There’s a (potentially) very interesting project developing at CSUS — a housing village which is going to be built on Ramona Avenue (across the freeway from the campus). I will probably not be able to take advantage of this myself, since I just bought a house in Sacramento about six months ago, so perhaps my input is less important than other people’s. But some features and design goals I’d like to see include:
- Mixed-use development, i.e. 2- or 3-story buildings with retail on the ground floor and apartments above. You want to go out for coffee? Walk downstairs, go down to the corner, and into the neighborhood coffee shop (or restaurant or video store or whatever).
- Transit- and pedestrian-oriented layout. People don’t need to abandon their vehicles, but at least don’t force people to use their cars for every trip they have to make!
- Good integration with the campus. This will be very difficult and/or expensive with the freeway, light rail, Union Pacific RR, Folsom Boulevard and Power Inn/Howe to contend with.
Some useful resources for this project include:
- Jane Jacobs’ Death and Life of Great American Cities. Published in 1961, this is still the bible of vibrant urban planning.
- Andres Duany’s The Traditional Neighborhood and Suburban Sprawl provides a good analysis of why suburbs turn out the way they do.
- Transit Oriented Development, from the Victoria’s TDM Encyclopedia.
- 13 points of pedstrian-oriented planning has many good points, but be sure to leaven this overly-concise list with a good understanding of Jacobs’ book.
Also see the survey results page.