moved to a shady piece of grass at the intersection of Main and Gulfstream in today's Bayfront Park. LaHurd laments, "The sidewalks are no l onger filled with flag waving onlookers out to give thanks to their servicemen. Those sentiments seem to belong to an age when war memorials stood in the center of town squares (p.27)."
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 26 The downtown suffered several decades of divestment and neglect. Ma in street was no longer a commercial center and newer, faster state and federal bypasses removed traffic further away from the city's borders. By the 90s, the rich residents and the city commission could no longer tolerate the string of pawnshops and liqu or stores that made up Main Street The downtown had to become more than a n administrative center and crime haven The City Council hired Duany Plater Zyberk & Company to revitalize their tired downtown in 2000. DPZ, a firm from Miami who's principal arch itects were some of the founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism promised a revitalized downtown that could compete with the surrounding suburban development in other parts of the region. Duany's prescription for the downtown took the form of the Th e City of Sarasota Downtown Master Plan 2020. It contained a comprehensive form based code based on the urban fabric originally created by the Nolen plan of 1925. Its executive summary lists six main themes: Connect downtown to the bay front, Create a sy stem of walkable streets, Create a balanced transportation system, Create Walk to town neighborhoods, Engage in Civic improvements, And implement the plan strategically and pragmatically The Sarasota City Commission adopted the plan by resolution on Januar y 22, 2001, with few substantial reservations, save one: traffic calming on US 41 to increase pedestrian connectivity between the downtown and the bay front. A follow up Downtown Mobility Study Conducted in 2003, which was supposed to provide empirical
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 27 pr oof of the feasibility of reducing traffic on US 41, had little affect on popular opinion. According to the Implementation Handbook: Downtown Sarasota 2003 Mobility Study automobile traffic could be reduced to one lane each way around the downtown caus ing a one third reduction in traffic. Th at one third would be distributed to other North South corridors, traffic leading to and from the barrier islands (via John Ringling Boulevard) and local downtown traffic would comprise the remaining load. Analyses conducted with several local, state, and federal government agencies, in corroboration with private firms contracted by the City of Sarasota showed that the traffic reduction would mostly come from non local traffic, and locals using the road to get to th e barrier islands would enjoy the same level of service (LOS) but with fewer cars on a smaller road. On March 30 th 2004, despite the conclusive evidence that local traffic would be largely unaffected, the city commission voted to approve the 2020 plan but to keep US 41 a two lane thoroughfare. The last four years have been filled with political battles between those that want Sarasota to behave like a modern city and those that see the benefits of a more traditional form of town building espoused by N ew Urbanism. Since the plan's adoption, the city has regained some of the amenities it had lost. T wo large grocery stores, a bustling Main Street a new bus depot, several skyscrapers, a library, and movie theater had returned to the downtown. The news paper moved into a brand new building on main street, and dozens of art galleries and restaurants set up shop in the downtown. It is worth noting, however, that the theater and grocery stores of today are franchises of larger corporations, not the locally owned businesses of yesteryears. But this Main Street finds itself in a new economy with a completely different set of
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 28 competitors. Sarasota's competitive advantage as a sleepy well to do's hideout had been eliminated by new global destinations and surro unding development. The city has to compete with surrounding municipalities, and even its own county for tax revenue just like most other mid size cities ( Dreier, Mollenkopf, and Swanstrom 2004, 428). Sarasota cannot go back to the past, where it was one of a few urban outposts in the Florida wilderness. It is but one node in a larger West Coast regional metropolis. From Venice to the south, and Tampa St. Petersburg to the North, different townships share human, financial, and social capital. New Urbani sm is not an attempt to retreat from this reality. Rather, it is a way of performing in this new dynamic in a way that preserves a unique character of the region, while creating new moments where residents and visitors can experience a sense of place. Th e next chapter will investigate the principle tenets of New Urbanism and how they relate to Sarasota. C0%1$)4$*267(%04(-D22E(&2F0;/$4-+ 2 New Urbanism must be understood both as body of knowledge as well as a broad professional and civic movement called Th e Congress for the New Urbanism. Both the concepts, as well as how the movement is constructed, are key in Sarasota's development. I will first cover the content of New Urbanism, before leading into a discussion of how the movement works as a multidiscipl inary congress. It might not come as obvious to the casual observer of municipal policy, architecture, engineering, emergency management, transportation, economics, and citizenship (or the individual with a narrow but deep understanding of any one of the se bodies of knowledge) but to e ffect major change in the behavior of the city, all of these things must work in concert towards a common end.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 29 The Content of New Urbanism New Urbanism is a broad set of standards, best practices, and (arguably) ideals about how communities (both socially and in their built form) are supposed to act. In Appendix B of Andres Duany's (et.al) book Suburban Nation (2000) he explains principles of the CNU: "In order to promote community, the built environment must be diverse in us e and population, scaled for the pedestrian, and capable of supporting mass transit as well as the automobile. It must have a well defined public realm supported by buildings reflecting the architecture and ecology of the region (P. 258) ." That small quo te makes three things readily apparent: 1) diversity of multiple physical and social characteristics is essential 2 ) this diversity is expected to benefit the intended community that has been identified for any given project, and 3) regardless of the leve l of diversity, it must make way for a cohesive public realm where intended diversity and planned community meet. All of this must be seated in a local context, informed by historical architecture trends, dominant economic activity, or culture. These ge neralities must be defined before moving forward. !"#$%&"'()*+),%-."'$-'/%$0))1.$)1%23&$-')234)1.$)5236/26$)*+),%-."'$-'/%$ ) The diversity espoused in New Urbanism is both local and regional. Locally, buildings types should be varied enough that differe nt activities can take place within walking distance. This means, someone can live next to where they work, and where they make their day to day purchases. At a regional level, at the level of the metropolis, the urban form must change in density, charac ter, and purpose. New Urbanism has adopted a method used by ecologists to describe and work with different densities called "the transect" Moving from the completely rural to the special use district and the dense urban core, the transect is a tool to p rovide a kind of functional diversity to
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 30 different parts of a city and acts as an alternative to use zoning ( Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332) Instead of zoning areas for different uses and remaining largely agnostic to the forms of the constituent parts o f a city transect based zoning is meant to define the properties of specific areas of the city and surrounding towns. The basic assumption 3 is that there needs to be a variety of spaces, but those spaces and their use are not fundamentally linked. In ot her words, residential, commercial, and even some forms of light industry can be in close geographic proximity, and not only coexist peacefully, but actually make the city a more vibrant economic unit than the suburban equivalent. By designing the built en vironment to create, reflect and sustain existing local character, and not land use, the transect allows the designer, architect, and/or planner, to control the design of the city. As it stands today, different professionalized specialists focus on their part of the city puzzle. The traffic engineer designs the road, the storm water engineer deals with runoff and sewage, and the city 's planning department is left to zone patches of land for specific kinds of usage. The specialists are trained to see one subject from their point of view and to maximize the efficiency of that subject as it pertains to their field ( Brain 2006, 18) Duany and Brain (2005) give a simple example of this situation and the problems that arise from such specialization: "In Hill sborough County, Florida, the regulated minimum size of a tree planter is 120 feet. That means that you need about 10 feet by 12 feet in order to plant a street tree even in downtown. The specialist is biologically correct: a tree in Florida does indeed need 120 square fee t of unpaved surface to truly flourish but this is considering only the tree, not any of the other aspects 3 I say assumption, but much of this is based in observation. See Jane Jacobs, The death and life of great American cities ( New York: Random House, 1961), 458.; Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass frontier : the suburbanization of the United States ( New York: O xford University Press, 1985), 396.; Anastasia Loukaitou Sideris, Evelyn Blumenberg, and Renia Ehrenfeucht, "Sidewalk Democracy: Municipalities and the Regulation of Public Space," in Regulating place : standards and the shaping of urban America eds. Era n Ben Joseph, Terry S. Szold and Terry S. Szold. Anonymous (New York: Routledge, 2005), 141 185.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 31 of designing a street, where the tree must participate in concert with building, sidewalk, and curb toward the creation of a pede strian oriented public space (P. 298) ." The transect provides a more integrated approach. By setting design standards for different geographic locations, a more unified and balanced code can be applied to specific areas so as to achieve certain levels o f building density, walkability, and natural features. In short, the transect can help design interesting neighborhoods, conventional zoning helps design a calculating and overly predictable development scheme ( Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332) The diffe rent elements that go into the physical makeup of the human habitat are not context independent. Rather, the relationships to different climates (natural and social) and land uses must be accounted for, and holistically designed so that all major function s of the city and its constituent parts are designed in concert with one another. The transect offers planners a framework through which form based codes can be implemented across a city. For specific developments, one part of the transect might be utiliz ed throughout. For a larger city master plan (like Sarasota's) the entire transect may be called into play. Within the plan, different parts of the city can be coded for building height, density, architectural style, landscaping, and transportation mix. A transect based plan for a particular metropolitan area may even help define the boundaries of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and other kinds of special use districts. By recognizing the gradients of density throughout the metropolis, New Urbani sm is attempting to provide the diversity of housing and business that once existed. At the center of the metropolis, at its most dense, citizens and patrons should be able to walk or bike to most of their daily necessities. But as one moves further outw ard, to the more
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 32 rural parts of the metropolis, cars and mass transportation become more necessary. The idea is to revert back to the regional spatial order tha t existed before the sprawling e ffects of widespread automobile transportation took place. Car s are not outlawed in New Urbanism but are instead restricted to more rural and suburban settings outside of the downtown. But even where cars are given deference, they are never given free range. The general idea is to keep cars as an option, but never make them necessary for day to day activity ( Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332) The reincorporation of the gradient of density is not a purely aesthetic choice. The relationships between building types are fundamentally linked to the overall health of the re gion. By citing the city as the main economic unit (as New Urbanism advocates) small businesses and mass transit can thrive on the sheer density of traffic numbers and mix of uses ( Jacobs 1961, 458; Dreier, Mollenkopf, and Swanstrom 2004, 428). The orien tation of buildings to streets, the moments when landmark buildings create nodal points within the city, are all crucial to a bustling local economy and cannot be created by conventional zoning and development patterns ( Talen 2005, 318;Brain 2006, 18;Farr 2008;Lynch 1960, 202). As Duany and Brain (2005) point out, early town planners (such as Sarasota's John Nolen) con sidered themselves "generalists," p eople who, while focused on the particular task of planning a functional metropolis, approached it more as a humanistic art, than a problem solved by the best practices of a professionalized city manager This allowed planners to develop comm unities that first and foremost served the residents as a beautiful place to live, instead of making it easier or predi ctable for professionals to administer, monitor, and eventually recreate what eventually turned into sprawl.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 33 The built form's architectural diversity is an active participant in the social diversity within. By providing a wide range of housing and transpo rtation options, New Urbanists contend that the community will achieve heterogeneity of socioeconomic demographics and land uses. They recognize that by working at two levels: the very immediate foreground, and the wider region, a city is much more visual ly coherent to the pedestrian, and can provide different services directly based on the differences of development 4 ( Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332) For instance, the planning derived from the transect can provide the correct amount of foot traffic and ret ail square footage to sustain an independently owned small business, as well as a corporately owned large scale outlet in a more suburban area where land is cheaper and more deference is given over to cars. In this scenario, the two can co exist and serve different purposes for different customers. They do not need to directly compete with one another for the same storefront in a strip mall. A similar case can be found in housing. Whereas detached single family houses may be the ideal arrangement for n ew families with a strong and steady income, young professionals, college students, elderly couples that can no longer drive, and the poor have little to gain from the suburban arrangement. Many of these people live on strict budgets. Gas, car insurance, maintenance and car loan payments, make up a large part of small household economies Many people do not need a full house with three bedrooms and two baths, if they are without children ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 4 While I cite Duany and Brain 2005 for this, the term "foreground" as it relates to a larger region, is a concept pulled directly from Jacobs (1961) wherein s he contends that while the foreground can have its own logical framework, the city must be designed such that the foreground is properly understood in a wider context, through the termination of vistas by landmarks or some other kind of prominent visual mo ment. She uses the analogy of fires in the darkness, in that these landmarks provide a way for individuals to orient themselves within the city. See also Lynch, Kevin (1960).
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 34 2000, 289) The tra nsect provides the option for any given individual to live their entire cycle of life in the same town where an individual starts life in the suburb as the child of a family, moves into the dense center as a student or young worker, settles down back in the suburbs to raise a family, and once the children have grown up, can move back into a place with less maintenance requirements and more activities within walking distance ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289) Along with this transect is an inherently preserva tionist mentality. The built form is inherently linked to the green space, vis vis the level of density allowed. Brain and Duany (2005) argue that the transect is a much more powerful tool for the environmentalist. When the conservationist or the envi ronmentalist encounters conventional development methods, there are only two options: 1) creating spaces of development and spaces of preservation in the forms of Urban Service Boundaries (USBs) and wilderness preservation regions and 2) push for codes fo r low density building that reduce impermeable ground cover by specifying large easement sizes and/or low density development patterns. As Brain and Duany point out, both of these methods result in sprawl, more than preservation. If development were to c onform to a transect based plan planners would have the ability to designate certain areas as completely natural, with a slow gradient toward more dense development. The result would be a smaller overall development footprint with much larger areas of co ntiguous, untouched nature ( Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332) As a whole, the transect defines the metropolitan region, which (according to New Urbanists) is a "fundamental economic unit of the contemporary world (P. 261)." ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289) Just as it is in nature, monocultures of
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 35 the built environment are inherently unsustainable. Large blocks of homogeneous housing, or uninterrupted blocks of one kind of commercial development (such as suburban commercial parks but also very high intensity skyscrapers if there are too many of them ) lead to imbalances in the housing markets, lopsided municipal budgets, and control of local resources by corporations and land speculators that have no interest in the benefit of the community ( Rae 2003, 516;Dreier, Mollenkopf, and Swanstrom 2004, 428;Logan and Molotch 1987, 383) 7/89"-):;2-$0)1.$)<*==*3)!$3*="32'*%) ) The reintroduction of public space is integral to the vision of New Urbanists. By creating spaces that are accessible to all membe rs of the community, practitioners hope to bring people from different walks of life together on common ground. Public space is not limited to plazas or public parks. It also refers to sidewalks, streets, transit, and public buildings such as libraries and courthouses. These are places where diverse members of society meet for common tasks and recreation, and different members of the community can engage in gesellschaft interactions, and develop deeper gemeinschaft relationships. The congress as a move ment, remains politically neutral, and even the name "New Urbanism" was a conscious choice to remain as such 5 There is, however, a clear social agenda being articulated in the CNU charter as well as the literature supporting New Urbanist principles. By b uilding communities with different housing options in close proximity (brownstone single family homes may be next door to an apartment complex, with a larger home on the corner lot) and building public spaces for these 5 See Talen (2005) for a description of the other names considered, and the dec isions that led to the name "New Urbanism".
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 36 residents to interact, New Urbanists hope to break down the intensely regimented and nuanced economic segregation that is common in conventional suburban developments by encouraging public interaction in "third spaces" ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289) Tangential to the hope of br inging together people from different walks of life, there is the idea that civic life is only as healthy as the space in which it is allowed to occur 6 When communities lack public space, and individuals transport themselves in private automobiles, there is little chance for face to face human interaction. Duany (2000) writes: "Many factors contribute to this condition [decline of civic life], and one must be wary of focusing inordinately on just one, but it is worth investigating significant role that our changing physical environment may play in that perceived decline. To begin with the obvious, community cannot form in the absence of communal space, without places for people to get together to talk. Just as it is difficult to imagine the concept of fam ily independent of the home, it is near impossible to imagine community independent of the town square or the local pub (P.60)." Robert Putnam's popular book Bowling Alone (2001) seems to support Duany's claims, locating "about 10 percent (P. 283) of the cause of American's lack of civic engagement to the increases of car based transportation and homogenous suburbs. In studying that 10 percent, he says: "Rather than at the grocery store or five and dime on Main Street, where faces were familiar, today's suburbanites shop in large, impersonal malls. Although malls constitute America's most distinctive contemporary public space, they are carefully designed for one primary purpose to direct consumers to buy (P.211) "First, sprawl takes time. More time i s s spent al o ne in the car means less time for friends and neighbors, for meetings, for community projects, and so on. Though this is the most obvious link between sprawl and disengagement, it is probably not the most important. "Second, sprawl is associ ated with increasing social segregation, and social homogeneity appears to reduce incentives for civic involvement, as well as opportunities for social networks that cut across class and racial lines. Sprawl has been especially toxic for bridging social c apital. 6 For a full look into and analysis of space, as it relates to human rights and liberty, see Mitchell's The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space (2003)
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 37 "Third, most subtly bu t probably most powerfully, sprawl disrupts community boundedness.' Commuting time is important in large part as a proxy for the growing separation between work and home and shops. More than three decades ago, when (we now know in retrospect) civic engagement was at full flood, political scientists Sidney, Verba, and Norman Nie showed that residents of well defined and bounded' communities were much more likely to be involved in local affairs (P. 214)." His largest cont ributing factor "generational change" -where children raised post World War II seem to have been -"exposed to some anticivic X ray that permanently and increasingly rendered them less likely to connect with the community (P.255)" chronologically matches up with the events in Sarasota, but I find the cause and affect relationships to be more complicated. Economic pressures 7 to move into newly built suburbs, serviced by federally funded highways, pushed activity out into the suburbs where Putnam's anticivi c mentalities are fostered. Smack's was abandoned in favor of the new McDonalds on US 41, and the Publix was preferred over the downtown grocery store. Putnam claims that "I am led to the conclusion that the dynamics of civic engagement in the last severa l decades has been shaped in part by social habits and values influenced in turn by the great midcentury global cataclysmWe must acknowledge the enduring consequences some of them, I have argued powerfully positive of what we used to call the war,' (PP. 275 276)." This may be the case, but it is unclear as to whether changes in our physical environment preceded or where a direct result of these "social habits." To illustrate the role of the physical environment, I repeat the quote from LaHurd: "The sidew alks are no longer filled with flag waving onlookers out to give thanks to their servicemen. Those sentiments seem to belong to an age when war memorials stood in the center of town squares (p.27)." 7 Some of which come from feder al government action, which Putnam also investigates, but not the federal programs that regulated housing and urban development. See Chapter 1.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 38 It is chicken and egg problems such as these which neces sitate New Urbanism's multidisciplinary nature. The town square, and the public investment in its existence is a matter of not just architecture, but city governance, civic engagement, and economics. It is with this dynamic that the conversation must now lead to the development of the Congress for the New Urbanism as a movement. The Congress: The History, the People, and the Movement By definition, New Urbanism must be a multidisciplinary movement. New Urbanism encourages a holistic approach to city pla nning creating a human habitat with a sustainable ecology, and not an administrative byproduct of industry standards and engineering best practices. This was originally articulated in "The Ahwahnee Principles" drafted by Peter Katz, Andres Duany, Elizabe th Plater Zyberk, Michael Corbett, Stefanos Polyzoides, Elizabeth Moule and Peter Calthorp. In this short document these professionals collected what they perceived to be the ingredients that made strong communities. The list focused on walkability, div ersity of housing types, open space, and efficient resource use as well as conservation. The end of the document contains a short section of bulleted items titled "Implementation Strategy." The se four bullet points moved the small document from architect ure wish list, to a call for action. It advocated comprehensive plans drafted and administered by local governments and that these governments be required to hold open planning processes so that citizens can take ownership of their community. From that tw o page document grew an initial following of 100 members from many different professional organizations, government institutions, and varied public activists. The first Congress for the New Urbanism was held in 1993. Its multidisciplinary character was m odeled i n the same fashion as the Congr s
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 39 Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). By the fourth congress, a charter had been drafted and signed with over 300 attendees ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289;"CNU History ) As of today, this fas t growing movement has over 3,000 dues paying members ( "CNU History ) According to the CNU web site, it counts among its ranks, "Federal cabinet secretaries (such as former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo) and state governors (such as former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening) ( "CNU History ) ." Unlike the CIAM, the CNU has continued to meet, long after the movement's charter has been drafted. The seventeenth congress is set to meet in Denver this June. The movement has benefited from the positive press and popularity of some of its early projects. Seaside, Florida is widely recognized as one of the first New Urbanist communities ( "The Seaside Institute about Us." ) Designed by Duany, Plater Zyberk & Company (DPZ), Seaside was built from scratch, in the local style of Florida bungalows. It garnered widespread attention from national newspapers and magazines. It became the set for "The Truman Show" (1998) giving the town worldwide fame ( Shulevitz 1998) Acting as a "living lab oratory" for New Urbanism, Seaside created the Seaside Institute, which teaches seminars and provides resources for those interested in New Urbanism ( "The Seaside Institute about Us." ) The movement is embodied in more documents, academic papers, privat e firms, think tanks, and cultural icons than this thesis has time to cover. While the built environment and the institutions that create, administer, and maintain it are the main battleground, the campaign is very broad. As stated in the i ntroduction to its charter: "The Congress for the New Urbanism views divestment in central cities, the spread of placeless sprawl, increasing separation by race and income, environmental deterioration, loss of agricultural
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 40 lands and wilderness, and the erosion of soci ety's built heritage as one interrelated community building challenge." This "interrelated community building challenge" has been taken up across America, and has been informed by, and actively engages different organizations from around the world. Each Congress is set up under a common theme, with a range of expert panels, keynote speakers, and tours of the host city's urban form. The Congresses continue to help breed networking and idea exchanges among new and seasoned New Urbanists, so that the moveme nt retains a unified vision while confronting conventional development on multiple fronts ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289) Controversy and Criticism: The State of the Movement New Urbanism has attracted a healthy amount of critical skeptici sm in its seventeen years of active organization. I say healthy, because the movement, by its nature, maintains a constant dialog of successes, failures and possible new directions. This means that critical assessment makes the movement smarter and stron ger. Many critiques stem from misunderstandings. The accusations that New Urbanism is some kind of false nostalgia induced campaign to make all cities little Disney downtowns, neglects the fact that New Urbanism focuses on the process of creating differen t kinds of places using traditional methods of town building. It does not advocate a specific kind of building scale or density ( Ellis 2002, 261) In coping with the realities of conventional development and the economic institutions that support it, New Urbanists have adapted to many suburban artifacts. "Big box" retail outlets are positioned to reduce their impact on the walkability of neighborhoods and firms have come out with transition plans to convert malls to town centers ( Ellis 2002, 261) While this does not help local economies, it is a step in the
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 41 right direction, since it opens up their services to those that cannot afford cars or live in urban centers. Planners have struggled for years to overcome the ironic problem that New Urbanists resi dential communities are more expensive than their conventional counterparts -because of their great success and often make it impossible for lower income residents to move into communities that are meant to be of mixed socioeconomic background ( Duany 1998 ) Some developments have responded with intentional price controls through land trusts and other ownership models ( Brain 2006, 18) Duany states that many of these options are still socially unjust, since they often hurt the ability of the resident to us e the value of their home like middle class homeowners do. He says the only way to create more affordable New Urban communities is to build more of them, making them less scarce, and driving down the price ( Duany 1998) As it stands today, New Urbanism i s still a growing movement, and it stands to be a popular answer to the problems currently facing American municipal governments as gas prices rise, climate change manifests in real and immediate problems, and developable land is no longer cheap and plenti ful ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289;Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332;Ellis 2002, 261) The US Green Building Council is expected to launch a new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) rating system in 2009 This rating system was developed in collaboration with the CNU and the Natural Resource Defense Council, and it rewards transit based development, urban infill, walkability, and adjacency to existing town centers ( "USGBC: LEED for Neighborhood Developme nt.") With active state chapters and a vibrant national organization the Congress for the New Urbanism has
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 42 positioned itself to transform the American landscape. Its biggest hurdle will be to convince its critics that it can provide them with what they want: comfortable communities that they can call home. Public Process and New Urbanism in Sarasota Sarasota has been a battleground in this debate since it chose DPZ to draft its Downtown Master Plan in 2000. Since that time, the elected officials, the city planning and engineering departments, as well as the involved citizenry have had to learn the basic components of New Urbanism. In this way, they are part of a larger re education process that is happening across the country as New Urbanism takes ho ld: Citizens that are used to the conventional suburban development scheme are also used to the technocratic development pattern they have little control over, and must get used to a transparent process open to community input. Those that have been invol ved in the public process have evolved to compete in a process where few voices are heard if they do not come from a developer, engineer, or elected official. The result is a population of reactionaries that focus on specific issues (usually those that di rectly affect them) that are untrusting of their municipal officers, and rightfully so ( Brain 2006, 18) A large component in the process studied in this thesis is called a charrette. The historical allusion to architecture school deadlines is accurate a s tables filled with drafting tools, markers, drawings, engineering documents, and notes characterize the design studios in modern charrettes as well. A typical charrette lasts for 3 7 consecutive days in which a temporary on site design studio is staffed by professionals, public officials, private citizens, and staff to achieve a set project goal ( Brain 2006, 18;Lennertz, Lutzenhiser, and National Charrette Institute. 2006) The entire charrette process will be
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 43 investigated later on in Section III, but i t is important to explain the basics of this planning method before proceeding. The charrette is uniquely appropriate for the New Urbanism because of its ability to bring all stakeholders into a single room and provide holistic answers to particular pro blems Conventional planning methods rely on specialists to regulate, engineer, and design the constituent parts of any particular project. Any given project is handed over from one specialist to another, until all of the regulations are met. New Urbanis ts reject this method, because they believe that the outcome, by its very nature, cannot provide urbanism that meets the needs of humans. Regulatory frameworks only guarantee the construction of any given project meets certain minimum standards. It canno t create what people want, just what regulation has prohibited. Charrette planning relies on putting all of the stakeholders in the same room Everyone specialize s in different subjects, whether it is the water management coordinator or the 35 year resi dent that offers anecdotal information, which means problems can be tackled from multiple directions in a holistic manner ( Brain 2006, 18) In this way, groups that might have found themselves at odds over the location of a park, or the design of a roadwa y, are instead collaborative partners who provide input into the problem and come out with some kind of consensus. The contracted time that the charrette takes place in, is purposeful in its own right, because it creates a political momentum for further a ction. Instead of projects languishing in between regularly scheduled meetings and open houses, the task at hand is dealt with completely and from all sides, keeping all ideas fresh and in concert with one another.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 44 The process itself is an active agent i n the story of the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette. The massive input provided by the charrette system gives unprecedented insight into how individuals view their city, what is important to them, and how they prioritize things like non vehicle accessibili ty, social justice, and local governance. =(",4%$2<< 2 !""('(0/,()G2B%''/;%0/,4?(2B%++1$4,52H'/$$4$*D22>1,0(/"7G2 B7/00(,,(-G2/$)2:%''%& I FA 2 Early Interviews My first meeting with Erica occurred on October 7 th a second time during a public "Kick off meeting" on the 14 th then in private again on November 10 th four days before the first day of the charrette. We met in the Sarasota planning office conference room, completely devoid of all decoration save one woo den sign on the opposite wall from the whiteboard which read, "Never, but never question the engineer's judgment." Erica has worked in the planning office for several years, but this project seems to be testing her in every aspect of her job. She has been working logistics for this project for months no w, and she has very pragmatic expectations for public turnout. She quotes a clever analogy typically used in NCI training when she say s that it feels like orchestrating an "organized train wreck." She cannot predict what is going to happen but, at the ve ry least, she can set up a situation where everyone can "be at the table." Signs of a hostile public are already very apparent. Erica and several others up the chain of command, including her boss Tom, and even the mayor have all received phone calls, ema ils, and letters protesting the process all together. To these residents nothing is wrong with the US 41 corridor, and to engage in this charrette is a poor
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 45 distribution of resources. They feel the decision to create a mo re pedestrian oriented downtown has already been made (back in 2004) and their contributions are nothing more than political appeasement. Erica recounts one particularly passionate email in which the resident said, "I will fight this to the death, and I won't participate in this." From her perspective, the city's residents are divided into two geographically delineated camps: a pro pedestrian constituency composed of downtown mainland residents, and a pro automobile constituency composed of barrier island residents. She is careful to n ote that these are not totalizing categories, and that both sides are willing to compromise. However many of what she calls the "Hardcore Auto accommodating" residents are all from the barrier islands, and those most receptive to a pedestrian corridor are residents of the downtown or its business owners. Elected officials of various organizations on the barrier islands were staunching opposed to any kind of traffic calming of US 41. Erica noted that most of them recognize their dependence on the city's s ervices, since they make use of most of the businesses and restaurants. On the whole, however the city stands between them and quick automobile access to the airport to the North, the hospital to the South, and Interstate 75 to the East. Erica concedes that the city has the preconceived notion that something is wrong, and that it must be fixed through this process. In short, "We set the study up contrary to their opinions." 8 She is certainly open minded to everyone's point of view, but Erica makes it c lear that she prefers a more pedestrian downtown, and notes that it is the public goal of the city planning office to create a more pedestrian friendly downtown. At the same time, however, she says that her overall goal for this process is to come to 8 In subsequent public meetings, both the mayor and the head consultant would reassure the residents that if th e public consensus was that no changes were to be made, then that is what would happen.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 46 cons ensus on a decision. She notes that previous attempts to redesign the bay front failed because the commission perceived a lack of consensus among residents. In short, the downtown will incrementally move toward pedestrian walkability, but only as much as consensus will allow at any given time. The "Kick Off" Meeting A month before the charrette was to begin, the city held a public presentation for the "Bayfront Connectivity Charrette." Erica advertised for the event through direct contact with condomin ium association presidents, business owners, and flyers to residents adjacent to the study area. As with any public meeting in Sarasota, the topic of the meeting was advertised through their website. The entire meeting was recorded and broadcast on publi c access, and was made available on the municipal website. The meeting was also subject to Florida's "Government In The Sunshine," requiring full access to the meeting by the public ( Office of the Florida Attorney General 2008, 1 278) This meeting was the first time the community would be introduced to the consultant team. As is normal with projects such as this, the city had contracted with a firm, which subcontracted other firms with professionals trained in specific areas of expertise. The city took ou t a contract with Kirk and Associates 9 Albert, the senior manager of their Tampa office, headed the team. The only other person directly from Albert's firm was a young woman who did much of the specific regulation research and little of the creative des ign during the design charrette. The presentation attracted over 50 people, including residents from both the barrier islands and the mainland Downtown area, as well as all of the city commissioners. The Mayor started the meeting with a very clear theme : this process was about the 9 The entire team, and their respective firms will be given pseudonyms.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 47 importance of "Taking back the streets" by designing streets for multimodal access specifically pedestrians. The mayor talked of consensus building, something that she acknowledged the pervio us transit conversation in 2004 l acked. The Mayor's comments mirrored what Erica had said to me in our private interview. The city was moving towards a more pedestrian friendly downtown and a major goal was the connectivity between the downtown and the bay front, with US 41 identified a s a major barrier to thi s goal. I generously quote the Mayor's speech at this kick off meeting because not only does it provide a great deal of historical detail leading up to the charrette and the goals that they hope to achieve, but it provides in sight into the public discourse in which much of the project is situated: "Far too often, our streets are designed for speeding cars and increased traffic. They're not conducive to foot traffic and they're not pleasant for any other means of transit ether. In many circumstances they've become so unpleasant to everybody that no body wants to use them. Communities across the nation have begun to what we call "take back our streets" They ask their planners their engineers and their citizens to help, come together and try to design streets that are welcome to access by all users. And that is essentially what we're trying to do with this project. "For Sarasota that means building on a network that will help connect the neighborhoods and recreational facilities to the downtown businesses onto the bay front and back again "The purpose of this project, that we are embarking upon now, is to build a consensus on the needed improvements and finally move those forward. That's what we want to try to do "Last October the city commission authorized our staff to develop an RFP (Request for proposal) for purposes of selecting a consultant to help the city with the task of developing an overall city transit plan. The first two phases of the plan is to focus on the connect ivity between the downtown and the bay front, and the primary objective of this project is to develop measures to reconnect the downtown to the bay front and visa versa using the most effective and efficient means with an emphasis on pedestrians not automo biles. It was generally understood in that RFP that in order to accomplish that objective, change would be required to the currently relatively high speed on US 41 and the pedestrian unfriendly character of that road. So efforts for any action plan must take into consideration the latest in progressive concepts including those found in the ideas of New Urbanism the context sensitive design, and complete streets. This past July the city commission approved a consulting contract with [Kirk and Associates] f rom Tampa, Florida and they are very familiar with this area." Once the floor was given to Albert, it was evident that while the process was meant to cull out the desires of the community, it would be guided by a highly
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 48 professionalized group of people. Albert was introduced by his full name, followed by "Ph.D P.E. AICP." Beyond his credentials, there was an array of specialized professionals for the different aspects of the project. Key personnel that would be essential to the success of the project ca me from firms in planning, marketing, engineering, construction, and data collection. In the introduction of these professionals and their roles, it was always crucial that they were presented as members of the community, with credentials such as. "having grown up in the Sarasota area," "having done contracts in Sarasota before," or "been a part of drafting previous planning documents for the City." It was not enough to have professional knowledge. These people also needed to have a link to Sarasota itsel f. Every person that was introduced that night, was legitimated as not just competent professionals, but people with their own intimate knowledge of the city. Those introduced that evening included: Martin from Da Vinci Planning G roup was introduced firs t, as a native of Sarasota. His professional accolades were described in relation to his work with Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization; a group that focuses on long term transportation solutions across the two counties. Tracy with Robert 's Marketing and Communications, charged with assisting in public involvement. Albert made a point to let everyone know that her office was located on US 41. Kevin of FNSB was invited by Albert because of his previous experience with small projects in the downtown area and his experience with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 49 Peggy from Peggy's Traffic and Engineering had been collecting traffic data for the project. A specialist on roundabouts from Tallahassee, Frank was brought on from O ates Planning and Engineering. He had also been a key contributor to the city's 2020 plan, and had been very active in st r eet design for the Florida Gulf Coast. Frank would be called on several times as a sort of "teacher" during public presentations. Alb ert's presentation was light on jargon, but still contained a great deal of technical data. He showed traffic loads, and commented on average speeds with close detail. The presentation was meant to lay out the task before the community, as well as educat e them on what it meant to make a place pedestrian friendly. The power dynamic was made particularly interesting since Albert and others on the team looked to be some of the youngest people in the room. The residents, throughout the charrette, would plac e historical knowledge of the area gained from first hand experience above most other forms of understanding. The rest of the presentation was run by Albert, who put emphasis on "process" and the importance of public participation in the final decision. From there, he outlined the project objectives that had already been fleshed out by the Mayor. He reiterates the need for pedestrian friendly design informed by New Urbanism, complete street design, and context sensitive planning. Albert takes on the ro ll as teacher for a moment, and presents several slides on the principles of New Urbanism, focusing on mobility in an urban environment. He shows photos as examples of "good" and "bad" urbanism. Following his concise summary of New Urbanism as it relates to mobility, he presents the "study area" of the project, ranging from 14 th Street to the North, all the way
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 50 to Osprey Avenue to the Southeast. The width of the project area was limited to the public right of way, and the length was divided into three se ctions. The Northern most section went from 14 th street to The Boulevard of the Arts. Section two extended from the Boulevard of the Arts to the intersection of Gulfstream, the Ringling Causeway, and US 41. The final Southern most section would prove to be the most controversial, extending from the Gulfstream Ringling US 41 intersection all the way to Osprey. This section, also known as Bay Front Drive, is a curved section of road that sits between the downtown proper, and the Bay Front Park. When resi dents, city servants (both staff and elected officials), and the consultant team spoke of the "bay front" this section appeared to be their main object of interest. From there, Albert began to go into some historical context of the city's planning efforts as it related to mobility, connectivity, and building relationships to the bay front. He starts with the original John Nolen plan of 1925 and makes the claim that much of Sarasota's urban character comes from this original plan. He also point s out that US 41 was designated along Main Street and Lemon Avenue and it was not until the 60s that the US 41 bypass was constructed. This could be seen as an assertion of historical knowledge, but would most likely be part of any New Urbanist's presentation, as it i llustrates New Urbanism s opposition to conventional forms of suburban sprawl and a return to traditional forms of town building. He shows pictures of before and after the bypass's construction so as to illustrate the difference of character. He goes thro ugh a summary of the Sarasota Downtown Master Plan 2020 and focuses on its, "detailed emphasis on a lot of the different aspects that relate to the quality of life in Sarasota it had an emphasis on civic and population destinations, with a primary empha sis on the projects of connecting the downtown to the bay front. Since that time, about 2001 when that plan was
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 51 adopted, there has been a lot of other activities going on within the City of Sarasota. Parks and Connectivity Plan, zoning codes updates, Cul tural Concept Plan, as well as I would say significant private investment, development investment, has gone on during this time, in Sarasota. However, US 41 has remained relatively unchanged US 41 can almost act like a fence, separating the land uses tha t are downtown and the waterfront accessibility." He shows some pictures of US 41, including a pedestrian visibly frustrated with the time 3 minute wait he must endure, before the traffic signals allows him to cross US 41 and get to the bay front. Albert brings his presentation up to the present, and goes through empirical studies of traffic volumes since 2001 as well as what his team has identified as "obstacles" to pedestrian activity within the study area. He goes through each segment, pointing out po orly designed medians, areas that are poorly drained from stormwater, unnecessary turn signals, over engineered banked turns, and the lack of pedestrian infrastructure throughout the area. He then begins to make the case for an intensified pedestrian con nectivity, by pointing out the main attractions Sarasota advertises are along the bay front. He calls these spaces the "postcard shots" because "they are what people identify with." He reiterates previous planning efforts and locates the current project within the context of these previous efforts, so that what they do in the next few weeks can be seen as a continuation of years of previous work. Albert shows a slide titled "Project Activities" which shows how this charrette will conceptually move forw ard, starting with "visioning" in which the community comes together to identify means of improving the study area, and "start to obtain the public consensus for improvements, and use that as our guide towards dedicating recommendations." Following that, the city begins to measure the options for implementing the recommendations. Finally the technical phase of designing, permitting,
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 52 and ultimate construction takes place. He immediately advertises the charrette dates and times and outlines the schedule fo r public input workshops, meetings and presentations. He reiterates, "This is where the recommendations are going to be created. This is a clean slate." From there he states that his team is in the process of collecting technical research and "providin g the involved citizenry with the information that they need That we all need, to help make informed decisions, using technical justification, not just personal opinions towards evaluating our recommendations." The difference between "personal opinion" a nd "technical justification" will prove to be much less straight forward during the charrette, and will become the main point of contention between individuals as well as different groups. His "Technical Research" slide has a bulleted list of the technica l data his team is in the process of amassing. It reads, Inventory of current infrastructure Walkability Analysis Speed Analysis Truck Routes Crash History Traffic Operations US 4 1 designation review Previously "Approved" Concepts Pedestrian access impr ovements are divided into a hierarchy of types, differentiated based on the degree of modification to the current physical environment. Type 1 is basic crosswalk designation and signage. Type 2 involves changes in roadway texture and construction. Type 3 is the most ambitious requiring changes in road grade and overall design. Specific recommendations might involve a hybrid of multiple measure types working in concert. These recommendations are then evaluated by a
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 53 matrix of cost estimation, timetable t o completion, funding capabilities and resources, and the degree to which they serve the overall design objectives of the project. Finally, Albert walks through the "upcoming milestones" of the project. The team will finish gathering their technical res earch by November, in time to use that information for the Charrette that will go from November 14 th through the 18 th The team will summarize their recommendations using the matrix just described and present them in January, with a follow up "city commis sion workshop" to be held in February of 2009, for a total timeline of eight months Albert then opens up the meeting for questions. The very first question s go directly to the methods of final plan adoption, including what would be considered a "Previous ly Approved Concept." Albert says the plans will be adopted through a resolution (although doesn't appear sure) and quickly lists off the studies his team has been using as "Previously Approved Concepts." He emphasizes that those projects that were reject ed at the design level, were well accepted at the "conceptual level" and need to be addressed. The first evidence of the problemitization of "technical justification" versus "personal opinion" occurs when a downtown resident notes that in his trips to Euro pe he saw traffic lights installed in roundabouts, and that they seemed to be more of a traffic hazard than a mobility solution. Albert counters with the explanation that individual executions of roundabouts, like anything else, are subject to design flaw and the specifics will be addressed during the charrette. In a question posed by a Longboat Key resident, I saw the beginnings both of the mainland/barrier island rift, as well as the conceptual divide of the residents used to a
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 54 technocratic and confront ational design process, and the professionals who are trying to organize a very holistic and collaborative planning method. The resident asks, "In your presentation, do you contemplate ways to get pedestrians across 41 without using traffic lights?" This question simultaneously assumes that design decisions have already been made, and that the design team is looking to slow traffic in the process of elevating the needs of pedestrians over the needs of motorists. Albert replies that the solutions to accom modating pedestrians are to be made by the community during the charrettes, and no decisions have been made as of yet. The last two questions ask about public space and how coastal real estate will be changed to encourage the use of the pedestrian faciliti es that are being discussed. Jason tries to explain that attractors to pedestrian activity are part and parcel of the design of pedestrian oriented accessibility. The Mayor steps in to reiterate that this is a clean slate and all of these ideas that can create an interconnected plan for the area will be considered The meeting comes to an end, and Tom takes the microphone to remind everyone to sign in and leave their email address. Those that have attended this meeting will be reminded, via email of th e upcoming charrette. After the meeting I approach Erica, who has been in the audience for the entirety of the presentation, and she appears happy with the turnout, guardedly optimistic about the rest of the process, and mainly worried about the level of participation for next month's charrrette. Those worries will certainly be alleviated at the very beginning of the charrette, but will be supplanted by new concerns over the possibilities of reaching consensus.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 55 The kick off meeting had already showcased the themes of discourse that would play out for the entirety of the charrette and subsequent meetings. There was a geographic split between the mainland and the barrier islands, which directly translated into a change in priorities of what kind of activit ies should be encouraged through the redesign of the US 41 corridor. There would be another division between the empirically and technically justified reasoning of the professionals, versus the anecdotal and experiential knowledge of the citizenry. The m ost obvious division however, was those that vocalized their support for New Urbanism and those that remained highly skeptical or even hostile towards its practices. Bayfront Connetivity Charrette (Day 1) 1%*99()>"4$ ) The first day's event consisted of a 5 stop tour through the study area. It i s about 9:00AM and everyone is gathered on the sidewalk outside city hall. The consultant team, the mayor, Erica, and Tom all board a quaint open air trolley with two news crews, complete with cameras. Albert makes a short introductory speech, in which he reminds everyone that they are about to engage in a project with a "sincere devotion to the future of Sarasota." The trolley starts off, down 1 st street, out to Fruitville Road and over to US 41. Along the ride, th e team cannot help but start to think out loud. Erica comments, "as we drive over the intersection of US 41 and Fruitville: "wouldn't this make a great roundabout?" City officials also inform the consultant team that these residents when they petitioned for a traffic signal to cross 41, they purposefully drove over the traffic counting sensors with their own cars to bump up the official traffic estimate.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 56 The first stop is the northern most edge of the study area at the corner of 14 th Street and 41. O n the Southwest corner of the intersection, lies the Sarasota Bay Club (SBC) luxury retirement complex. The residents have set up their own little meeting spot, complete with foldout chairs laid out in a semicircle on the side of the road. One resident h as made a poster which reads "Safety not politics" in the center, along with pictures of car accidents that have occurred at the intersection. Before Albert starts the discussion, the residents ask a tall gentleman from their building act as "spokesperso n," claiming he knows most about, and has been a participant in ongoing meetings with FDOT and the city. Other residents start grabbing city officials 10 and trying to contribute their "two cents" before Albert begins the discussion. When it does start, Al bert makes it clear that his team does not want to make decisions that are disconnected from the realities of the surrounding neighborhood, "in some office somewhere." Instead he describes the hands on approach the charrette promises to provide. He then solicits problems and concerns from the audience of about 18. The conversation is strained, as the older residents try to hear above the noise of the road. The Mayor begins waving to traffic, making slow down motions with her hand, but has little success What the consultant team hears from the SBC residents is a combination of smoldering anger from old problems, and the guarded optimism that this is a process that may finally give them what they have lobbied for in the past. One resident claims that he was thrilled that they built a supermarket across the street, so close to his home, but finds himself unable to access it, regardless of the geographic proximity. He can no longer drive, and to cross the street is out of the 10 These residents appear to have already met most of the city officials currently present, since some of them know each other by name and do not readily engage the consultant team.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 57 question. The pedestrian intersection is too far away and crossing without one, is impossible. They are also interested in using the Sarasota County Area Transit system (SCAT) to access the downtown and surrounding areas, but the bus stations are too far away as well. The residen ts made the problems with the intersection explicit. Their presence appeared organized and their message was succinct: they want to access their city, enjoy its amenities and participate in its economy without using their cars, but they are trapped in th eir own homes by US 41. As the meeting broke up, a man who remained silent and sat in the back row of seats, approached the mayor, and gave her a packet of papers. Many of them were documents from previous meetings the SBC had had with FDOT and other gov ernment bodies. At the top of the stack, however, was an original poem he had penned, titled "Rime of the Ancient Driver." The Mayor read it to the consultant team on their way to the next stop. Several people in the audience have arrived by bike and ca r, and later identify themselves as members of the larger Sarasota community, but not residents of SBC. One is Bill from the Alliance for Responsible Transportation (ART) a local pedestrian and bicycle advocacy group. He arrives on his bike and gives a short speech about the condition of bike lanes and sidewalks along US 41. Another resident, a woman by the name of Debrah, arrives by car. I later find out that she is the owner of several storefronts in downtown. She makes a few statements about wantin g more local foot traffic. This is reiterated later on by a bookstore owner named Donald, who shows up at the third stop. They are familiar with the city officials, knowing most of them by name and visa versa. They are even allowed on the trolley and ri de with the consultant team
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 58 for most of the stops. Bill follows the trolley on his bike and makes statements at several stops. Debrah, Bill, and Donald all become heavily involved in the process, and are reoccurring characters throughout the process. T hey see this process as a moment where the everyday administration of the city opens up to more direct solicitation of opinion. For Bill, this is a moment where ART's bicycle advocacy could instigate physical change of the downtown. Normally, in order to propose widening sidewalks and adding bike lanes, he would have to go through mounds of paperwork, and spend time attending meetings, lobbying, and forming coalitions. The Bayfront Connectivity Charrette is an opening, where he and others like him, can j ump into an open political discussion and try to get his ideas put into architects' sketches. For Donald and Debrah, this is a moment to lobby for what is best for their real estate holdings, by espousing the benefits of a walkable downtown. At the four th stop, Donald says he sees hundreds of families enjoying their weekend at the bayfront, and wants them to walk freely down Main Street to his bookstore and caf. At the second stop, a few blocks south at the intersection of Fruitville and US 41, there are about ten residents. Half of the attendees are new the rest having gotten on the trolley or have chosen to follow it. Martin introduces himself again, always making sure to note that he is a Sarasota resident, and opens the floor to concerns and com ments about US 41. Jacob, an emeritus university professor of Urban Planning of an out of state university (although he does not introduce himself as such) is one of the first to speak. He lives in one of the few condominium buildings on the bay side of US 41. He says that many of the older residents of his building would love to walk to the restaurant or grocery
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 59 store, but are afraid of the pedestrian environment. To protect themselves from the perceived danger they put on their armor which happens to take the form of a Buick. In other (much less imaginative terms) Jacob is saying that the car oriented physical environment begets more cars, because the elements of safety and efficiency conform to the needs of motorists, not pedestrians or bicyclists. T he issue of pedestrian safety leads Jacob into a discussion of roundabouts. He says the decision to include roundabouts as part of a larger pedestrian connectivity solution should be a "no brainer" to most people. He briefly takes on the roll as a teache r, and tries to explain how roundabouts are more pedestrian friendly in design, than a traditional, four way signaled intersection. The discussion is short, and the consultants thank everyone for joining them, before boarding the trolley once again. On the trolley Albert warns the rest of the consultant team that the next stop will have a "very different crowd." This stop is at the intersection of Gulfstream, US 41, and the Ringling Causeway the bridge that connects the barrier islands to the mainland. This is the stop where Erica's "Hardcore auto accommodating" residents are expected to make their first appearance. Elected condominium association leaders are expected to arrive, along with other concerned residents who have made it clear that they are highly skeptical about the process. The trolley arrives, and several residents are waiting on a small triangle of grass in between a dedicated banked right turn lane and the travelling lanes coming off of the causeway. Martin starts the discussion slight ly different this time, making it clear up front "We are here to listen." It's a different tone than Albert's "hands on ap proach" narrative, because it sounds more apologetic and less descriptive. Instead of talking about what the team will do they star t off with what they are not doing
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 60 namely: instead of saying they will be making decisions based on a hands on approach, they are saying their team will not do anything until residents make their own decisions. 11 The tenor of the dialog was noticeably ten ser, as residents began questioning the need for redevelopment. There were nine new people along with Debrah, Bill and Jacob. The first comment was supportive of the project, claiming that he loved walking across US 41 at Main Street and walking to the b ay. Calming down the traffic would make his past time much more enjoyable. Another resident (resident 1), who claimed to not see the mobility problem the previous resident had just related, made the claim that what few amenities were at the bay, suffered from a lack of parking and other car amenities. Another joins in (resident 2), asking if US 41 needs to be calmed, why not just reduce the posted speed limit and add pedestrian crossing signs? He cites near by St. Armands Circle, a retail district built around a roundabout on St. Armands Key. The area had recently undergone improvements, having added more prominent pedestrian crosswalks. Resident 2 suggests that if the simple addition of signage helped the circle, why not downtown? R esident 1 chimes i n and claims St. Armand's Circle is an example of poor design for cars. "Cars are treated terribly!" he claims, adding that he hates going over there. As time runs out and what was a spirited debate seems to be in danger of becoming an argument Martin interjects He tactfully concludes that the residents all appear to have "different levels of confidence in crossing 41." But this does little for the tone of the conversation. Jacob jumps into the debate by giving a stump speech of sorts, on the proven e ffectiveness of roundabouts for both pedestrian and motorists. Albert cuts 11 This is a problematic statement. As will become clear presently, residents make contradictory statements and never have perfect information across all parties to make c omplete decisions. The charrette handbook itself advocates an initial plan design after only minimal public contact, so as to begin a dialog.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 61 Jacob off and starts talking about "constructive interest" in the project and the need for "non confrontational speech" in public discussion. The consultant team thanks everyone f or coming out, and begins walking back to the trolley. The next stop is a short distance away at the bay side corner of Main and US 41, and so a few of the consultants opt to walk. The trolley arrives first, meeting 12 new residents, the three regulars, and resident 1. Albert has walked along the downtown side of US 41 and when he gets to the intersection, waits for the pedestrian crosswalk sign. Most of the group has noticed Albert and watches as he walks at a quick pace, and breaks into a slow jog for the last few lanes as the light turns green for oncoming traffic. He arrives on the corner to applause from some of the residents. "Notice I had to walk across a total of ten lanes of traffic to get from downtown to the bay front." A resident immediate ly retorts, "What's the issue?" Albert steers the conversation more toward a general discussion of utilizing the bay front to its maximum potential. The discussion then leads to the prospect of interaction between events occurring downtown and the bay f ront. A downtown condominium owner is critical of the idea of increased foot traffic in the area. She says it would attract a "bunch of teenagers" and create excess noise. Another agrees, and says there is nothing wrong with US 41 the way it is currentl y designed. Yet another says that roundabouts are worse than intersections for pedestrians and cars. He then adds, that the bay front park is their front yard, and any change will directly affect their use of the space. Donald, the bookstore owner loo ks slightly put off. He says that the bay front attracts hundreds of people at certain times, and he wants those people to cross the street and shop in his stores. As of right now, this is not usually the case. It appears that a
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 62 three side argument abou t the fundamental character of the downtown is about to break out on the street corner. The first side is the car oriented barrier island residents, on another side is the downtown condo residents who want a single use bay front, and yet a third who want to connect the economic and social activity of downtown, with the amenities of the bay front. The Mayor cuts into the debate, and emphasizes there are many different opinions and all of them are valid, as nothing is yet set in stone. The team boards the t rolley for the final stop at the intersection of Orange and 41. Here, in the parking lot of Selby Gardens, a botanical garden that contains exotic plants within the William and Marie Selby estate. Five new people show up, but nothing new is brought up. There is a lot of talk about reported traffic incidents along the banked turn onto the stretch of US 41 called Mound Street. Albert states that this stretch of road, between Orange and Osprey, recorded the highest car speeds in the last traffic study and residents recount rollovers that have been reported on the banked turn. 1$2=)>$6%*/; ) With the trolley tour complete, the team goes back to their temporary design studio, which has been set up in a conference room in City Hall. The design studio is not messy, but is the result of what has already been a lot of constant work. There are several small tables that are pushed together into different formations. Two of them form a long desk for the consultant team's computers. Four tables are put together t o form a large square. It is already mostly covered with maps and large format planning books bound in various binders and plastic clips. There is a TV mounted to the wall in the back corner (it will never be used) and a SmartBoard on wheels that the cit y owns. It will be used to bring up and manipulate maps on web sites and for the team to view documents as a
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 63 group. A small table on the left hand wall will serve as their breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet table for the four days. As they walk in, ther e's a pyramid of boxed sandwiches and bottles of assorted drinks. The consultant team and the planning department begin to eat with the Mayor. The team has an informal working lunch, discussing the morning's turnout. Martin notes that there were some a ngry people who think city government never does anything for them except waste their tax dollars. The conversation then turns forward to the Stakeholder meeting that is to be held in about an hour. Albert and Martin want the group to generate ideas, ra ther than rehash issues. The Mayor hopes that the residents can look forward twenty or thirty years, instead of what they want right now. Albert poses the question "why do people relate to the study area?" He answers himself quickly by saying it's the c ore of the city. It is the origin point of the urban grid pattern and it is the geographic endowment that has made Sarasota a destination for over a century. Several people agree, including Erica and the Mayor. By this time, everyone has finished lunch a nd it is time for Albert and Martin to take up the reigns of the stakeholder meeting that is about to take place in another room in City Hall. :'2?$.*94$%)@$$'"36) ) The Stakeholder Meeting starts at 1:30 and is made up of city commissioners and various co ndominium association representatives. These people all own some kind of real estate adjacent to the study area, or in some other way, are directly affected by some kind of alteration of the US 41 corridor. The planning office, having identified these pe ople as representing popular interests that had been espoused in meetings months beforehand, invited only those that had already been loud proponents of increased
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 64 pedestrian connectivity, or a more "hardcore auto accommodating" design. It is unclear if th e nature of their public positions requires them to take on these polarized viewpoints, or if their viewpoints are the reason they have found themselves in their respective positions. Andrew is the President of the Federation of Condominium Owners and is i nvited to sit at the head of the table. Albert and Martin take the opposite side of the table. The barrier island residents appear to be positioning themselves (rhetorically, as well as spatially) to work against the process headed by Albert and his team After introductions the first comment is very direct and to the point: "What will be the character of the road? Who will be walking, where?" The question brings up a discussion on levels of deference to different modes of transportation. Jacob is th ere, and comments that pedestrians should be helped, but not at the total expense of automobile traffic. After all, he continues, the downtown needs the business of the island residents. Martin notices that the discussion keeps skirting the issues of wh at defines comfort for different people. Those around the table list things like shade from summer heat, safety, and quiet. Albert confesses that he intentionally brought the group at the third stop to the middle of a median, to show them how loud their road is, using the current design standards. Most of the definitions of comfort come from a pedestrian perspective, and many of them are related to keeping a safe distance from automobile traffic. This line of conversation does not last long as Andrew st ates plainly, "The Federation is devoted to stopping pedestrian connectivity at the cost of [automobile] traffic." Ideas are suggested for pedestrian over and underpasses. Martin and Albert try to warn the residents that not only do pedestrian bridges of ten go against the natural
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 65 human tendency to find the shortest route 12 and anything involving above or below grade accessibility solutions are immediately more expensive and problematic so close to the water. As ideas get continually more specific Martin and Albert remind everyone to focus on main conceptual ideas. The group comes into a final consensus, agreeing that 1) the Gulfstream, US 41, John Ringling Boulevard, is a focal point and a potent visual moment for those passing through the city, 2) that character has much to do with the natural landscaping of the area, and 3) the bay front should act as a destination unto itself. These consensus points will prove to be open to wide interpretation throughout the process. A3'%*4/-'*%()7%$&$3'2'"*3)234),/4" $3-$)7*99"36 ) The design team returns to the studio with the ideas they have collected and work through them for the remainder of the day until the evening meeting. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7PM but residents start to arrive as early as 6:15PM. By the time the meeting starts, the sign in sheets record 106 residents in attendance. The Mayor asks the audience where they are from. A show of hands only showed about three people from Longboat or other islands. A large majority of the residents we re from the city. The majority of hands go up when the mayor asks about who drives faster than the speed limit, and who regularly crosses US 41 on foot. Before handing the floor over to Albert, the Mayor reiterates that nothing is set in stone, and the m ain goal of this charrette is to form consensus on some sort of action plan. The mayor recounts the Duany Master Plan and the removal of traffic calming of US 41 language. She claims that the reduction in travel lanes, as it was proposed in the Duany pla n and subsequently rejected, is the only 12 They use the example of the Las Vegas strip, where city leaders needed to construct cement barricades to funnel pedestrians onto the overpasses, since they would not stop crossing the street illegally.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 66 option off the table. She acknowledges that some people do not want the corridor to change at all, and "if that's the consensus of the group, throughout the whole charrette, then that is what we will do." Albert t akes the floor and begins his presentation. He begins by stressing the unique nature of Sarsasota, and what he presents tonight should be taken in stride as concepts that can be implemented in a way that would respect the existing character of the ci ty. After introducing the team and reviewing the "project objectives Albert hands the floor over to Frank Oates, who takes up the role of teacher. He starts his presentation with a short summary of his career. On the scr een behind him is a picture of the E arth from space. Frank begins his presentation by talking about global warming, asserting that New Urbanism can be part of the solution to the larger problem of CO 2 emissions. Frank calls New Urbanists "Progressive Conservatives" since they are both progr essive in their approach to city building, but conservative in that they rely on traditional building techniques to solve these problems. He cites Charleston, South Carolina, Key West, Florida, and Alexandra, Virginia as places New Urbanistst try to emula te. He focuses on walkability, road design speed, and multi modal transportation. He makes the claim that "we can design a street that can make you, on the off peak hours, drive within 5 miles per hour of any target speed: ten, fifteen, twenty, forty fiv e, we can get your traffic to flow that fast by assembling ten or fifteen different elements of the streetscape one way or the other." He also lists t he top ten "walkability factors which includes low traffic speeds, on street parking, mixed land use, n arrow streets, and (as the most important factor) small block sizes. Frank goes over the benefits of Traditional Neighborhood Development, over conventional suburban development. He
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 6 7 shows a slide titled "Let Cities be Cities" that espouses the benefits o f a walkable downtown. Frank's presentation is meant to educate, but can easily come off as a sales pitch. It does the work of what many architects and urban planners have demanded be done for over a hundred years : bring the general masses up to speed on the basic tenets of planning. It is this part of the presentation that is intended to translate the wants of the residents, into concepts the design team can implement with the desired result. For instance, when the residents claimed they wanted signag e and lower posted traffic speeds they were asking for slower traffic, but (according to New Urbanists and the literature they cite in research) this is not how to achieve that goal. Ideally, after Frank's presentation, they would learn to ask for (among other things) small block sizes with narrow streets, and on street parking. Albert takes over again, and presents a brief history of the downtown. "To go forward, you have to learn about the past." He says. It starts with the John Nolen plan, then ju mps to the construction of US 41, and finishes with the most recent DPZ 2020 Downtown Master Plan. There is no mention of any kind of planning efforts between these three landmark moments. He notes that US 41 has been left almost completely unchanged in the forty years since the highway bypass was built. The presentation then goes into a display of technical data that had been collected from previous studies. Albert says, "One of the things that I'm very insistent on is, if you have an opinion I want y ou to use education and data, and backup information to support your opinions. And that is all a part of having an educated opinion .. ." The first slide shows a line graph of traffic counts along US 41. The graph (see appendix A) shows that
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 68 traffic loads had not substantially increased between 2001 and 2007. He also notes that US 41 is no longer used as an inter city roadway, having been replaced by I 75 to the west. This is part of a larger overall message of pedestrian oriented civic design that will be the direction of the project. Albert shows a slide of roundabout pictures, and states: "These concepts were approved during the Downtown Mobility Study a few years ago and the right of way is available. Whether we are going to move forward with those remains to be seen. It's a topic we will be helping to answer questions with and address in this project." They show a video of the roundabout constructed a few years ago in nearby Clearwater Florida. He notes that it has helped development in that area, and it replaced several confusing signaled intersections. His next slide shows two letters next to an aerial map of the Downtown. Albert claims both Sarasota County Emergency Management Services and the Southwest Regional Florida Planning Council p ublically endorsed the roundabouts suggested in the Sarasota Downtown Mobility Study. Albert hands the floor over to Martin, who leads a polling session where each resident in attendance is given a remote control voting device. Residents are asked multi ple choice questions projected onto a viewing screen (See Appendix B). A majority claimed they were full time city of Sarasota residents that lived adjacent to, or within the study area. Most of the questions were meant to gauge the popularity of a few gi ven concepts for traffic calming and multi modal transportation on and around US 41. One of the questions was about the concept of roundabouts at the Fruitville and Gulfstream intersections. When confronted with the question, one resident asks about the l evels of pedestrian and bike safety, of roundabouts. Martin says a well designed roundabout is safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists than most intersections. Frank jumps in, to say that the National Highway Institute did a study of intersectio ns turned roundabouts
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 69 and found that pedestrian fatalities dropped to zero in all cases. Another resident makes the comment that the automobile accidents that do occur in roundabouts are always less severe than the head on co llisions and t bones experienc ed in intersections. Martin confirms her statement. All the questions are oriented towards acceptable reductions in automobile dominance. The audience picks up on this and it becomes the first comment at the end of his presentation. A resident notes t hat their only option is to keep automobile speeds slower or the same, with no option for increased car capacity. Questions get more heated as individual concepts are discussed, but when the meeting is over, Martin says he is pleased with the turnout an d spirited participation. The conceptual questions usually consisted of some kind of possible solution to a particular problem, such as the addition of "pedestrian sleeves" and roundabouts at any point in the study area. Other questions went to gauging levels of interest in services or city characte r. One question asked how long an average traffic delay they would be willing to accept, for greater pedestrian connectivity. These questions were recorded and presented live, to the audience. They were l ater saved for public viewing on the City's website. Conceptual solutions were presented in either a positive manner, or a critical manner. Positive explanations cited studies from credible institutions and were always in comparison to the current state o f US 41. The critical explanations never discount ed the possibility of success, but were often discredited in some fashion or an o ther as "very hard to execute" or "cost prohibitive." The explanation of pedestrian sleeves is accompanied
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 70 by a picture of a v ery attractive intersection in West Palm Beach, where a similar north south road bisected two important parts of the city. The pedestrian sleeve is described as "a concept out of the downtown master plan", "treatments such as this curb extensionand text ured pavement that gets you across the street" His laser pointer gestures to the appropriate places. "Now we're not saying this is what we're suggesting, that you build exactly this, but just another community here in F l orida, with a similar north south road did some pretty dramatic changes to a state highway and the DOT went along with it." While these facts are all true, it is first) introduced as an institutionally approved concept that is a part of the existing master plan, second) a positive exampl e of proper execution of the concept is presented and explained, and finally) its viability as a future option is affirmed. It receives 51% "Strongly support" votes and 31% "support" votes. Only 5% voted strongly opposed. This is a prime example of posi tive manner of presentation. This is in direct contrast to the concept of an overpass or underpass, which are lumped together as one voting question. Martin describes overpasses by saying: "The thing about an overpass is that it can be a real signature. It can be a real visual gateway, or it can be a real eyesore." He cites a pedestrian overpass in the panhandle of Florida over State Road 89. The slide that is now showing has pictures of two very distinctive overpasses designed by big name architects, a nd notes that they are expensive executions of this concept. He then shows two pictures of a Longboat key underpass. It is dirty plain white concrete ramp that goes into a dark corridor. "Now this has a good function, but it's not that attractive." Mar in says. The audience demands to have the questions separated to two distinct questions about overpasses or underpasses.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 71 "This is the theme of the charrette. That we need to be flexible" Says Martin, as a technician changes the slides. Overpasses get a 35% "strongly support" but also a 36% "strongly oppose". With 12% approvals and disapprovals on either moderate side. Underpasses get a 57% "strongly opposed" vote, with only 12% ""strongly supporting". This is a prime example of the critical role pre sentation of concepts has in forming public opinion Throughout the entire polling process, Martin had to navigate a liminal space between impartial pollster, new urbanist and urban theory teacher. Options put up for voting were presented in the frame of New Urbanism, but its behavior within the city needed to be explained through urban theory. Martin's educational and professional background tells him that New Urbanist techniques work, and that is how he will present solutions. This is not to say the b ias is to intentionally 13 guide the public into what he perceives to be the best course of action. Martin is only able to engage the body of knowledge of city planning he has learne d. For him, the theoretical underpinnings of how a city work s are associate d with the tenets of New Urbanism. So when he presents the idea of a pedestrian sleeve, he is not conceptualizing the city as Le Corbusier 's "Living Machine". I f he did, the idea of a pedestrian sleeve would appear useless to the Modernist goal of clean a nd efficient living. It only makes sense to the incrimentalist as described by Talen. The meeting ends late, and there is little talk after the meeting is over, as everyone wants to get home for the night. The next day needs to begin by 9AM. 13 I use intentionality here, as Giddens constructs it in The Constitution of Society (1984) PP. 5 16
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 72 Bayfront Conn ectivity Charrette (Day 2) Perhaps as a sign of commitment to the process, the second day started with residents sitting at round tables under a large tent that had been constructed over the c ity c ommissioners parking spaces. The sign in sheets counted about 121 people in attendance, spread across 12 full tables. A small table with breakfast foods and coffee sat in the corner. A facilitator from the city planning department or the consultant team is staffed at each table. 45 minutes were given to eac h of the three geographic sections of the study area. All of the residents were encouraged to write on large maps distributed to each table, and facilitators summarized conversation by writing short sentences on poster paper propped up on easels. I mad e my way around the tent, sitting with different groups during the whole two and a half hours of brainstorming. The role of the facilitator was variedly undefined, in terms of how much direction they chose to give the group or to what extent they instigat ed conversation. Some appear to be very "hands off" allowing residents to self regulate and follow their own courses of conversation as to what was most important. Others lead discussions closely, asking questions to elicit responses in key areas, or to cull out opinions that seem to be popular to everyone sitting at the table. Side conversations between two or three people are primarily anecdotal accounts of city design seen in other parts of the country or world. Teaching occurs both within the group (from people that have been to more meetings, primarily) and from the group to the facilitator. Often the individual that establishes himself as a teacher will confirm their statements with the facilitators. For instance, a resident defending a roundabo ut may say that they learned the previous night that they reduce pedestrian fatalities if designed properly. The other resident would cite a traffic circle nearby their Massachusetts
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 73 summer home. The teaching resident would then ask the facilitator to co nfirm whether or not traffic circles and roundabouts are the same thing, since they are not completely sure if they remember what Frank had said the previous evening. Conversations like these were frequent, as groups tried to come to consensus regarding t heir concerns and subsequent solutions for the study area. Frank Oates would periodically get on a microphone and remind the groups to move on to another section, or to clarify some kind of specialized technical knowledge about a popular topic such as pede strian overpasses or bike lanes. From this very horizontal organization, then, came a rather ridged self imposed vertical ad hoc hierarchy (Figure 1). Figure 1 At Erica's table everyone is talking about section two of the study area two. Several of the table's attendees are residents of condos on the downtown side of US 41.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 74 They are all concerned about how changes to US 41 will affect the car traffic just outside of their respective buildings. Erica encourages one of these re sidents to write, "Don't change a thing" over her condo's parking garage entrance. At Ned's table (Table 6) another one of those condo residents is drawing all around the streets and contemplating new road connections that would strengthen the grid netwo rk near the water. This is the same resident that on the first day, at the fourth stop, was against any new building construction for fear of "attracting teenagers." Her outspokenness yesterday was confrontational and defensive. But when asked to give s olutions to problems, these same character traits manifest in being higher up in the vertical hierarchy. She has responded by accepting this responsibility and using it to her advantage. The team allows an additional forty five minutes for group presentat ions. Each table chose a representative to read the resulting consensus points generated by the group. As an example, here is the list that was read aloud to all 12 groups from Table 6: Table 6 Park underutilized section 3 Noise concern Underground parki ng Respect neghborhood surroundings 35 20/25 on bayfront gateways tell people they are entering "business 41" 301 university Roundabouts Osprey and orange roundabout locations generally supported Ped crossing at palm. Get rid of dedicated right turn lane onto orange and palm Pedestrian crossing at in section 1, midblock between 6 th and 9 th As other tables introduce their lists, the audience members applaud ideas they like. This is not an encouraged activity, and Martin and Albert make that known, but re sidents are persistent.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 75 At the end of the presentations Martin describes the next few scheduled hours as "alone time" for the design team, although he makes it clear they will not turn anyone away that wants to see their work. They then advertise the ne xt scheduled meeting for residents: the open house pin up starting at 4PM that coming Monday. He closes by saying "Maybe some opinions changed maybe someone was enlightened." Post Meeting Team Regroup When the team retreats to the design studio, lunch is waiting for them, along with two coffee dispensers that the staff promises to keep filled. George, the P rinci pal of Planning and Design with the DaVinci Planning Group, begins to look over all that was written down from the meeting and tells the group that they need to form the "big picture." They would work down from the north end of the study area, and recount what all of their groups had expressed during the morning table sessions. The team sort of recreates the conversations of that morning, but the same issues are now translated into their common parlance of New Urbanism's approach to city planning. The translation can be subtle: For instance, instead of calling 10 th and 17 th streets too big to cross or a waste of money (both were sentiments exp ressed by residents), they use the term "over built" which is to say they were engineered for a projected maximum traffic capacity that they have not reached. The design team identifies these intersections as possible east west corridors that would funnel traffic through the downtown grid. This translation, however, is not agnostic in terms of perception of what problems face Sarasota. For instance, residents claim that US 41 is at maximum capacity, and would suffer traffic delays if traffic calming mea sures were implemented However, the consultant team notes that according to the previous studies of the area, there are no
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 76 traffic problems with the exception of a 45 second delay during peak hours North of the study area at US 41 and University Parkway 14 One phrase heard frequently in the meeting is "When people are talking about X, they are really referring to Y. This self aware translation almost always leads to the conclusion that many of these residents have no means to achieve the ends that they d esire. For instance, the residents have made it clear that they want to preserve as much green space by the bay front as possible. Erica and Lorna, a young associate from Kirk and Associates claim the condo residents at their tables had organized themse lves against any changes to the park. When the team polled the audience the previous night, asking about the adoptability of extending store frontage down Main Street, it was met with strong opposition. Even the possibility of reclaiming non permeable su rfaces for more green space, to offset other development was sharply criticized at the tables earlier that morning. The group as a whole worries that the public's "romantic" view of the park is getting in the way of new ideas. The team comes to the concl usion that when the residents talk about not altering the bay front park, what they are really referring to is a demand for open green space. Bayfront Connectivity Charrette (Day 3) The third day started off with a stakeholder meeting of a different kind This time, representatives from SCAT, county planning departments and the Florida 14 I consider this a translation and not a correction, because the reality of cars being on the road can be interpreted in different subjective terms. To New Urbanists, cities must have a certain level of slow car traffic, to incentivize and activate other forms of transportation and provide a sense of safety for ped estrians Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater Zyberk, and Jeff Speck, Suburban nation : the rise of sprawl and the decline of the American Dream 1sted. (New York: North Point Press, 2000), 289.. Additionally, slow moving cars are integral to creating opportunit ies for motorists to notice things in the city such as store shop window displays and utilize on street parking. In the modernist city, the car must be allowed to freely get from point A to point B with minimal obstruction. Again, not every translation i s agnostic toward function or design.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 77 Department of Transportation (FDOT) are around the design studio table. The translation process is evident here, as professionals talk to other professionals. The consul tant team and the city planning department talk about the process thus far, using the vocabulary of professionals. Martin starts off with going over the polling data from the first night. The refusal to alter the bay front's green space comes up again, a s the FDOT representatives ask why there was such strong opposition to Main Street development. Martin articulates the fear of green space loss, on the part of condo owners. The conversation is cordial but professional disagreements are apparent. The F DOT is not readily accepting of the idea of roundabouts or pedestrian connectivity brought about by slowing down traffic. One of the officials expresses apprehension over mixed forms of transportation. If something unconventional, such as a roundabout is installed under his regulatory watch, and pedestrian fatalities go up, his license may be in danger of being revoked. The FDOT constantly asks whether the design considerations being made are backed by proof of effectiveness in the form of empirical stud ies. The consultant team must express relatively subjective qualities such as "character of streets" and "sense of place" in scientific terms such as levels of service (LoS). While FDOT is worried solely about how the street will efficiently and safely m ove cars, the team is trying to create an environment where the US 41 corridor could be a destination unto itself. While these two groups have completely different conceptualizations of city planning and street design, no translation occurs. Neither grou p takes on a "teacher" role, rather they are confronting one another with different schools of thought. When the meeting ends, cards and handshakes are exchanged. Erica is slightly disappointed with the proceedings, saying: "No specifics were discussed. A team
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 78 member says FDOT officials "live in a world of fear," referring to their constant concerns over license revocation. The team agrees that the meeting they just had as the epitome of the FDOT "always works." Albert is frustrated that the FDOT gav e no clear direction as to what they would be amenable to. B*%?):$&&"*3 ) The team quickly gets back to work after lunch, since they only have three hours until their first pin up session. The team works on separate but parallel activities. Kevin, Frank and Bob (from the city planning department) begin to make price estimates for different section 3 proposals. They want to show how expensive pedestrian overpasses can be, as opposed to traffic calming measures. George takes the drafters to another room to work on sketches of particular projects. 7"3 C D;):$&&"*3 ) The pin up is scheduled for 4PM, but residents arrive as early as 3:30. City planners hear "through the grape vine" that Longboat Key residents are nervous about the relative acceptance of rou ndabouts that was heard Saturday morning under the tent. Different condo associations are expected to organize and shoot down any concepts that reduce traffic throughput, as they see it. The pin up is supposed to be interactive, with each resident, aft er signing in, gets a number of green and red dot stickers to place next to ideas that they do and do not like. In this "dotacracy", green dots show approval of a concept, and red dots represent opposition. These dots are to be placed on easels next to th e actual pin up. Design team members will be standing next to their pin ups to explain the drawing and answer questions. A comment sheet is also set up on another easel next to the entrance/exit.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 79 As George's team comes down from their drafting studio, they begin to pin up their sketches. No sooner do the projects get taped to the wall, do residents begin to crowd the hallway, where the pin up is to take place. The residents begin to come into the wide hallway in waves. In a matter of twenty minutes ( still ten minutes until the pin up is scheduled to start) dozens of residents are walking from half posted drawings, to half finished presentations. When the dots are dispersed at 4 :00 the easels are mostly full of green circles. This does not last, an d by 4:10 the hallway is packed shoulder to shoulder with residents clamoring for a viewing angle of the conceptual drawings. By 5:00 over a hundred have signed in. By 7:00 a total of 130 people will have participated in the pin up. Red dots spring up a round any changes to the bay front green The comment sheet begins to fill with complaints about the pin up session. Some complain that they do not understand the drawings, and the process is being obscured in a veil of techno babble. Many are concerned about the accountability of individuals trading dots and getting more dots than others. This turns out to be a legitimate concern, as the "dotacracy" turns into a "dot economy" and angry residents trade green dots for more red dots. One resident looks at the Gulfstream US 41 roundabout and, as she puts a red dot on it says, "no to roundabouts Unless they want a lot of dead people!" Many residents saw me writing down conversations and approached thinking that I was a reporter. After explaining that I was studying public decision making, residents would seek me out to tell me how they felt. One claimed, "The decision has already been made! This isn't a charrette, it's a charade!" Another claimed that "a vocal minority of people who like to walk" in stigated the entire process. A third claimed that this was a pet project of the
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 80 mayor her last attempt to put her mark on the downtown. Most residents were quick to characterize the other side as a "vocal minority" and the city government and their hire d consultants as power hungry or greedy for profit. Another resident said, "City's job is to gain revenue. Undeveloped land doesn't make money!" The only African American woman I saw during the entire pin up session was quiet, but not complacent. She c onfided, "[The city government] neglected certain communities. I have lived here for four years and many people are very prejudice [They are] very selective in who is asked to participate." There were three distinct trends that seemed unavoidable, but we re consequential to the outcome of the process. 1) Residents who were lower in rank on the v ertical a d h oc h ierarchy (see Figure 1) would instruct others how to place their dots. One resident who came in with Bill from ART said, "[Bill] told me to use my three green dots on the traffic circles." 2) Pressure would be put on those residents expressing unpopular opinions. Donald said, "People become confrontational when you place dots on things they don't like." This was the case in several instances, whe re someone would place a dot, only to have the person next to them demand they explain themselves. 3) Some residents felt the need to use all of their dots, or express like or dislike on all of the concepts. One resident asked his wife, "We've got a red dot left, what do we want to say no to?" The planning department employees that handed out the dots claimed that they turned away many people who came back looking for more dots. These three trends might have skewed the results of the "dotacracy" but in which direction, is unclear. One of the earliest arrivals to the pin up was a very energetic woman claiming to represent the veterans affairs. She grabs the shoulder of anyone that seems to be part of
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 81 the presentation (including myself) and after introduc ing herself as the granddaughter of a World War I veteran that the memorial in the bay front park is dedicated to, proceeds to demand the preservation of the memorial park. She insists that the veterans of Sarasota can "be a key ally if given deference" w hen making decisions. She wants to get the monument made into a historical landmark, or at the very least ke pt in the same condiion, untouched The resident speaks to, amongst others Albert, Martin and myself. 7*&')7"3 C D;)@$$'"36 ) With everyone around the center table, George reminds everyone that tomorrow will be their final presentation. The team is very focused, but regularly deviates to talk about theory and related anecdotes about situations similar to their current project. The atmosphere in the room is determined but very casual. He says it would be best if the powerpoint presentation told a story that started off with the larger regional context, and worked down to the details of local use of US 41. The team begins to eliminate areas where co nsensus appears to have been reached by the community, and focuses on the problem areas. It is evident that crosswalks are wanted at the intersections of 14 th street and 11 th street. As the team moves South they discover larger complexities involving the demands of a nearby boat slip, and upcoming plans for a "Culture District" and "The Proscenium" a six acre multi use complex at the intersection of Fruitville and US 41 including a Waldorf Astoria hotel, upscale shopping, a performing arts center, a condo minium complex and office spaces. The design team 's greatest hurdle, however, was the section of road between Gulfstream and Osprey. This is where the barrier island residents fear a loss of automobile throughput, downtown condo residents fear a loss o f green space, and
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 82 (according to the first night poll) a majority of residents who want increased pedestrian access across US 41 to the bay front. The team immediately comes to consensus on two things: 1) no green space should be removed, if it cannot be replaced somewhere else, and 2) the veteran's memorial should not be altered to reduce its prominence. The "dotacracy" results are, in the words of George, "taken with a grain of salt." The dots seemed to at best, contradict much of what they had heard previously and at worst, not mutually reconcilable amongst each other. For instance m any want the road to have a slower travel speed, but do not want any alteration to the road. They want to keep or extend the green space by the bay, but also increase p arking in the immediate area. This may not necessarily mean individual people have contradictory wants (and there is no way to discern if this is the case directly from the dots) but it is not out of the question. The team counts parking spaces, plays wi th the idea of a roundabout proposal for Ringling and Main intersections, left over from the downtown mobility study. The team goes home around 9:45 PM, punch drunk and exhausted. Bayfront Connectivity Charrette (Day 4) The previous night's joviality is gone now, and at a quarter to ten, the team has about eight hours until their final presentation. The few discussions that take place are brief and almost only between the city officials who pass in and out to offer specific information on the square foo tage on a parcel of land or the legal entrance to buildings Whereas previous sketches were rough and mostly free hand, today's work is precise, using straight edges, circle stencils, and dozens of shades of felt tipped markers. George and Martin and two other drafters (Paul and Malia) are drawing specific sections of the corridor. The city officials are not around. Today is mostly execution, with very little new input. Everyone has assignments and talking is minimal.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 83 Lunch is delivered at 11:30 but n o one touches the sandwiches until noon. Everyone eats and works simultaneously. Martin is putting together a slide show for the final presentation. He expects tonight to have the biggest turnout of all of the meetings. Someone give s him some digital pi ctures of examples where US 41 is not functioning as a multi modal transportation corridor. Albert suggests putting pavers along the bay front but someone else says the increased noise might be a problem. These are some of the most detail specific conver sations of the entire charrette. The entire afternoon is devoted to resolving small technical issues, identifying the most convenient places where conceptual solutions could be executed. For example, after deciding to create a large median Between 14 th an d 10 th they identified the 10 th street intersection as an ideal spot for a roundabout, since the lanes would already be at their proper distance, the right of way would be wide enough and it would allow traffic to smoothly make a u turn. P roposed project staging will use a priority identification system (that will be outlined at the final meeting) involving calculated cost, time to completion, and expected disruption to everyday road function By 5:15PM the blinds are closed on the design studio and final drafts are being mounted and paired with easels. Those that have finished their assignments are beginning to break down the studio equipment so that it can come back with them to their office at the end of the day. Albert begins "suiting up" by putting on a tie. Jason is optimistic, noting a "majority [is] in favor of roundabouts." The team will have a short dinner and at 6:00 they will present their final drafts in an open house pin up similar to the previous night. There will be no "dotocracy" toni ght, just some general community reactions and feedback. The final presentation is scheduled
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 84 a half hour later in the city commission chambers, where the kick off meeting and introductory charrette presentation was held. The schedule sent out to resident s says it will end at 8:30. The first resident arrives at 5:35PM. The hallway crowds quickly, and the more controversial concepts begin to attract sizable crowds. The biggest crowd surrounds the bay front stretch, from Gulfstream to the bend just befor e Palm Avenue. One resident, after seeing the roundabouts where US 41 intersects with Gulfstream followed by Main, exclaims "This is insane!" Jacob is close to this resident and begins defending the idea, citing the same statistics that have been brought out in previous meetings regarding safety and throughput effectiveness. Another two residents have a parallel argument about the same thing. Albert is next to the sketch and he is also trying to explain the decision to suggest roundabouts. Many other r esidents are also angry about the idea of opening up Gulfstream to US 41 and extending Cocoanut Avenue through the park so as to strengthen the grid pattern to the south. The condo residents claim that Gulfstream has always acted as their private driveway and they want to keep it that way. At another group Frank is also defending roundabouts. He makes the case that they are perfect for Sarasota because they not only keep traffic flowing during peak usage hours, they also control the speed of individual drivers during off peak hours. One resident claims that no one goes near sixty miles per hour on any part of US 41. Frank grins and begins to relate a story that he has already told at least twice on the second and third days of the charrette. Frank cla ims that while driving Northbound on US 41 at Mound Street after the first night of the charrette, a minicooper speeds past him and cuts him off. He accelerates to try to pace the car and estimate its speed but he stops after
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 85 reaching 60 miles per hour. He has told this story several times a day during the charrette. Every time, the moral of the story is that t hese are the kinds of drivers that would be slowed down using roundabouts, since it is physically impossible to navigate one at those speeds. Man y residents nod their heads in agreement, but the resident persists, saying that in the entire time he has lived in Sarasota, he has never gone to St. Armands because of the "mess" of pedestrian crosswalks and on street parking. Another chimes in claimin g they never see anyone attempt to cross US 41 except Jacob. They both insist that a longer red light and reduced posted speed limits are still the best solution. Elsewhere, Tom is receiving the same level of criticism and tells everyone that these drawi ngs are "just concepts" and nothing on these easels will be implemented without further study and public input. Denise, who showed up the previous night to campaign for the preservation of the World War I Veteran's Memorial makes a direct line for the ren dering of the bay front park and is thrilled to see the memorial not only preserved, but outlined prominently, instead of shaded over by tree canopy. She talks to another resident and enthusiastically expresses how happy she is to see the memorial depicte d on the renderings. (Not to mention, untouched.) It is a struggle to get the residents away from the drawings and into the chambers for the final presentation. It finally begins at five after seven. Albert starts off b y describing the process as some "i ntense few days." He emphasizes that what they will see are "conceptual recommendations and design recommendations, these are not finalized designs and this is just kind of the culmination of this involvement this intense development and we'll talk to yo u about the next few steps from that." But also
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 86 says, "We heard hundreds and hundreds of opinions and it was with the intent of identifying ways to improve connectivity and what that means is a lot of different opinions to different people, but it represe nts some form of change." The presentation is detailed and lasts for over an hour. He begins just as he and Martin had agreed, by situating the project within a larger "context" both geographically and temporally. He explains that US 41 may need a "new r ole." Even though US 301 and I 75 to the East have been developed as inter city corridors, the design of US 41 has been largely unchanged for 40 years. He then dives into a summary of charrette process, starting with the trolley ride, and then the next d ay's small group brainstorming. He compliments the crowd by saying, "Been very impressed with the consistency in the number of participants throughout the project." He also notes that there have been some "thorny issues" and shows a slide with three pict ures: a cactus, a man frowning in a crowd, and one of the "dotocracy" sheets with a healthy number of red dots. "We've learned ourselves. We're not saying we have all of the all knowing answers here but we learn along this process, and that's what thi s charrette is all about. So hopefully towards the end we can have a rejoice in the [ sic ] identification that we all have learned a little bit throughout this entire process." Albert shows a picture of a sign that says "Slower Traffic Keep Right" and say s "maybe we should consider that Slower traffic is right." The picture on display is replaced with a n edited picture where "Keep" is replaced with "is". It gets a laugh from the crowd, but it is minimal. He also displays a slide titled "Supporting Guid ing Principles" that include underneath it: "Preserve and expand green spaces, curtail high end speeds, reduce impervious surface, improve wayfinding, reclaim the grid." This can best be described as a mixed bag of New Urbanism tenets that the team came i n with (reclaim the grid) and reoccurring concerns expressed by the residents (preserve and
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 87 expand green spaces). In expounding on "reclaiming the grid" Albert says, "Urban areas, I think have distinctive advantage to curtail serious congestion because of the multiple routes that you can take." This was not something I heard throughout the charrette by residents, but rather a possible solution New Urbanists have identified as a solution to traffic congestion. Frank takes the floor to describe the proposed changes and why they were suggested. He starts off with a cross section of the US 41 right of way. He relates some brief history about street building in Florida. He explains that US 41 is built as a "suburban arterial highway" and is a relic of an era where the state only planned rural highways and not urban streets. Frank also states that the road rates only a 17 out of 100 on his "walkability index." The index, he says, is a 10 factor equation, developed over 20 years, that takes into account build ing frontages, sidewalk quality, posted speed limits, and some other unstated qualities, that when added together produces a "walkability" score of any given street. He says that the team uses this index instead of the "Level of Service" scoring system th at the FDOT normally uses, which measures car throughput and very little else. The proposed street configuration around The Proscenium that was designed under the downtown's 2020 Master Plan, Frank claims, gets a walkability index of 65. Unsurprisingly, Frank's presentation switches back to explaining roundabouts' safety ratings as reported by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. He calls roundabouts "safety machines, because there are three things that get walkability up in your community, number on e you've gotta control the speed of the motor vehicles, number two you have to control the speed of the motor vehicles, and three you have to
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 88 control the speed of the motor vehicles. Its almost everything." Frank is not being bashful about what Sarasota needs to do, in his opinion, to create a pedestrian friendly downtown. He then shows a traffic circle being converted into a roundabout in Kingston, New York, so as to explain the difference between the two arrangements (see Appendix A) This is importa nt, since the large "snowbird" population has had a lot of experience with traffic circles and has seen them removed due to safety concerns. Residents frequently cite New England traffic circles and St. Armands' Circle as evidence against the installation of roundabouts and Frank's presentation is meant to correct those assertions. He also adds, "New York DOT, in fact, has a new policy -about a year, two years ago they said if you in the traffic operations section that's the engineers are going to con sider a change to an intersection, you have to first prove that a roundabout will not work before we'll let you do a regular signalized intersection... Mainly because of the safety issue." He shows the Clearwater roundabout as a local example. The woma n sitting in front of me, upon seeing a picture of a grand fountain, framed by two thin lanes of cars and surrounded by a grassy field and pedestrian friendly shops says to her husband, "I can't believe how ugly that is!" Frank's presentation does not app ear to be immediately influential to the crowd. He even shows a "Public Acceptance Survey" conducted by the National Highway Research Program that showed an average 68% opposition to roundabouts prior to their construction that turned into a 73% approval after their completion. "We all are human and we all don't like change unless its something we're very, very familiar with, so [you might say] don't bother my daily routine', but I'm afraid this time we have to because they [roundabouts] are so safe."
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 89 Albert retakes the floor to discuss "key concepts" for the study corridor. The slide behind him lists these "key concepts" which include "1) reducing speed to 30 miles per hour, 2) constructing roundabouts, 3) create urban avenue with wide median, and 4) create complete streets space for all modes." He shows travel time between 10 th street and Osprey increases only by 12 seconds when the design speed is reduced to 30 miles per hour. He reminds everyone that 71% of the audience at the first night's meeti ng agreed to up to three minutes of traffic delay. Albert quickly hands the microphone to Martin who is tasked with explaining the details of the proposal. He, as well as the rest of the team anticipates this will generate the most debate. "I think I m ust have drawn the short straw to be the one to walk you through all the details," Martin says to the audience before beginning. Before walking off, Albert says that he's willing to stay "all nightto make answer all of these questions. Because you might remember I said, we want educated decisions.' Our job is to help educate city commissioners and the public agencies. So if you have an opinion, we are trying to provide this as part of an education These are our careers, this is our background." Mart in prefaces the details by first going over "three fundamental aspects." 1) What will work, based on their "professional judgment", 2) what will be "truly transformational for the city that meets your standards and expectations" and, 3) what has the most support by the people. He gives the audience a small pe e k into the design studio meetings by saying they have wrestled with concepts and public opinions to come up with proper compromises: "[We have] read your material, looked at your maps, and what we'v e tried to do is blend together all those ideas and comments as best we can. We are not perfect, we probably didn't hit it 100%, but I think we've hit it 80% or higher, and we've truly changed and adapted our designs as we've gone forward and I want you t o understand that we've wrestled with these concepts over the last three or four days in a very intensive way. Really putting our heads together to say will
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 90 this work', what can we do', 'how can we change it', well these people wanted this', and these people wanted that', how do we find the right balance? It's been difficult I'm not trying to draw your sympathy; I'm just trying to let you know that we've really tried." The slides of the detailed proposal as it was introduced is in Appendix A, and will not be recounted here. What is important to note however, is Martin's demeanor throughout the presentation. His tone is calm and unassuming, retaining most of the tenor of the above quote. Proposals are prefaced with "we tried to", "we would like to see" or "the only way to achieve this" that comes off as declarative but somewhat apologetic. When he gets to the Bay Front Drive portion of US 41 he notes that many people do not like the idea of opening up Gulfstream but says, "we will err on the s ide of connectivity." He also notes that "There are elements here, as we workshop this with city commission, and have further dialog, there are certain elements that aren't critical to this plan and can be removed. So this is continuing to be an evolutio nary process." He not only talks about what was incorporated into the plan, but also what was left out. Martin says the group threw out ideas that involved pedestrian overpasses or increased development closer to the bay front to increase pedestrian acti vity. After describing the entire corridor's redevelopment, Martin goes over the next steps in the process. He lists some "near term" projects, or as he calls them, "low hanging fruit," things that can be implemented quickly, cheaply and easily. It is a short list that vaguely outlines what needs to take place. There are follow up meetings and city commission workshops, as well as code updates so that funding lines are activated and approval can go ahead. With the formal presentation over, Martin, Albe rt, and Frank start the question and answer session. All three men stand next to each other and take questions. The first question justifies Martin's presentation demeanor: "I'd like to thank you for the graphics,
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 91 they are very detailed and elaborate, w hich brought up the question in my mind: how many of them were created before the charrette and how many after?" There is a lot of laughter from the audience as well as the three presenters. Albert claims that they were all created that weekend. "That's very good." The resident says, and moves forward with two very specific questions about roundabouts. He questions the pedestrian safety of roundabouts at their exits and in cases where there are no cars in the roundabout and an approaching car drives str aight into it without waiting. Frank brings up a video of a car navigating the Clearwater roundabout, and explains the importance of vehicle deflection upon entering, causing the car to slow down and look out for pedestrians both while going in and coming out. Frank is emphatic that every time a pedestrian walked up to cross the street, a car stopped to let them cross. "I observed this a number of times. Every time I saw somebody coming up this sidewalk as soon as they got right here [to the crosswalk] w here these drivers were in close proximity to them, these people [drivers] stopped. Just every single time. It was amazing." Another resident stands up and claims she has advocated roundabouts for over 20 years. "I want to reinforce just what you said A lot of the aspects of roundabouts are totally counterintuitiveAnd it happens almost magically. When a car is only going about ten miles an hour, it doesn't hesitate to stop for you." She does not have a question and so Albert thanks her and asks if they can go on to answer questions. A resident from Massachusetts demands a cost estimate based on time lost for car travelers, but simultaneously approves of roundabouts: "I live out in Saint Armands and I'm one of those horrible people that transits d owntown all the time [turns around and gives glances to the audience members behind him] and I've lived in Massachusetts for five years and I actually, I think, have a pretty good appreciation for the roundabout actually being much better than traffic ligh ts to move traffic, but I also live two blocks from Saint Armands circle which is a two lane roundabout And I don't think your studies have
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 92 taken into account the pedestrian behavior and the quantity of pedestrians in your traffic speed analysis I'm comp letely in favor of connecting downtown to the waterfront, I know what a nightmare it is, if you're at the Ritz, to cross 41 or visa versa. I want to know why the idea of pedestrian overpasses have been thrown out You cited a 12 second delay in the time transiting 41, from 10 th to Osprey or Orange. By my math, there [ sic ] i s 35,000 cars an hour, that's $200,000 in lost time if the average person makes $30 an hour. So I just wonder if you've consideredWhatever peoples' time is worth, its worth something I just wonder if that has been considered in a sensible way." Martin calls pedestrian overpasses "visually intrusive enhancements" and cites the lack of preponderance of opinion. Each resident cites pedestrian overpasses in other urban areas in Chic ago and various cities in New England and Europe. The consultants consistently bring up cost and land usage as limiting factors to implementing pedestrian overpasses. Albert's response to the loss of productivity speaks to the different between modern an d traditional attitudes toward the street: "If it was our intention to build the most time effective facility through downtown, you would not be seeing these recommendations" Frank continues, "yes there are, that twelve seconds of increase. I'm surpri sed at how low that was when you go from 40 to 30 as your posted speed. But the travel time of the pedestrian also has to be factored in there too. It's the travel time of all of the different users of the roadway that is important We built this system in the United States of American on less than a dollar a gallon gasolineand we just don't have that luxury anymore. We must absolutely activate all four modes of transportation." The final presentation having been completed, it appears that there are sti ll many decisions to be made, and minds to be changed. The group appears to be largely skeptical, despite Albert's efforts to answer the questions of the most critical residents. The night ends with a promise of more meetings and more deliberation. For those that oppose roundabouts but want increased pedestrian connectivity, it means waiting to hear better evidence of their effectiveness or finding other solutions. For those that opposed
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 93 the idea of any change to the corridor, it means more chances to h alt further activity and save their tax dollars. For those that supported most of Kirk and Associates' vision, there is cautious optimism: a plan has been put on the table, but it is at the mercy of hundreds of hours of meetings, popular elections, and v ocal advocacy groups. =(",4%$2<<< 2 2H%-, I >;-(0?/,4%$2!$/'5-42 What is to be gleaned from the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette? Kirk and Associates developed a proposal that incorporates New Urbanism, responded to the concerns of the stakeholders, and largel y conforms to the pertinent existing political and regulatory frameworks. Yet, at the final presentation, there was still wide skepticism and consternation on the part of its citizenry, elected officials, and employed professionals. The following January the city held a workshop and several working lunches for citizens and their elected officials to learn more about roundabouts and their benefits to traffic and pedestrians. Residents in favor of the plan, brought Jim Brainard, the mayor of Carmel, India na, to these talks, so that he may share his experiences with round abouts in his own city. Under M ayor Brainard, Carmel installed 50 roundabouts and has several more under construction. The meetings were widely publicized. The advertisements always ment ioned the participation of Brainard and his national profile as represented by the article in Time Magazine about his city's roundabouts. Brainard's presentations seemed necessary since local community newspapers had started running sympathetic articles about the organized citizen backlash growing over the final proposals by Kirk and Associates. Opinion pieces ran the gamut from
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 94 government strong arm tactics to a call for a complete halt to the process all together. The day the charrette started, an e ditorial ran in the Herald Tribune, advocating the entire corridor be bought by the city and, "Put the developable land in public hands by buying out the property owners or letting them transfer their density to a more suitable place. That way, we could cl ean the slate and [ sic ] replan what's left of the bayfront's future ( Sperling 2008, A11) ." An editorial that ran on December 1 st warned: "There are good reasons to decelerate that stretch of downtown highway. But unless Longboat and other barrier isla nd interests are brought into the discussion, the effort to tame U.S. 41 could lead to a bitter community battle ( Editorial 2008, A14) ." It sought common ground however, by saying: Rather than fan the fire of controversy that attends each effort to calm U.S. 41, let's start from a point of agreement: Nobody wants gridlock on this highway, an essential route to the airport, the downtown, the interstate, the beaches and other destinations. We hope concurrence is possible on the following as well: Slow er speeds are safer for all road users, providing more reaction time and reducing the severity of collisions. The road should function adequately for pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and transit riders. None of them should expect immediate gratification; all should be willing to accept a little give and take in travel times. Decisions concerning this highway should seek a political balance, recognizing that U.S. 41 crosses jurisdictions. It is both a regional and municipal issue. Cost matters. Don 't overhaul a highway if satisfactory results can be achieved with lesser steps -such as enhancing traffic lights to benefit pedestrians. Communities can squabble over a shared asset like U.S. 41. Or, they can recognize mutual needs and work -togeth er -toward the greater good. The latter approach is more difficult, but it is the one with a higher chance of success ( Editorial 2008, A14) ." An article focusing on the city politics surrounding the charrette and efforts like it to create a more urban d owntown, demonstrates how many different ways the city's residents are divided. In the midst of the charrette, a group of downtown business owners
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 95 calling themselves "cityLIFE" organized to offer up city commissioner candidates that support what the arti cle calls "pro business" interests. The group will be trying to rally working voters between the ages of 25 to 45 and try to pull city wide influence away from the neighborhood groups that largely try to stem downtown growth ( Drouin 2009, BN1) While do wntown development is not the same as what the charrette dealt with, the interests of what could be considered "pro growth" were often conflated with those who wanted a more mixed use downtown. Kirk and Associates were often viewed as part of the larger p ro growth movement as evidenced during the "dotocracy" comments and the final presentation question and answer session. This political climate cannot be ignored in the larger scheme of the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette, because neighborhood coalitions a nd their city commission candidates have the power to throw the plan out as part of a larger effort to slow downtown growth. Is all of this evidence of a failed charrette, or is this the evidence of a healthy democracy? The mayor, Erica, and Albert consis tently stated the goal of the charrette was to find a consensus for moving forward on the corridor redevelopment. Is this what consensus looks like? It is important to revisit the specifics of charrette best practices before answering these questions. Po st Charrette Implementation and Follow Up The National Charrette Institute (NCI) put out a definitive text in 2006 called The Charrette Handbook: The Essential Guide for Accelerated, Collaborative Community Planning with the intention of both expanding ac cess to the charrette methodology, and clarifying what is (or is not) a charrette. It is telling, then, that out of a 188 page handbook, only 32 pages are devoted to explaining the charrette itself. Obviously, there
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 96 is a great deal of preparation and pos t charrette follow up that must be handled properly. The handbook divides the entire dynamic planning process into three phases: Phase 1: Research, Education, and Charrette Preparation Phase 2: The Charrette Phase 3: Plan Implementation Significantly m ore page space is used to stress the importance of getting all involved parties "charrette ready" and subsequently keeping the constructive momentum going once the charrette has taken place. As will become evident presently, many of the problems the city and Kirk and Associates are facing in phase 3, have their origins in phase 1. According to the handbook, phase 1 establishes the "information and people infrastructure of the project (P.5)." Members of the community that have a direct stake in the proje ct must be engaged from the beginning, and treated with respect. It is these people that become the strongest allies and the best resource for informed planning. By identify ing what their stake in the project is, and how they benefit from it; the relatio nship between developing institutions and citizens is fundamentally changed ( Brain 2006, 18;Lennertz, Lutzenhiser, and National Charrette Institute. 2006) By engaging in outreach efforts, the planning department defines the working relationship. Opposit ional forces should be defined as well. Engaging them early can actually turn them into strong supporters, if they are asked to participate early on. Identifying stakeholder needs and being explicit about project objectives, creates a strong foundation f or a working relationship.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 97 These early outreach efforts are absolutely crucial to the outcome of the charrette and the ultimate success of the project as a whole. As the handbook points out, "Engagement and information exchange is a two way communicatio n process. The project management team needs to transmit, with absolute clarity, the project purpose, process, and stakeholder involvement options. The team must also listen to stakeholders in order to identify their explicit as well as implicit needs An effective engagement process will identify underlying implicit needs With this knowledge, the charrette team can create design solutions that address all of the community's needs (P.48)." In other words, to be "charrette ready" is to have a firm h andling not just of what the residents want to see built (more lanes, wider sidewalks, or more buses) but how they want their city to function. It is not enough to know that there is a traffic problem on a certain road. The charrette team must understand that the road is filled with cars of residents going to I 75 to the East, the Airport to the North, and the hospital to the South. They do not walk because the built environment is uncomfortable and dangerous for pedestrians. They do not use the bus sys tem because they perceive it to be ineffectual and it remains stigmatized as a service of last resort for those without sufficient means of personal private transportation. The Bayfront Connectivity Charrette delivered much of what the design team had hea rd during the public sessions. Through roundabouts, wide medians, and other traffic calming measures, they had delivered the beginning steps towards meeting the challenges faced by the residents. Expected traffic delays appeared to be minimal, although f urther modeling would be required for a more complete picture. What is the origin of the resistance to the proposed changes? The proposals were developed through a very open design process that stressed the immediate production of feedback in the form of tangible drafts. The mayor, Albert, Martin, and (to some extent) Frank all made conciliatory comments in their public addresses, making it clear that
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 98 while New Urbanism was the determined direction, the intensity of its application was completely up to the residents. Where in the charrette process did Kirk and Associates loose the residents' approval? Actor Network as Methodological Tool I want to spend a moment framing the social dynamics at play within the dynamic planning process with the help of M ichel Callon's "Society in the Making: The Study of Technology as a Tool of Sociological Analysis." Contained in The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology (1987) edited by Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas P. Hughes, and Trevor Pinch By using actor network theory, I hope to delve deeper into the relationship between public decision making and producing built environments, in hopes that related professions can better connect their observations to the needs and wants of society. It is worth reiterating the following history: The oppositional behavior of the American homeowner is not completely unfounded. The developer, the city government, and the planning profession as a whole suffer from a loss of credibility after several decades of unplanned sprawl ( Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332;Logan and Molotch 1987, 383) The mechanisms that create sprawl are seated in the technocratic specializatio n of city planning since the 192 0s. Public input in this are na has always focused on limiting discourse by treating residents as one of many voices in the planning process. Public hearings limit public input to a few highly controlled sessions with little opportunity for group organization or leveraging popular so lidarity. The relationship between citizens and their government is one of protest and populist anger. Citizens have few avenues in taking that energy and opinion and shaping it into positive and constructive outcomes beyond blocking proposed change.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 99 Thi s is the paradigm in which Sarasota's residents are clearly operating, and hence were perhaps not "charrette ready". This is indicated in many residents' propensity to question what actually needs to be done to US 41. Martin would try to defuse these sit uations by saying many people have "different levels of confidence in crossing 41." This would get the conversation moving, but it should have sent up red flags that there was a fundamental lack of consensus regarding the project mission. If the intended purpose of the project was to solve the problem of pedestrian connectivity across US 41 it is crucial that (at the very least) a good majority of the citizenry see pedestrian connectivity as a not only a desirable goal, but that all of the supporting conc epts of a multi use facility are desirable attributes of a city. A population that is predominantly made up of a generation that moved out of the city into the suburbs with their parents a la Avalon bought their first house under the GI Bill, and were i mmersed in a world largely modeled after GM's Futurama would have lived most of their lives in the modernist city, governed by the technocrats and specialists. The city of Le Corbusier and CIAM is not a tapestry of different activities, people, or commerc e. Instead it is a facility designed to provide discreet services in an efficient way ( Le Corbusier 1967) It does not make sense to design a US 41 that invites a certain level of conflict of uses. The modernist city demands efficiency and a separation of land use ( Jackson 1985, 396;Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289) While some in Sarasota appear to have bought into the New Urbanism movement, (and those are mostly concentrated in the downtown proper) many continue to see US 41 not just as a car oriented facility, but as inherently a single use utility that must be designed for maximum throughput based on the design theory of the last half century. This
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 100 conflict between single use facility efficiency and multi use street life is showcased in t he final question and answer period, where the former Massachusetts resident asks that the team consider the productivity lost to increased travel time through the downtown. Albert and Frank's responses, describe a city that does not value ultimate effici ency of any one mode of transportation but a mixture of "all four modes of transportation." Where, then, are the LaHurds and Marths who reminisce about the old Sarasota with a war memorial in the center of town, Smack's restaurant, and the local grocery store? The ones that would seem to be most eager to return to the days before Arvida developed the keys and the Tamiami bypass was constructed. Ironically, they appear to be the most skeptical residents. Recall Denise, who's one and only goal in the ent ire process was to see that the World War I memorial remain in its place and retain its venerable location in the bay front park. Her motivations are not to reestablish its original location (she never even indicates that she is aware of its original purp ose as street light post, or location in the middle of a major intersection) but to preserve local tradition. This would be a problem in conventional development, in which a developer having already established legal rights to build on a specific plot of land, would have to be convinced his significant economic investment should be halted in favor of a memorial that has been once moved before and can be moved again. Denise and her constituents are acting just as they should in the technocratic modernist city, but offer little constructive input when offered a felt tipped pen and asked to draw on a map what they envision for the future. Residents react to the prospect of development by trying to preserve what little connections to the past they have, and not orient themselves to building a better future.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 101 The much larger debate over traffic access from the barrier islands is slightly more complex, since it involves the perceived effectiveness of roundabouts, their recorded pedestrian and motorist safety s tatistics, and the concerns regarding access to key city resources -on top of the more general disagreement of auto accommodation in the study area. Callon observes a similar social dynamic in his study of electric car adoption in France. Just as engine ers must perform the jobs of sociologists very early on in their invention and even more during the subsequent innovation, Kirk and Associates must engage in a commercialization 15 of a pedestrian friendly US 41. New Urbanism as a movement has oriented its t heory to tackle present and persistent problems facing how America builds its towns including but not limited to: resource scarcity, affordable housing shortages, ineffective public housing, a pervasive lack of a "sense of place", and a landscape covered i n suburban sprawl that has been linked to everything from ADHD ( Farr 2008) to family dysfunction ( Farr 2008;Putnam 2001, 544) to economic strife ( Logan and Molotch 1987, 383;Kunstler 1993, 303) 16 This is similar to the situation EDF's engineers saw thems elves when they began early work on their electric car: the VEL. After the dramatic events of 1968, the promising technologies of better electrochemical batteries, and the increasing popularity of the idea of a post industrial France EDF saw a new society taking shape, and they saw an opportunity to be at the forefront of this change in consumer activity and 15 Commercialization in the sense Callon uses it: a technological artifact undergoes innovation subsequent to its invention, so as to better react to the society and market it inhabits Michel Callon, "Society in the Ma king: The Study of Technology as a Tool of Sociological Analysis," in eds. Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas Parke Hughes and T. J. Pinch. Anonymous (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987), 83. Also see Cowan (same volume.) 16 Appropriately, the CNU's upcoming 2009 conference is entitled Experiencing the New Urbanism: The Convenient Remedy
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 102 transportation. Their roles as Engineer Sociologists are at the heart of their engineering endeavor. Albert, Martin, Frank, Erica, and others are m uch more self aware, if not reflexive in their role as Engineer Sociologists. From the sign in the Sarasota planning office meeting room ("Never, but never question the engineer's judgment.") to the final presentation in which George, Martin, and Albert d eliberately construct a narrative that situates the study area both geographically and historically. Their design considerations are often linked directly to what would be politically tenable when making their most technical decisions, and dictated almost directly by the citizenry at their most generalist. This constructed narrative is seen in the presentations (Appendix A & B). The final presentation's first slide is called The Corridor Context which shows the eastward march of North South travel corr idors through the years. Several of the first draft documents put up during the "dotocracy" pin up session showed the study area in relation to the entire Tampa metropolitan area. Kirk and Associates are following one of the first tenets of New Urbanism' s Charter: the Metropolitan region is the main unit of planning in the modern world. Their efforts must be outward looking towards the functioning of the entire Tampa Bay region. The simplification of actors (US 41, the planning office, Federal Regulatio ns, New Urbanism, and FDOT, to name a few.) and their relational juxtaposition (conventional development versus New Urbanism tenets, or roundabout technology versus lighted intersection technology) are evident in conversations as well as the decisions made in the design studio. FDOT was part of the larger body of local, state, and federal bureaucracies and their laws. The planning office, while immediately the
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 103 liaison between the city and the consultant team, was following directives set by FDOT, as well as the DPZ downtown master plan, which connects to New Urbanism, but also must obey relevant zoning ordinances at the county level. Figure 2 is an attempt to visually display these actor network relationships. It serves only as a snapshot in both time as well as range of actors. As Callon notes, "If we wish to construct a graphical representation of a network by using sequences of points and lines, we must view each point as a network that in turn is a series of points held in place by their own relati onships. The networks lend each other their force (P.96) ." The graphical representation I have constructed tries to replicate this setup by inscribing different individual actors within circles that contain an entire network. This circle with its enclos ed actors is an actor network. But each actor is interconnected through simplifying and juxtaposing relationships denoted by different arrows. In this sense, actors are a defining characteristic of other actors, and their networked relationship to one an other forms the actor network. For instance, "New Urbanism Tenets" is both a single entity as an actor, but it is also a network that is comprised of "Kirk and Associates", "Conventional Zoning Regulations", and "roundabout technologies" just to name a f ew. Likewise, "New Urbanism Tenets" could be used as one of the actors in a network called "Kirk and Associates". Callon describes the process of simplification and juxtaposition as a dynamic process that strengthens bonds between actors as it forms rel ations with other actors. Simplification takes place when individual entities represent a set of other entities through a process of practical self selection. This self selection establishes the attributes of the actor that are salient for the actor netw ork.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 104 Figure 2 When an event re introduces the complexity of actors, thereby increasing the amount of salient attributes related to that same actor, the actor network is in danger of unraveling. Callon, in his own words says, An actor network is simultaneously an actor who's activity is networking heterogeneous elements and a network that is able to redefine and transform what it is made of. (P. 93) "The networks lend each other their force. The simplifications that make u p the actor network are a powerful means of action because each entity summons or enlists a cascade of other entitiesThus a network is durable not only because the durability of the bonds between the points (whether these bonds concern interests or electr olytic forces) but also because each of its points constitutes a durable and simplified network (P.96)."
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 105 Callon followed the attempt of EDF to bring an electric vehicle (VEL) to market. EDF believed that the events of 1968, in tandem with rising oil pric es, created an environment in which the technological systems that supported the conventional gasoline powered car could be supplanted by a new electric car (Callon 1987). To make this theory more tangible, consider a library that is used by the surroundin g neighborhood as meeting place for a weekly foreign film society. The entity "library" which represents other such entities as "books", "public institutions" and, "meeting places" is simplified by the nature of the relationship to the neighborhood film s ociety. Books are actually not important in the relationship of "library" and "film society" in this particular instance. The library is simplified as a "public institution" and "meeting place" but is not so much defined as a source of books. But if the library introduces a rule, whereby only book related events can be held in their meeting rooms, the "book" attribute becomes salient to the actor network, making the original relationships unravel, and the Film Society must either incorporate books into t heir meetings, or find another meeting space. The simplification relationships in the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette are more complicated. Kirk and Associates represents a simplification of the New Urbanism movement. While New Urbanists believe in affor dable housing, that is not a topic of conversation relating to a majority of the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette, and therefore Kirk and Associates' relationship to altering US 41 simplifies the actor "New Urbanism". Their goal that activates all four mod es of transit, does not directly relate to affordable housing, although it does not exclude it. Roundabouts are also a simplification of New Urbanism, as it represents a selection of New Urbanist tenets, but it is also juxtaposed to
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 106 lighted intersections, which are a simplification of conventional road design. Conventional road design is juxtaposed to New Urbanism because of the juxtaposition of the constituent actors that make up the actor networks "New Urbanism" and "conventional road design." In other words, the actor networks "New Urbanism" and "conventional road design" are comprised of (and are inextricable from) a host of constituent actors such as "roundabouts" and "Kirk and Associates" while at the same time, simplified by them when they represen t the actor network in the specific relationship of "New Urbanism" to "US 41". The juxtaposition of "roundabout" and "lighted intersection" is derived from the relationship between the actor networks "New Urbanism" and "conventional road design" while at the same time, those actor networks are juxtaposed to one another by the relationship of their respective constituent actors. It should be noted that the relations of different actors within their respective actor network are dynamic, and this only rep resents one particular setup out of many possible diagrams of the same actors That actor network relationships depicted are not exhaustive by any means. There are many more pertinent actors that create the actor network, and there are many more ways to s how relationships between them. Each labeled actor is representative of a simplified network, with each network not being mutually exclusive of others, allowing individual actors to have relationships with other actors in other networks. How then, does th is dynamic actor network explain the situation Sarasota finds itself in ? Just as Callon saw that Bourdieu's theory was right -and the car was too embedded in the French culture to be altered so quickly and dramatically -so too we find
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 107 this problem in Sa rasota. This time however, the focus is not on a new kind of car, but a new kind of road. Instead of EDF's incorrect interpretation of French society, or the inability to create cheap fuel cells, Sarasota's public officials (elected and staff) were overl y optimistic in their assessment of the residents' level of "charrette readiness". While Kirk and Associates were mobilizing a series of proposals aimed at a citizenry that could be persuaded that roundabouts and wider medians were a way to calm traffic w hile maintaining throughput, they were dealing with residents who were still viewing the city through a modernist interpretation. In short, the road as it was designed was too embedded in their worldview to change so drastically. Applying Actor Network Th eory to the Sarasota Problem The question then becomes: How can the charrette team move on, after such a luke warm final presentation? At a more fundamental level: how will they engage those social institutions so as to realize their plans for the physi cal environment? Old hostilities still exist, and Callon might have us believe that the root of the problem is the nature of society itself. Modernism and technocratic planning are too far embedded in the culture to see US 41 as anything other than an au tomobile dedicated right of way. The charrette process is not the end of the conversation, and the final plans must still be drawn up a nd approved. It will be helpful to summarize the socio political landscape as it currently stands. From there we can re view what Callon suggests sociologists can do with his actor network theory and try to apply it to the current situation. The goal here is to go beyond political disagreements or aesthetic preferences and locate the fundamental difficulties facing Sarasot a, so as to achieve a systematic solution. The city can be laid out geographically, politically, and socially into two poles: On one side, are people that mostly live in the downtown proper or own a business in the
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 108 downtown. They see the benefits of New Urbanism and stand to gain from its adoption, by virtue of increased services, property value, and store patronage. They are aligni ng themselves with the new City LIFE campaign, to bring jobs into the downtown and spur economic growth. The other side is m ostly located on the barrier islands and the more suburban neighborhoods surrounding the downtown. They want to slow growth and some are the "hard core auto accommodators" that Erica spoke of at the beginning of the process. They benefit from a more car based transportation system, because while they do frequent the downtown, it is almost always by car. More importantly, however, they want access to the hospital, I 75, and the airport. They have constructed their way of life around the expectations and norms associated with the car. They are avid watchdogs of traffic gridlock, and do not support higher density development. These expectations and norms are not completely geographically exclusive, as evidenced by the mixed reaction to New Urbanism durin g the live polling where a it was largely at tended by mainland residents. While I never took a sample of the participating residents to calculate demographic statistics, the 2005 2007 census is still telling. Sarasota's over 60 population is 24.8% compar ed to the national average of 17.1%. The city's 75 and over population is double that of the national average, at 12.6% compared to 6.1%. These people represent a cohort that birthed the baby boomers. They are the most civically active generation, accor ding to Putnam, and it shows in their strong attitudes toward how their city is built and maintained. There are multiple community newspapers, strong and well organized neighborhood and condominium associations, which all appear to connect themselves dire ctly to citywide politics.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 109 This is an ideal case for actor netw ork theory. Residents' strong and constant interactions with decision making, and information gathering bodies, coupled with the massive amounts of data many authors have compiled on the for mation of the post World War II landscape provide all the pieces for analysis by actor network theory. I only briefly provided a single example of how US 41 fits into (or can be explained by) actor network theory. What is needed now, is a more in depth look into what actor network theory can glean from the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette. In Callon's explanation of actor network theory as "A New Methodological Tool" he says, "The sociologist can rest content with following the engineer sociologists, p icking up their analyses and examining the way in which they are refuted or validated by the success or failure of the technical apparatus the engineer sociologists have helped to bring into being. The results of the test may not be wholly positive or who lly negative. The case under discussion happens to show a complete reversal of fortune. But in other situations engineers may arrive at a compromise solution and progressively change their sociological interpretations, that is, their associations, and co nsequently change the shape of technological devices that they develop. In any event sociologists who study engineers shaping technologies have a chance to evaluate the validity of certain interpretations and to follow their successive adaptations in the light of the resistance they encounter (P. 99)." Kirk and Associates, along with the Sarasota Planning Department had to conceptualize and agree on a present political and social reality before they could move forward with the Bayfro nt Connectivity Charrette. Based on meetings with Erica, and the presentaitons given by Albert, Martin, and Frank we get a clear picture of how they percieved the state of affairs. Change to the bay front was still contentious, but largely seen as a nec esity to fully utilize the existing and planned future amenities of the downtown. These amenities include bay front accessability, utilities and commerce access for both sides of US 41. Business owners want to capitalize on the frequent bayfront patronag e, while elderly residents want a safe walk to the grocery store. The city would like to get the maximum benefit from the bay front as a tourist destination.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 110 Overall, an increased bay front pedestrian connection would be economically, environmentally, an d aesthetically beneficial to the state of the city. Those who oppose these changes, are not dismissed by any means, but are characterized as resistant to change and narrowly focused on automobile accessibility by maintaining efficient roads and keeping l and density to a minimum. The critical residents' positions may be seen as unreasonable on the part of the consultants and the planners, but it is still considered a valid arguement within the larger context of one's relationship with thier city. This ch aracterization is largely evidenced by the majority of those that oppose the proposed changes through the years. The clearest statement of this was actually in 2004, where the proposed traffic calming on US 41 was compeletely revoked, despite extensive an d costly studies that suggested no overall decrease in automobile throughput. The percieved downgrading of automobile dominance was enough to reject it completely. This was acknowledged in the BayFront Connectivity Charrette's initial meetings as "the on ly thing off the table." As the planning department and the consultant team researched the current situation, they were convinced that there was a middle ground where it could be proven that roads could still maintain similar levels of service, but also achieve the goal of greater pedestrian conncetivity. The opening night polling was an effort to find that elusive middle ground. Martin asked what traffic delays the residents would be willing to endure, what role they thought US 41 served, and how it t hey would like it to function. These questions did not outright ask what form the road should take, they were conceptual questions aimed at finding underlying preferences and priotities. Even the questions about specific design implementations were asked in a way that empahsised
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 111 "the idea" of these solutions, not any kind of particular implementation of them. This makes sense, since the team assumes that the elements of the 2004 plan were rejected because of their execution but (just as Albert says) acce pted at the "conceptual level." The key then, must be in providing solutions to overall conceptual needs and wants, while also providing information about those solutions. This is seen in several particular instances, but is best seen in the case of ro undabouts. The reasoning on behalf of the planning department and Kirk and Assoicates appears to have gone something like: If we identify traffic congestion as a problem, and that roundabouts are the solution to the problem, the residents must first unde rstand and accept that roundabouts are a working viable solution to traffic congestion. >*/3428*/'&)234)'.$)E-*3*=( Frank primarily served the role of "teacher" in public meetings, by using the instiutional legitimacy of insurance agencies, local testim onial, and government research programs. Although every Kirk and Associates and planning department employee did this at one point or another for various specific instances, Frank was always called on to do the heavy lifting. Both Kirk and Assoicates and the Sarasota planning department believed that the data was definitive enough, and compelling enough, to convince residents to accept their proposed solution. The poll results revealed that 71% of residents would be willing to endure a 3 minute delay in current traffic levels, and 58% would approve of roundabouts at US 41 intersections at both Gulfstream Avenue and Fruitville Road. Why then, was the support of roundabouts still so contentious that the Herald Tribune chose to make one of their thirteen qu estions for all at large city
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 112 commission seats What would you do to improve bayfront connectivity, enhance pedestrian and bike safety and help traffic flow at the bayfront? The answers to this question vary, but fall into two camps: the backers and the skeptics Two at large commision seats were up for election, and three candidates split a majority of the vote, and are currently embroiled in a run off election. Two of the three candidates were supported by CityLIFE and both of them backed the propose d development. But it was the third candidate that got the highest percentage, largely backed by community organizations, and was very skeptical of the proposed changes to US 41 ( Drouin 2009, BN01). Despite the success of CityLIFE's candidates, they were unable to pass the amendment for a stronger mayor and expanded commission. There is certainly a disconnect between the percieved acceptance of the changes to US 41 at even "the conceptual level." The community backed candidate did not even mention rounda bouts in his answer, emphasizing the need for "modest approaches" during budget concerns. The other two are much more direct, with one saying simply, The city has paid a great deal of money for experts who have made very specific recommendations. Let's a ct on these items. The other gives a longer response but says succinctly, I support the implementation of roundabouts at strategic lo cations as part of this project ( Drouin 2009, BN01)." The safety statistics of roundabouts are not mentioned in any of their responses. It becomes obvious then, that the cost of the roundabouts are becoming either 1) more important than other factors, or 2) an easy target for opposition, since it was a relatively uncontested downside to implementing roundabouts. Cost cam e up several times in the City Commission workshop with the Carmel mayor. Most of his responses focused on decreased fuel costs due to less idling,
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 113 less expensive accidents (which translate into cheaper car insurance premiums) and no electrical bill for m aintaining traffic lights. There was no definitive response to whether or not they were cheaper to build than conventional intersections, and it was obvious that converting existing intersections would cost more than leaving them alone. As engineer soc iologists, Kirk and Associates identified environmental concerns, safety, car throughput performance and aesthetic appearance as the main talking points for roundabouts. Cost was not at the forefront of their case for roundabouts, but it has now become on e of the most important issues regarding their implementation. It may not be clear if opponents saw that as a hole in their argument and decided to make it a point of contention, or if the problems of cost became more salient as time went forward. It is likely that both are, to some degree, true. Current economic conditions were just unfolding as the kick off meeting was underway. Lehman Brothers had filed for Chapter 11a month before hand on September 15 th and the Federal Reserve bailed out American I nternational Group the day after. It was not until November 26 th however, that the country's economy was officially declared in recession. What had been far removed national news had now become very personal as Sarasota (and many other government and pri vate institutions) began to investigate how much they would be affected. Erica said cost had always been a concern in the project: A plurality of 35% of residents polled, said that "excessive cost" was their "biggest fear about potential changes." Anoth er 13% were worried about negative economic impact. At the same time however, only 3% thought that "positive economic impact for business" was "the greatest benefit for making US 41 more pedestrian friendly." In my March interview with Erica, she said ma tter of factly: "The money involved may kill the project, and
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 114 that's what I'm most afraid of. We're going to have this lovely plan and when we show them the estimates, even though it's a ten to fifteen year plan, its not funded." She went on to say later on, "Sometimes it looks like a chicken cross the road study' why did we do this? But we're really going to try really hard at the next workshop we're going to workshop it again with the new commissioners and the new modeling and we're going to try to link it to the city wide study [referring to the 2004 Traffic study] to help people understand We want to change the way we think about transportation. Instead of thinking about the incurring delay of automobiles, let's think about safety for pedestrians and let's design a city with regulations that trumps automobile mobility. "I have a real question about whether we created a lovely conceptual plan is going to sit on a shelf. I tried to get improvement funded through the capital improvement plan and t he department heads kicked them out. They said, this is not the time to be doing these extra things.' Even design things, there's just no way I wouldn't be surprised if we come out of this, and the commission adopts this study, and then I wrestle for the next ten years trying to get funding for it and maybe I get to implement some of the things. It is just like the Duany downtown master plan. You know Duany had all of those ideas and we implemented a choice few that we could afford, and then we just sort of dropped the ball because it got too expensive or too controversial." What is to be made about this dynamic? It seems clear that (among many) the actor "roundabout" had been simplified as a technological innovation that would help pedestrian conn ectivity, reduce environmental impacts, and provide a more efficient traffic flow. But the actor network destabilized after the economic impact became more salient to the relationship. Just as the VEL needed to be technologically functional, the roundabo uts had to be economically viable. The actor network destabilized as multiple actors redefined their simplifying relationship using funding institutions and regulatory agencies instead of safety studies, environmental concerns, and urban design preference s. Actor network theory allows us to explain why any one person can take seemingly contradictory stances. It explains why any given individual can abstractly agree to a large delay in car travel time in favor of better pedestrian connectivity, but then be come critical of expenses being proposed to achieve those goals.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 115 That actors' relationships are shifted within a network that has additional economic factors introduced to it. When I say that the citizen culturally prefers automobile centered design ins tead of individually preferring it, I am saying that his or her preference is not a matter of individually weighing all of the strengths and weaknesses, but rather a set of cultural norms provides the answer to how much money they are willing to spend sear ching for alternatives. Actors' perspective is key in explaining the subsequent events of the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette and will be explored further. 1.$)7$ %&;$-'"#$)7%*89$=0))1.$)A34"#"4/29F&)7$%&;$-'"#$) G"'. "3 )'.$),-'*% C H$'G*%?) ) If there was one meeting that seemed to end on a sour note, it was the stakeholder meeting with FDOT, SCAT, and the county planning office. The Sarasota planning officials and the Kirk and Associates consultants were miffed at how unre lenting the other agencies were about conventional zoning techniques. This is a common concern that is addressed in multiple publications about New Urbanism ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289;Talen 2005, 318;Brain and Duany 2005, 293 332) Making anything other than conventional sub urban development is difficult because most of the regulatory frameworks do not fit anything else. Essentially, design prescribed by New Urbanism is illegal in many places ( Duany, Plater Zyberk, and Speck 2000, 289) The FDOT official explained in the m eeting, that if he were to approve of any kind of road enhancement that is later found to be a deadly engineering disaster, they are in danger of having their license taken away and held personally responsible. It is much safer (for their career) to only approve of conventional developments that follow the guidelines set out in DOT regulations. This provides them the greatest legal cover in the
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 116 event of design defects that lead to accidents. There is no benefit to being adventurous with new kinds of deve lopment, especially one that advocates for a mix of uses that are not under the purview of the Department of Transportation. US 41, according to the Florida Department of Transportation, is a transportation corridor. It does not see the roadbed as a pub lic space where private enterprises come together to create a public private ( Upton 1998, 335) a stage for social activism ( Mitchell 2003, 270) or as a kind of boundary or landmark (and not just a path) for city wide navigation ( Lynch 1960, 202) This i s because the actor network "US 41", as seen by the FDOT does not include these perspectives in its simplification. FDOT's relationship to US 41 means that it is incapable of regulating a road as a New Urbanist treats it. The specialist approaches the pr oblem of US 41 as a "level of service" problem. The generalist sees it in a larger context of the urban fabric, which means maximum "level of service" is intentionally not the goal. The problem does not end with FDOT, since the department's regulations c an directly influence the cost of construction, the permitting of surrounding land use, and ultimately has the last say in whether or not a road is built or modified. This dynamic is a serious problem when activating funding sources and achieving regulat ory compliance. Erica clearly explains the predicament she faces as an innovative planner: "We have a hard road to hoe with FDOT too. At the design level, they are going to make us show that this thing works. And it has to carry the same level of tra ffic through it that the intersection would carry and have some capacity for growth My growth rates are going down in traffic. [They want to see] ten years incremental growth. That's what they wanted this modeling round to show. They wanted us to show existing conditions, existing conditions with build, and future conditions with build and no build. And I said you're asking for four snapshots, and we only have money for one snapshot, so we're going to pick one of those snapshots that we think will give us the most information and we're not going to be able to give you 2030 traffic volumes in these intersections at this level. But before I can tell you, before we design and build a roundabout on
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 117 US 41 we will have to prove that it will accept whatever l evel of growth we can get them to agree upon." The economic restrictions make it difficult to achieve the burden of proof that FDOT demands. Regardless of whether or not the effectiveness of roundabouts has been proven as a concept, FDOT wants proof t hat they will be executed properly in these particular instances. Further, they want to see maximum efficiency of vehicle throughput, they are not concerned with the larger picture of appropriateness within the city. It's a predicament that gets more com plex and even seemingly impossible, when she cites specific examples of FDOT's regulatory practices: "There's a lot of noise about this study that was done by [another consultant] about the Gulfstream and Fruitville roundabouts and basically [they] said th ey wouldn't work. And the reason they wouldn't work -everybody that was involved with that study is fairly above board with this -is because they used a really high growth rate. They said traffic will increase two point five percent per year for twenty years. Every intersection would fail with that volume of traffic! Doesn't matter if you put a roundabout in or not. And that's what I talked to the modeler who did that modeling, and he said, you know it was set up to fail. There was no way this coul d work. With the amount of traffic that they wanted put into the model.' So that's why these modeling methodology meeting are so important when you go to FDOT because you have to satisfy their need for growth. Because they don't want you installing some thing that five years down the road is going to be inadequate. On face value that makes sense. But then you want me to do a projection to 2030, out twenty years, and I am going to incrementally increase growth every year at a rate that we have never seen -or at a rate that we honestly and truly cannot predict. Because sometimes its 2.5, sometimes its half a percent. So, we're still working on that. What growth rate we are going to use in the snapshot modeling." FDOT operates with the implicit assump tion developed during post World War II modernism. Not only are roads supposed to provide the maximum throughput of cars, but one should also assume (even in light of recent traffic studies) growth projections similar to the growth that what was seen in t he 1960s. Exponential growth of service loads seems appropriate from FDOT's position in the actor network. Hughes (1989) can help us better understand why FDOT functions the way that it does. In his article, "The Evolution of Large Technological Systems he notes, "With the increased complexity of systems, the number of components and the problems of control increases (P.56) ( Hughes 1987, 51 82) ." He explains that technology controlling institutions go through several
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 118 non sequential, sometimes overlapping phases called: innovation, transfer, invention, development, growth, competition, and consolidation. During these phases, institutions and their parallel technological systems shrink, grow, and adapt to external forces. In this scenario, FDOT's "invent ion" phase has been dominated by a stagnant "development" phase coupled with a "growth" phase stricken by out moded modeling techniques. The highway, during its "invention" phase was relatively radical during the 1939 World's Fair, but by the late 50s, (to use Hughes' terms), "inventor entrepreneurs and their associates [had embodied] in their invention economic, political, and social characteristics that it need[ed] for survival in the use world. Taking the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 as the beginning of the Federal Department of Transportation's "development" phase, we see federal agencies setting themselves up with institutions parallel to the technological system that they regulate. The invention changes from a relatively simple idea that can functi on in an environment no more complex than can be constituted in the mind of the inventors to a system that can function in an environment permeated by various factors and forces (PP.62 63)." During its "growth" phase, institutions seek out economies of sc ale and prioritize maximum efficiency and load capacity. Reverse salients components of a system that act as bottlenecks in the functioning of that system, are mostly inevitable during this phase. While reverse salients in the form of obsolete technology may be the most obvious, the institutional frameworks that are part of the actor networks of large technological systems, can be the biggest reverse salients. Calling FDOT a reverse salient may be radical (if not rude to those employed by the department) but the demand for exponential growth projections, in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 119 prevents Sarasota from operating at what it considers optimal efficiency. The institutional mechanisms dictate the technological system's innovation. A s discussed earlier, FDOT regulators have not incentive to innovate, because the risks are so high. As engineer sociologists, the FDOT regulator is not responsive to end user demand; they are responsive only to the solutions to engineering problems as def ined by the "invention" phase of the 1960s. If the problem becomes too great, invention or innovation within the technological system will not be enough to overcome inefficiencies. In this case, Hughes says, "When a reverse salient cannot be corrected wit hin the context of an existing system, the problem becomes a radical one, the solution of which may bring a new and competing system (P75)." In this case, that competing system is New Urbanism. Returning to the concept of actor networks, US 41 when simpli fied in relation to New Urbanism, is completely different than the "US 41" in relation to conventional development and FDOT. Regulators, local governments, and private industry have come up with numerous ways to mitigate reverse salients. Local governmen ts are responsible for establishing level of service standards and in the city of Sarasota they have implemented a form based code for most of the downtown. But since US 41 is a federal highway, it is subject to more state level oversight. It is clear th at cities do not have enough local control to dictate how every part of their city looks and acts to overcome the systematic inefficiencies of FDOT. The relationship of US 41 to the city is such that the simplification breaks down in the face of state and federal government oversight. In my last meeting with Erica, she described the process her department is undergoing to green light some of the roundabouts proposed in the connectivity study.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 120 "After [the roundabout workshop with Mayor Brainard], we fe lt like we got direction from the commission to get additional data. We now have been, for the past month, working with the consultant to get additional data. They asked a lot of questions about how much longer would it take to get from the key to this i ntersection how long would it really take through the whole corridor And some of those questions we can't afford to answer at the detailed level that they want. We can't pay for that level of analysis. Asking them for $15,000 was a really gutsy thing to do. But we kept saying you wanted this', this is what you asked for, politicians.' What the politicians are doing is finding something to hang their hat on, and say to people we think this is going to work" The commission is rightfully skeptical. They are the public officials entrusted with the proper use of public funds, and should be looking out for the best interests of their constituencies. Through the lens of actor network theory, the commission is set in relation to US 41, through a web of i nterlocking and contradictory jurisdictions from agencies both above and below them. They must look at revenue streams and contemplate cost benefit analyses that make for politically viable decisions that represent the values and interests of their consti tuencies. Lost in the simplification seems to be the long term impacts of this kind of construction. Recall Erica's concern about the possibility of this project being unfunded. Even though this has a ten to fifteen year time horizon, the project is in danger of being ignored all together because of the delicate nature of the actor network and the reverse salients that dictate resource management. The heterogeneous nature of funding sources and their respective relationships to other institutions are no t conducive to strong action on the part of elected officials. No matter how much buy in the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette accumulated, even the most dedicated supporters would have to concede to the limitations of the city's agency within the larger b ureaucracy, and the limited resources it had to spend. Plenty of ink has been spilled on the concepts of local municipal authority and home rule ( Dreier, Mollenkopf, and Swanstrom 2004, 428;Logan and Molotch 1987, 383;Kasinitz 1995,
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 121 486;Oliver 2001, 263) I come down squarely on the side of more autonomy to cities, but with the sober understanding that without strong inter city organization, the situation could be infinitely worse. It is not the existence of the governing institutions that is the problem but how those governing institutions create the regulations that they enforce. As it stands right now, the relationships between what is happening in cities around the country and the manner in which those cities are regulated, are at a severe disjunct ure. While charrettes are supposed to bring together all of the stake holders, and address all issues in a way that confronts all facets of the problem simultaneously, it is not a solution to unyielding regulation. If transportation authorities require u nrealistic projections for the facilities they regulate, the New Urbanist is hamstrung The cultural preference for the automobile has be institutionalized, and thus New Urbanism must confront both the de facto as well as the de jure rules of American dev elopment. The Reluctant Stakeholder: Cultural Values confronted as Individual Preference I have alluded to this subject throughout this section. What seems like individual preference for automobile centered design is more than a personal preference sha red by many people, but it is a cultural norm and value. Regulatory bodies and the general public, define a well functioning road as one with an efficient flow of traffic. The single use roadway is not empirically better, as shown by the crash statistics and even the rate of traffic usage. Dedicated roadways delivering quiet, efficient traffic is a value reflected, reinforced, and replicated by the FDOT. It should come to no surprise then, that the cultural values reflected in FDOT's regulatory proced ures are also prevalent in the conversations with individual citizens. Kirk and Associates were always ready to make the case for New Urbanism and act as a
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 122 teacher for topics such as roundabouts and complete streets. But their appeals to the individual's preference do not address the underlying problem. The attempt to convince citizens that New Urbanism can also provide uninterrupted car traffic, or to even set up the discourse as a balancing act of traffic efficiency and an overall balanced design, assu mes that individuals are making their own decisions with a balanced view of any and a ll design possibilities. I n reality, the discourse is a matter of cultural values and preferences that are largely impervious to the reasoning of technical justification. These cultural values may manifest themselves as individual preferences for single family detached homes (evidenced through their purchase and subsequent defense of their "backyards"), but it is a decision informed by cultural values for this kind of bui lt form. It is a subtle distinction but one that means the difference between skeptical backlash and persuasion. New Urbanism is a movement that wants to change the way America builds its cities. This means it must directly address and define itself in relation to conventional development. As actor network theory has show us, this juxtaposition means that things like roads, buildings, and sidewalks all mean very different things to the actor when viewed in relation to New Urbanism or conventional moder nist development. This means that the citizen and the road are fundamentally different things according to New Urbanism and modernist conventional zoning. The street according to Frank should be measured by several different criterion to create a "walkab ility index" whereas FDOT regulators look at the "level of service" based solely on car throughput. Individuals who supported a majority of Kirk and Associates' ideas, valued easily walking across US 41 and saw great utility in changing the corridor so th at it functioned as part of a larger
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 123 urban fabric, and not as an efficient people mover. This is not to say any given individual is for one or the other, but these are two ideal types that sit on either ends of a spectrum. In short, convincing citizens that a grid pattern is better than a set of arterial roads, or that walkable neighborhoods are better than those designed around the automobile, is not a matter of individual choice, but of whether or not they value walking (and its various benefits) over driving (with its various benefits) in their everyday lives. New Urbanism is as much a lifestyle as it is a planning methodology. J%?4$*26%&/0)2/26("7$%'%*4"/'2/$)2<$-,4,1,4%$/'2=5-,(+29%02 E(&2!",%0 I E(,&%0#-D2>?(0"%+4$*2B%$?($,4%$/'2K(?('%A+($, 2 New Urb anism is, essentially, not in a position that is strong enough to act as competition to conventional development. As a movement, it is still too small to permeate the levels of governance necessary to enact over arching change. As a set of ideas, it is f ully equipped to be a competitor to conventional modernist informed development. The movement is comprised of well educated professionals and generalists in multiple fields and at multiple levels of governance and regulation. The CNU claims to have forme r US Executive Cabinet secretaries as members, and current HUD secretary Shaun Donovan is seen as very open to many of the tenets of New Urbanism ( Bittner 2009 ) While this is strong momentum, it does not amount to the overarching power of the American Ro ad Builder's Association or the federal investment of Eisenhower's National Highway system. The problem New Urbanists continually find themselves in the problem of acting as salesman, teacher, and planner. By injecting New Urbanism into the larger disc ourse
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 124 of future land use, the movement could leave the hard sell to agents that are removed from the business of city planning. By presenting traditional development in the same way ARBA marketed "Futurama" the promises of New Urbanism on a grand scale can be fully explicated in a way that does not mean changing one's home city. For many individuals, their first encounter with New Urbanism is when it comes to change how they live their lives. Residents perceive this method as confrontational. As actor ne twork theory has shown, New Urbanism requires a new set of actor networks restructured in ways that relate to completely different elements of the same physical components of the city. Just as the EDF's electric car failed in France largely because of a s trong cultural relationship to the internal combustion automobile, New Urbanism must occupy a larger portion of the national discourse: becoming a complete alternative to the conventional model with large scale buy in from both the private and public sect ors. Americans need to be introduced to New Urbanism in a way that makes them comfortable with the changes in transportation and housing stock, before it acts as an agent of change in hometowns. The New Urbanism would benefit from private investor marke ting. If large real estate developers backed the movement, along with other manufactures that would stand to gain from increased transit investment and pedestrian scale construction. Just as road builders, car manufactures, land developers, and oil compa nies unified to create a suburban landscape, the resources of new and old companies that build the components of New Urbanism must be harnessed towards a new development paradigm. As companies in various sectors including transportation, construction and real estate
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 125 development look for new business models in the changing economy, they will be open to new ways of making profits. Private investors have been very active in financially supporting congresses and what I suggested in the preceding paragraph do es not ignore these substantial and important contributions. What is missing, however is a concerted effort to create new complex technological systems and parallel institutions meant to replace the existing suburban sprawl model. The private sector must create new economic models where transportation companies, real estate developers, and consumer goods vendors leverage intangible features of New Urbani st development such as environmental stewardship, social justice, and consumer comfort. All of these features are present in New Urbanism s form and function and should be presented in a clear way that appeals to subjective preference and not just e mpirical reasoning In a time where the Federal government is engaging in large scale deficit spending, and urban reinvestment is seen as a vehicle for that spending 17 New Urbanism should see itself as an organizing agent for positive change. Hughes tells us that technological systems work in tandem with parallel social institutions. Technological inventions such as a uniquely American local light rail commuter system offer the opportunity for changing regulatory agencies like FDOT. Actor network theory is specially equipped to explain this process of invention and subsequent institutionalization ( Callon 1987, 83) I am convinced that during this time o f economic uncertainly, there is an opportunity literally to rewrite the rules of city planning in a way that is both 17 A s evid enced by the freshly minted 2010 f ederal budget which (among other things) creates a White House Office of Urban Policy, fully funds Community Development Bloc Grant prog rams at $4.5 billion
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 126 environmentally and economically sustainable and responsible. The current financial and development complex is currently under healthy cr iticism, and can act as the catalyst for a deep collective analysis of development practices and their parallel socio economic institutions. While economic concerns were a primary concern throughout the charrette they became more salient after national ev ents made future financial gains uncertain. Once the initial shock wears off however, municipal governments and their citizens will start to look towards ways of preventing another suburban house mortgage fed financial disaster. The reorganization of th e human built environment is incredibly complex. Heterogeneous components such as bus manufactures, city counsels, angry neighbors, state and federal governments, a war memorial, and traffic studies must all fit together in a comprehensive and dynamic fra mework. This framework must provide traceable units of analysis that continue through different iterations of physical manifestations (arterial roads or bike trails) and social institutions (conventional technocratic city management and generalist city pl anning). As seen in the case of the Bayfront Connectivity Charrette, its constituent actors relate to the city in many different ways. The barrier island residents view downtown predominantly in terms of its connectivity via automobile, and mainland res idents still see the city as the "Futurama" landscape of modern single use building design. The CityLIFE group sees the benefits of a more urban downtown because their relationship to the city is one of economic and social connections that benefit from in creased hustle and bustle within the downtown.
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 127 !AA($)4"(2 Appendix A Presentation Slides
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City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 150 Appendix C Charrette Schedule
City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process D. Banks 151 .4;'4%*0/A75 2 1. "CNU History | Congress for the New Urbanism." [cited 2008]. Available from http://www.cnu.org/history. 2. "Downtown Sarasota Mobility Study." [cited 2008]. Available from http://www.sarasotagov.com/InsideCityGovernment/Content/Engineering/projects/MobilityStudy. html. 3. "The Seaside Institute about Us." [cited 2008]. Available from http://www.theseasideinstitute.org/core/item/page.aspx?s=86184.108.40.20601. 4. "USGBC: LEED for Neighborhood Development." [cited 2008]. Available from http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=148. 5. Bittner, Moss. "HUD Secretary Donovan on Track to be Ally of Urbanism | Congress for the New Urbanism." [cited 2009]. Available from http://www.cnu.org/node/2701. 6. Brain, David. "Democracy and Urban Design: The Transect as Civic Renewal." Place s 18, no. 1 (2006). 7. Brain, David, and Andr es Duany. "Regulating as if Humans Matter: The Transect and Post Suburban Planning." In Regulating Place : Standards and the Shaping of Urban America. Edited by Eran Ben Joseph, Terry S. Szold and Terry S. Szold. New York: Routledge, 2005, 293 332. 8. Bruegm ann, Robert. Sprawl : A Compact History Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. 9. Callon, Michel. "Society in the Making: The Study of Technology as a Tool of Sociological Analysis." In Edited by Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas Parke Hughes and T. J. Pinch. Ca mbridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987, 83. 10. Callon, Michel, and Bruno Latour. "Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bath School! A Reply to Collins and Yearley." In Science as Practice and Culture. Edited by Andrew Pickering. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1 992. 11. Dreier, Peter, John H. Mollenkopf, and Todd Swanstrom. Place Matters : Metropolitics for the Twenty First Century 2nd rev ed. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004. 12. Drouin, Roger. Focus Shifts to City Runoff .2009. 13. Drouin, Roger. Group's Stance is Pro Growth CITY ELECTION: They Aim to Counteract Efforts of Neighborhood Coalitions .2009. 14. Duany, Andres. "Fallacies on New Urbanism." Architectur eno. December (1998). 15. Duany, Andres, Elizabeth Plater Zyberk, and Jeff Speck. Suburban Nation : The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream 1st ed. New York: North Point Press, 2000. 16. Editorial. Bayfront Interests Converge Solving Downtown Sarasota's U.S. 41 Problem Will Take Cooperation .2008. 17. Ellis, Cliff. "The New Urbanism: Critiques and Rebu ttals." Journal of Urban Desig n 7, no. 3 (2002). 18. Farr, Douglas. Sustainable Urbanism : Urban Design with Nature Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2008. 19. Hughes, Thomas P. "The Evolution of Large Technological Systems." In Edited by Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas Parke Hughes and T. J. Pinch. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987, 51 82. 20. Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier : The Suburbanization of the United States New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. 21. Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities New York: Ran dom House, 1961. 22. Kasinitz, Philip. Metropolis : Center and Symbol of our Times New York: New York University Press, 1995. 23. Kunstler, James Howard. The Geography of Nowhere : The Rise and Decline of America's Man made Landscape New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. 24. LaHurd, Jeff. Sarasota : A Sentimental Journey Sarasota, FL: J. LaHurd, 1991. 25. LaHurd, Jeff. Quintessential Sarasota : Stories and Pictures from the 1920s 1950s Sarasota, Fla.: Clubhouse Publishing, 1990. 26. Le Corbusier, The Radiant City; Elements o f a Doctrine of Urbanism to be used as the Basis of our Machine Age Civilization New York: Orion Press, 1967.
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