Thursday, March 11, 2010

They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore

Source: Google Maps Street View

Surprise! I'm in New York again. Harlem, to be precise, on the long narrow island with a billion subways and more density than you can shake a stick at: Manhattan.

Look at this picture. You aren't allowed to build this in most places in America. There's no off-street parking. Most cities require a certain number of spaces per housing unit and per 1,000 square feet of retail space. These buildings have no parking, but they're close to lots of stores and subways.

Five stories of walkup apartments over stores on the major streets and commercial adjacent on the residential streets. This is how we used to roll in America. The legacy of this building pattern is a big part of the reason why in this city, 55% of workers go to work on transit and 10% of them walk (2006-08 ACS).

Those aren't typos, they're facts. Urban form is a HUGE factor in how people choose to move around.

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