PI a nnia;; for _T hi id Ring Residential Neigh bo r hop;
* Program for Phfsxeal Planning aadan
P] lea lion to a Deny e r__ Nei ghbor hood
A Thesis for fulfilling the Requirements for a Masters in
Planning and Community Development. College of Design aad Planning University of Colorado at Denver Fall 1986
Jennifer T. Sebesta
Dr- David R. Hill
Dr David R. Hill Dr. Thomas A. Clark G e o x g e E1 a r; k e it a h i p
Planning for Third Ring Residential Neighborhoods:
A Program for Physical Planning and an
Application to a Denver Neighborhood
A Thesis for fulfilling the Requirements for a Master:; in
Planning and Community Development College of Design and Planning University of Colorado at Denver Fall 1986
Jennifer T. Sebesta Advisor
Dr. David R. Hill Board
Dr. David R. Hill Dr. Thomas A. Clark George Blankenship
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS....................................................iii
LIST OF TABLES...........................................................iv
I. INTRODUCTION ......................................................... 1
Problem Statement .................................................. 1
Thesis ............................................................. 3
Organization ....................................................... 5
Methodology and Evidence ........................................... 7
Scope and Limits of the Study........................................8
II. EXISTING CONDITIONS OF THE PLATTE PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ................. 10
Socioeconomic Issues .............................................. 28
Problems and Opportunities ........................................ 32
III. STANDARDS FOR GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING..............................34
Classical Neighborhood Prototypes ................................. 34
Clarence Perry ................................................ 37
Victor Gruen .................................................. 43
Suzanne Keller ................................................ 46
Classical Neighborhood Prototypes vs. Platte Park ............. 48
Classical Neighborhood Prototypes Conclusion .................. 49
Existing Neighborhood Conditions .................................. 52
Existing Suburban ............................................. 53
Existing Urban ................................................ 60
Comparisons and Conclusions ................................... 64
Changing Demographic Trends and Responding Neighborhood Changes 66
Single Parents ................................................ 71
Working Women/Dual Career Families ............................ 73
III. STANDARDS FOR GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING CONT.
Neighborhood Program .............................................. 77
Neighborhood Layout and Land Use................................78
Housing and Density.............................................80
Community Facilities and Services ............................. 84
Parks and Recreation............................................85
Streets and Alleys..............................................87
IV. PLATTE PARK NEIGHBORHOOD PROGRAM .................................... 89
Layout of Platte Park...........................................90
Neighborhood Center ........................................... 92
High Density Ring...............................................98
Low and Mid-Density Rings......................................100
Parks and Recreation...........................................101
Streets and Alleys.............................................102
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
2A Denver-Metro Area....................................................11
2B Platte Park Neighborhood Street Map.................................12
2C Platte Park Traffic Counts..........................................15
2D Platte Park RTD Bus Routes..........................................17
2E Platte Park and Surrounding Area; Community Facilities ............ 18
2F Platte Park Elementary School Districts ........................... 20
2G Platte Park Zoning Map..............................................26
3A Robert Whitten's Plan Based on Clarence Perry's Ideas ............. 40
3B Arthur C. Holden's Plan Based on Clarence Perry's Ideas ........... 42
3C Victor Gruen's City Concept ....................................... 45
3D Neighborhood Program Conceptualization ............................. 81
4A Platte Park Neighborhood Program .................................. 91
4B Platte Park Neighborhood Program: Commercial Core ................. 94
4C Platte Park Neighborhood Program: Community Facilities
4D Platte Park Neighborhood Program: Housing Relationships ........... 99
4E Platte Park Neighborhood Program: Transportation...................103
LIST OF TABLES
2A Platte Park Traffic Counts............................................14
2B Ethnic Distribution of Pupils, 1985 22
2C School Enrollment ................................................... 22
2D Platte Park 1978 Net Land Use.........................................27
2E Platte Park Age Distribution..........................................29
3A Area Relations of Robert Whitten's Neighborhood Plan ................ 39
3B Neighborhood Prototypes Comparisons ................................. 51
3C Southbridge Land Use, Acres, Density and Dwelling Units ....... 56
3D Age Projections for the United States.................................67
3E Neighborhood Program Land Use.........................................80
3F Neighborhood Program Density and Dwelling Units .................... 83
4A Platte Park Neighborhood Program Land Use, Acres, and Density ... 92
This thesis deals with the future development of third ring neighborhoods. The future of the third ring neighborhood plays an important part in the future of the city of Denver and the whole metropolitan community, because of the vast amount of area that these neighborhoods occupy. This paper will develop a program that will enhance the importance of such neighborhoods and help them prepare for the future.
