CSUS “housing village” project

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:

  1. Jane Jacobs’ Death and Life of Great American Cities. Published in 1961, this is still the bible of vibrant urban planning.
  2. Denver’s Transit Oriented Development page has some good points, although it has an irritating graphic which makes the page “jump” every few seconds. (Possibly this could be stopped by turning off graphics or disabling JavaScript?)
  3. Andres Duany’s The Traditional Neighborhood and Suburban Sprawl provides a good analysis of why suburbs turn out the way they do.
  4. Transit Oriented Development, from the Victoria’s TDM Encyclopedia.
  5. 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.

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to CSUS “housing village” project

  1. Pingback: SonicChicken weblog » Blog Archive » CSUS housing survey results not viewable

  2. I fear they will price staff out of the market for this project. Concern for staff welfare has never seemed to be a priority at CSUS. . .

    Most of the staff responding to the survey were the Unit 7 people who are some of the lowest-paid employees on campus. I hope that is kept in mind whilst this is planned. It’s nice to throw in a bunch of shiny features on this project, but it makes little sense to cater-to and subsidize the people who can already afford to live in a decent place somewhere else.

    Maybe I’m a pessimist. . . I’d love to be proven wrong though. The housing costs should reflect the financial demographics of the campus workforce as a whole.

  3. Harold says:

    I am getting the feeling that the project will not be affordable to the empolyee
    that find them self in lower end of pay scales. Like so many of SAC State staff find them self.

  4. Rich says:

    I have to admit that I’m pessimistic, too. I think that staff will get the short end of the stick again.

  5. jim says:

    Subsidized housing (which is what this project is supposedly about) is always tricky to implement. As far as I know the only way to achieve any degree of “fairness” involves means-testing, which many people find objectable. I do remember that the city planning folks were pretty well-informed about strategies for implementing this back in the 80’s, when the Granite Park area (southeast of light rail and Power Inn) was about to be developed.

  6. Pingback: SonicChicken weblog » Blog Archive » CSUS Bulletin article on University Village

  7. Pingback: SonicChicken weblog » Blog Archive » 65th Street Transit Village

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *