andrés duany

andres duany

[miami, fl]

intro’d to Andres via Kiki’s prospect. (prototype a re\wire ..? missing people freed up to be the energy)

new urbanism

march 2014 – lean urbanism:

2:40 – work arounds.. secret knowledge of the older folks.. make that public knowledge… collecting clever work arounds and daylighting them

4:15 – universal building code, and banking systems… 

5 min – california is so regulated – it has the best work arounds

6:30 – we need to level the playing field generationally… if we could just set back the clock to 1974.. for agility to get things done

11 min – humans mitigating… 

branch out to have low tech solutions as well – ie: curtains..

15 min – lean regulation..  could we get young developers again.. could we get small projects again..  (takes so long to get through bureaucracy… might as well get permit for 60 houses rather than 1) – we have exterminated the small developer

city as school ness – iwan baan ness

pink zone… where you can get things done… like berlin in 1990

teddy cruz ness

19 min – city manager took the responsibility – rather than builders… – not dismantling the bureaucracy – but who’s making the decisions.. and helping protect them in that..

this transcends political ideology – rather – common sense

1. linsky – if it isn’t fun – people won’t come to the 2nd meeting..

2. grow in a spiral  – (network) – if you go way wide – you get lots of people asking the same question – which the answer to is – we don’t know yet

controversy is helpful – esp if you’re right… brings attention

29 min – tactical urbanism is a result of the bureaucracy keeping young people from doing things…

31 min – 1 of 7 initiatives is education.. degree toward apprenticing

35 min – decisions are being made at the wrong level ie: if it’s a neighborhood decision and the city makes it – too much debate…

we don’t decide – we decide who should decide…

retrofitting the suburbs – ie: every parking lot is a built in footing.. we have a numerous amt of building sites… code we write – any parking lot as a building site

44 min – could be less interested in smart city – info doesn’t always coincide w/reality (actually empowers more experts.. and disempowers common people)

45 – detroit – use of sm – to get people out in the street when need be

46 min – not about #’s of people anymore – but how you filter



find/follow Andrés:

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Architect, urbanist & author. Founder of .

wikipedia small






Andrés Duany (born September 7, 1949) is an American architect and urban planner.

Duany was born in New York City but grew up in Cuba until 1960. He attended The Choate School and received his undergraduate degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University (1971). After a year of study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, he received a master’s degree from the Yale School of Architecture (1974).

In 1977, Duany was co-founder of the Miami firm Arquitectonica with his wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Laurinda Spear, and Hervin Romney. Arquitectonica became famous for playful Latin-American influenced modernism. The firm’s Atlantis Condominium was featured prominently in the opening credits of Miami Vice.

Duany Plater Zyberk & Company (DPZ) was founded in 1980 in Miami, Florida. DPZ participated in the international movement called the New Urbanism, which seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. The firm first received recognition as the designer of Seaside, Florida and Kentlands, Maryland. It has completed designs and codes for over three hundred new towns, regional plans, and inner-city revitalization projects. He is also a representative of New Classical Architecture.

Duany is a co-founder and emeritus board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), established in 1993. He has co-authored five books:Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, The New Civic Art, “The Smart Growth Manual”, “Garden Cities” and “Landscape Urbanism and Its Discontents”. Duany has worked as visiting professor at many institutions and holds two honorary doctorates.

new urbanism..

wikipedia small

New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes walkable neighborhoods containing a range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gradually informed many aspects of real estate development, urban planning, and municipal land-use strategies.

New Urbanism is strongly influenced by urban design standards that were prominent until the rise of theautomobile in the mid-20th century; it encompasses principles such as traditional neighborhood design (TND) and transit-oriented development (TOD). It is also closely related to regionalism, environmentalism and the broader concept of smart growth. The movement also includes a more pedestrian-oriented variant known as New Pedestrianism, which has its origins in a 1929 planned community in Radburn, New Jersey.


duany plater site

The Transect

DPZ’s plans are often accompanied by Form-Based codes keyed to a Transect, an ordering device adapted by DPZ from the world of science. A geographical cross-section of a selected environment, that helps identify the habitats in which certain plants and animals thrive, the Transect has existed as an analytical tool used by scientists, such as Alexander von Humbolt, as early as the 18th century. As human beings also thrive in different habitats (some would never choose to live in the urban core, and some would wither in a rural place), the Transect can be applied to urban design.

DPZ’s Transect is a master planning tool that guides the placement and form of buildings and landscape, to allocate uses and densities, and to appropriately detail civic spaces, including the selection of tree types and lighting poles for thoroughfares. A model Transect, depicted below, is included in the SmartCode. For simplicity is it divided into six zones, nicknamed “T-Zones”, which increase in intensity of development towards the higher T-zones (T5 and T6) and decrease to the agrarian and then untouched natural condition (T2 and T1). Many human settlements are organized this way, in which the walkable neighborhood with a center and an edge, provides this natural gradient. This can be seen in traditional towns around the world, from those recorded in the ancient scrolls of China to medieval english villages to pre-war american towns, that move from large, rural lots to more compact mixed-use main streets.


written with Jeff Speck and Liz

suburban nation









book links to amazon



notes from suburban nation





I had always been amazed by Andres’s and Lizz’s patience with the Sisyphean task of convincing American communities to make traditional town planning legal again. – Jeff

The desire to short-circuit this Groundhog Day situation finally drove Andres and Lizz, in 1998, to let me write a first draft.

No wonder, then, that what academia found to be too “real-world,” the real world was ready to hear and embrace

today’s students are demanding a return to socially relevant work.

most Americans, who don’t think very often about city planning and who haven’t been offered the alternatives, are still settling for sprawl. Turning that ship around is a project for the next decade

Mixed-use, transit, and walking are words that no longer elicit smirks.

in cities where public transportation was shunned, the lack of it is now a public complaint. The relationship between public health and the design of the built environment has been firmly established, with scientific data supporting the benefits of urban walking as part of a daily routine.

The U.S. Green Building Council has moved beyond rating individual buildings to include entire communities in its new LEED for Neighborhood Development program. Smart Growth America has consolidated environmental and urban agendas to promote compact development.

A growing catalogue of tested techniques and an explosion of scientific studies are extending public awareness and engagement and changing policies around the world

in the past decade, New Urban News has reported on more than six hundred plans for new and renewed walkable communities in the United States and abroad. Each of these projects represents a victory over entrenched regulatory or market hurdles. The appeal of these places—their functionality and the pleasure they give—have swelled the movement.

imagine,,.both land.. and people free. none of us if one of us… ness

Poundbury, in Dorset, England, is probably the best example of an urban extension. It holistically integrates a full range of components missing from many other ambitious developments, including significant amounts of workplace and affordable housing. Like some of its better-known American counterparts, Poundbury stands irrefutable, promising the ultimate sustainability: the permanence that accrues only to places that are loved.

and people are free..

Poundbury, in Dorset, England, is probably the best example of an urban extension. It holistically integrates a full range of components missing from many other ambitious developments, including significant amounts of workplace and affordable housing. Like some of its better-known American counterparts, Poundbury stands irrefutable, promising the ultimate sustainability: the permanence that accrues only to places that are loved.

Social scientists identify three phases in cultural change: first, social marketing; then the removal of existing barriers to change; and finally the enactment of new regulations. Suburban Nation has helped to socially market a change in the way we build. Americans are now well into the subsequent phases of removing barriers and regulating

“What was left out?”

perhaps – the setting people free to carry on..

I find revolution more interesting than administration.

Even the classic American main street, with its mixed-use buildings right up against the sidewalk, is now illegal in most municipalities. Somewhere along the way, through a series of small and well-intentioned steps, traditional towns became a crime in America.

kind of like creativity in school..

A higher standard of living has somehow failed to result in a better quality of life

We live today in cities and suburbs whose form and character we did not choose. They were imposed upon us, by federal policy, local zoning laws, and the demands of the automobile. If these influences are reversed—and they can be—an environment designed around the true needs of individuals, conducive to the formation of community and preservation of the landscape, becomes possible.

Town planning, until 1930 considered a humanistic discipline based upon history, aesthetics, and culture, became a technical profession based upon numbers. As a result, the American city was reduced into the simplistic categories and quantities of sprawl

Every detail of this environment comes straight from technical manuals. After reading them one might easily conclude that they are organized, written, and enforced in the name of a single objective: making cars happy.

the problem with suburbia is not that it is ugly. The problem with suburbia is that, in spite of all its regulatory controls, it is not functional: it simply does not efficiently serve society or preserve the environment

The suburban model does offer one advantage over the neighborhood model: it is much easier to analyze statistically

crazy how much of this sounds like Ed..

In suburbia, there is only one available lifestyle: to own a car and to need it for everything.

Sadly, this shopping center and others like it are examples of the developers following the rules, building such retail the only way it is allowed. Almost every aspect of what is pictured here has been taken straight out of the code books: the size of the sign, the number of spaces in the parking lot, the placement of the lighting fixtures, the thickness of the asphalt, even the precise hue of the yellow stripes between the parking spaces. A considerable amount of time, energy, and care goes into creating an environment that most find unpleasant and tawdry.

There have always been better and worse neighborhoods, and the rich have often taken refuge from the poor, but never with such precision.

In such a Darwinian pecking order—in which each house is sold with bragging rights attached—homeowners are prone to get a bit panicky about the value of the house next door. They fear that if a neighbor chooses the wrong paint color, neglects to mow the lawn, or owns an overweight dog, their own property value will plummet.

The unity of society is threatened not by the use of gates but by the uniformity and exclusivity of the people behind them.

Sharing the same public realm, these people have the opportunity to interact, and thus come to realize that they have little reason to fear each other.

cure violence.. see each other..

Variety may be something to fear when selling houses in an isolated pod, but in a real neighborhood, the more housing types the better. In a neighborhood, people buy the community first and the house second. The more a place resembles an authentic community, the more it is valued, and one hallmark of a real place is variety.

prospect ness

To begin with the obvious, community cannot form in the absence of communal space, without places for people to get together to talk.

pi lab, collab, ..

In the absence of walkable public places—streets, squares, and parks, the public realm—people of diverse ages, races, and beliefs are unlikely to meet and talk.

adjacent possible, betting on the sync

The average American, when placed behind the wheel of a car, ceases to be a citizen and becomes instead a motorist. As a motorist, you cannot get to know your neighbor, because the prevailing relationship is competitive. You are competing for asphalt

walkable cities, colin ward

One of the most important aspects of our new towns is being shaped around an extremely unlikely emergency, with the result that they function inadequately in non-emergency situations.

sounds like protection issue et al, nsa/surveillance ness

Fire departments have yet to acknowledge that fire safety is but a small part of a much larger picture that others refer to as life safety. The biggest threat to life safety is not fires but car accidents, by a tremendous margin. Since the vast majority of fire department emergencies involve car accidents, it is surprising that fire chiefs have not begun to reconsider response time in this light; if they did, narrow streets would logically become the norm in residential areas. In the meantime, the wider streets that fire departments require are indeed quite effective at providing them with quick access to the accidents they help cause

total ed system.. creating cures et al for the ill ness of society – caused by a compulsory mandate of 12+ years.. to not be you..

The second mistake fire departments make is purchasing oversized trucks, vehicles that have trouble maneuvering through anything but the widest of streets. Sometimes these trucks are required by outdated union regulations, but more often they are simply the result of a town’s desire to have the most effective machinery it can afford.ak Unfortunately, a part of a truck’s effectiveness is its ability to reach the fire in the first place. Once purchased, the truck turns from servant to master, making all but the most wasteful and unpleasant street spaces impossible. When a giant truck is the design template, there is no choice but to build streets that are too wide to support pedestrian life

A recent study in Longmont, Colorado, compared fire and traffic injuries in residential neighborhoods served by both narrow and wide roads. Over eight years, the study found no increased fire injury risk from narrow streets, primarily because there were no fire injuries. One serious fire and several smaller fires resulted in property damage only. Meanwhile, in the same eight years, there were 227 automotive accidents resulting in injuries, 10 of them fatal. These accidents correlated most closely to street width, with new thirty-six-foot-wide streets being about four times as dangerous as traditional twenty-four-foot-wide streets.a

the purpose of the Subdivision Guidelines is to enhance safety and livability. Any statements encouraging bicycle use would not likely address these objectives.”an Presumably, we should be grateful that bicycles are still legal. In truth, a number of engineers have accepted more reasonable design standards, but in most cases there is one thing that prevents them from putting those standards into practice: their manuals. Engineers are exposed to substantial liability in their work. The most surefire way for them to avoid losing a lawsuit is to follow the engineering manuals precisely, no questions asked. Because pedestrian-friendly streets are not specified in the manuals, they are simply not possible, despite all the evidence encouraging their use.

Ed ness – blind allegiance to policy

The reaction of most municipalities to speeding has been not to question the standards but simply to post hopeful speed-limit signs, resulting in some rather ludicrous scenarios.

The engineers’ strict adherence to their manuals is actually promising; rather than convincing the engineers to fundamentally rethink their approach, we need only amend the manuals in order to reform the profession.

huge. yes. literally redefine..

“eyes on the street,” a phrase originally coined by Jane Jacobs.ap In order to discourage crime, a street space must be watched over by buildings with doors and windows facing it. Walls, fences, and padlocks are all less effective at deterring crime than a simple lit window.

Jane Jacobs

walkable ness

The single-use zoning system means that many areas are occupied only during certain times of the day. Apparently abandoned, residential subdivisions invite all sorts of misbehavior. Further, the suburban auto orientation means that few people are ever out walking, and nothing undermines the perception of safety more than being alone. It is a vicious circle: the less safe streets feel, the fewer people walk, and the less safe they become

like Peter Gray explaining why kids – when given freedom don’t go outside… most other kids aren’t free.. and so outside. so they are more connected to a community inside on computer, than outside alone. Peter said in some survey – 80% ish would prefer to be outside if there were others out there…

so a big piece to the sync – setting people free

Like narrow streets, alleys are often illegal in suburban jurisdictions and must be reintroduced with care—and sometimes by stealth. The first time that we designed a neighborhood with alleys, we had to label them “jogging paths” to get them approved

As Jane Jacobs put it: “Almost nobody travels willingly from sameness to sameness and repetition to repetition, even if the physical effort required is trivial.

How obvious and damaging does an error need to be before it is addressed and corrected?

Jane Jacobs may have answered this question in The Death and Life of Great American Cities: “The pseudo-science of planning seems almost neurotic in its determination to imitate empiric failure and ignore empiric success.

fractal ness

The ramifications are quite unsettling. Almost all of the billions of dollars spent on road-building over the past decades have accomplished only one thing, which is to increase the amount of time that we must spend in our cars each day

According to Fannie Mae, Americans prefer a good community to a good house by a margin of three to one.

The difference is one of density, not of organization; in fact, one of the great virtues of traditional urbanism is that increased density only makes it work better

This brings up a second factor determining a city’s health: whether the suburbs take a form that will accommodate public transit

the only urban form that efficiently accommodates mass transit is the neighborhood, with its mixed-use center and its five-minute-walk radius.

If transit is to work, its users must start as pedestrians.

An entire discipline called regional planning—about which very much is known and very little is put into practice—has emerged to address this reality.

Only at the regional scale can planning have a meaningful impact

region: globe

The absence of regional vision plagues neighborhood-oriented planners, especially in sprawling cities like Atlanta. They move heaven and earth to secure dozens of zoning variances and rewrite the engineering regulations, all in order to build walkable mixed-use neighborhoods. Yet, even with the improved lifestyle offered by these communities, it is impossible to go anywhere else without a car. Only when these neighborhoods are linked to a regional transit system will the broader world become truly accessible.

and global transit

The difficulty in establishing a regional planning authority derives primarily from the fact that few municipal bodies exist at the regional scale. Cities are too small, states are too big, and county lines are ignored under the creep of sprawl. Of the few significant regional planning authorities, most were put together to address single problems—environmental crises, usually—that are only incidentally of regional concern.

so now – 15+ yrs later – gobal

But regional-scale social and economic problems are less quantifiable and have yet to receive recognition, let alone resources. And the idea of establishing an additional layer of government within the federal/state/county/town hierarchy is hardly popular.

narrative for 100% of humanity – going there…

1. Admit that growth will occur. The first step of any recovery program is to acknowledge that a problem exists. In regional planning as well, it is a form of denial to presume that urban expansion can be stopped. No-growth movements, when successful, last for only one or two political generations, and often serve as an excuse to avoid planning entirely. When they are eventually reversed, as they inevitably are, growth quickly resumes in its worst form.

The social inequity that results from separating new development from old deterioration can be addressed only by governments working in concert. Since governments prefer absolute political autonomy, there is little motivation for them to do so.

2. Establish a permanent Countryside Preserve. One of the most disastrous consequences of sprawl is the way that it consumes the farmlands and wilderness surrounding populated areas. Cities and towns that were once able to satisfy their food needs locally no longer can; indeed, a brief breakdown in our transportation infrastructure would quickly demonstrate how far we have drifted from self-sufficiency

This official, rather than creating bureaucratic friction, would be charged with walking the project through an accelerated process

The greatest mistake the planners of the sixties and seventies made was to try to save the city by turning it into the suburb. Their approach could not have been worse. The future of the city lies in becoming more citylike, more pedestrian-friendly, more intense, more urban, more urbane

The key to active street life is creating a twenty-four-hour city, with neighborhoods so diverse in their use that they are inhabited around the clock

The faceless bureaucracy of a large city tends to become accessible and responsive if it is broken down into neighborhood-scale increments.

It is difficult to count the number of cities that have been extensively damaged by kowtowing to the demands of the automobile

Often, for such ventures to be successful, fledgling businesses must be allowed to occupy older buildings without upgrading fully to code. Farmers’ markets located in old or temporary quarters, such as in West Hollywood or Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal, are almost always effective in energizing their downtowns.

To encourage urban pioneers, cities must be prepared to bend the rules a little. Zoning that prohibits housing in commercial and industrial areas—often largely empty and therefore affordable—must be replaced with a mixed-use classification.


For example, the BYOS (bring your own sheetrock) unit should be legalized, and developers should be able to get certificates of occupancy for apartments that are habitable but as yet unfinished. Otherwise, urban living will be affordable only to those who have no desire to live there

baan ness

city planning and building departments must be encouraged to see themselves as an enabling staff rather than a regulatory staff.

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. —HENRY DAVID THOREAU, WALDEN (1854)

the neighborhood cop, on foot or on bicycle, can get to know neighborhood residents and visitors and develop a personal relationship with the adolescents of the neighborhood

designers, we sometimes forget that the best way to make lasting change is often to identify and act upon the policies that make good design impossible to implement

it is wisest to keep the old code intact, while offering the new code as a parallel alternative. It would be optional, but made attractive by an accelerated permitting process.

One might posit that it is precisely because there is no process for public participation at the regional scale that such projects are often successfully opposed by local residents

Those issues which can be handled effectively only at a regional level—transportation, environmental quality, water and waste management, social services, affordable housing, economic development, higher education, etc.—must be addressed comprehensively, so that individual cities and towns no longer have to struggle with them alone or, worse yet, in competition

ecosystem—must be considered, by the scale of its time, a regional plan. Today,

today – global

Those concerned about the future of their urban region will work to establish metropolitan planning agencies, even if only for economic reasons. As work—especially well-paid work—becomes increasingly independent of place, those cities which lack a healthy regional organization will gradually lose their most productive residents to places that offer shorter commutes, cleaner air, and easier access to both nature and culture.

Over time, the success or failure of these pioneer states in fighting sprawl will show other states which model is worth emulating.

and/unless the sync needed is all levels… globe to atom… ness – ni

The most promising solution may be New Jersey’s recently initiated “tough love” incentive program, in which cities and towns must practice smart growth in order to receive state funding for infrastructure and education.

or not..

By mistaking mobility for accessibility, they undermine the viability of both new and old places by focusing entirely on moving cars through them.

By mistaking mobility for accessibility, they undermine the viability of both new and old places by focusing entirely on moving cars through them. The result—already well documented—is a landscape lacking in destinations worth getting to

Ed ness

Florida has begun to address this phenomenon by refusing to fund the construction of new highways containing more than three non-car-pool lanes in either direction. As a result, in congested cities such as Miami, some transportation funds are now flowing to public transit

If they wish to play a role in the creation of healthy communities, state D.O.T.s must come to view transportation policy as an integral component of a regional land use plan, not just as an autonomous problem with a financial solution.

Unlike education and policing, fields in which more funding may produce better results, increased highway funding consistently makes traffic worse

ha. or so much the same … we’re missing the fractal ness

Of course, if state transportation departments cannot be reformed, they can be overruled

#mockingjay ness

Tax credit programs, in their well-intentioned effort to protect public moneys, enforce criteria that are antithetical to the creation of neighborhoods

many states require unjustifiably oversized building sites, and as a result schools become neighborhood separators rather than community centers.dq

some states have passed laws allowing cities and towns to allocate tax credits or abatements for historic properties. Other states are permitting municipalities to tax land at a higher rate than buildings—“site—value taxation”—to discourage demolitions and land speculation, and to encourage construction where it might ordinarily occur last

if we tax cigarettes to pay for anti-smoking ads, we can certainly tax gasoline to pay for trolleys.

After decades of government policies that seem to have been dedicated to the building business rather than to building communities, we have much to change.

Growth cannot be stopped; it never has been. The only hope is to shape it into a more benevolent form, the neighborhood

Planners and other professionals are specialists who, when left to themselves, distort the issues. Only generalists can be trusted to offer reasonable advice. • The role of the generalist must be played by citizens, but citizens can forfeit that role by becoming the specialists of their own backyard.

The immediate challenge, however, is not to convince people to support community but to confirm what they already know in their hearts:

yes .. that. so doable/accessible .. if we remember/focus on the message/narrative/means that is already. written on each heart. to find that? time and space and permission – to talk to self… how to be you via literally redefine.. via people experiment


june 2013

Seven 50 Workshop with Andres Duany



living spaces

city ness