Third ring neighborhoods, though they are a large part of Denver's neighborhoods, are often neglected in planning efforts. Part of the neglect is due to emphasis on other neighborhoods that have serious problems, but the fact is Denver's third ring neighborhoods do have a variety of problems and they should not be neglected and left to get worse.
Many of Denver's third ring neighborhoods are located in the commuting lanes. Often traffic from the suburbs to downtown flows right through the hearts of these neighborhoods. Another problem that third ring neighborhoods have is the lack of neighborhood organizations to help the neighborhood and its residents. Many of the neighborhoods create neighborhood organizations when faced with a crisis, but many disband when the crisis has been solve. Third ring neighborhoods also compete with suburban neighborhoods that are
often newer, cheaper, and better organized. This competition may result in the third ring residents being the next part of the city to make a mass exodus into the suburbs, leaving the neighborhoods to decline and become problem areas. Third ring neighborhoods are assumed to be stable and healthy, but they have aging structures and infrastructure, and if not carefully watched they may begin to decline and start the downswing of the neighborhoods.
The third ring neighborhoods have many opportunities and positive factors that can be built upon for the future. Most of the neighborhoods are strategically located for commuting to either the downtown or to the new outer employment centers. Many of the neighborhoods are serviced adequately by mass transit and are located where rapid transit would be most likely to serve. Theses neighborhoods are also decentralized enough to fit in easily with the automobile patterns of today. The neighborhoods are already established and have mature landscaping and a variety of architecture that only can evolve over time. Many of the residents have lived in the area for a long time and may tend to be less transient neighbors than those found in the suburbs. Also, because the area has been around for awhile, taxes are lower as infrastructure such as streets has already been paid for.
Building on these strengths and concentrating on alleviating the problems, Denver can take an offensive approach to make these fairly solid neighborhoods remain in existence and be better for the future, instead of taking the defense and just fixing those that are broken.
In looking towards the future of third ring neighborhoods, planning efforts should take into account the problems that exist in current development at the level of the city as a whole. Denver, being developed
during the automobile age, has sprawled out both in residential and employment development. This pattern of growth has resulted in traffic congestion and pollution problems. Unless there is a reconcentration of people and/or employment centers, a rapid transit system will never be feasible or be of service to a large population. Planning for the future of third ring neighborhoods should take this into account.
New demographic trends should also be studied in the planning for third ring neighborhoods. Increasing divorces, more people choosing to remain single, working parents, and an aging population have all created new needs in housing, services, and neighborhood development, that may not be adequately provided in the typical single family development. These trends need to be taken into account when planning for neighborhood development in third ring neighborhoods.
The physical planning of third ring neighborhoods is an important part of the functioning of American cities and the City of Denver. A neighborhood physical plan program can be developed that will help to strengthen these important third ring neighborhoods. This can best be accomplished by building the program based on the neighborhood's strengths and opportunities, by minimizing problems, by applying research findings of the desireable parts of existing neighborhoods, and by analyzing their future needs. Research and the application of this research to third ring neighborhoods can create a viable neighborhood for the future.
Responsible planning for the future of these neighborhoods includes conducting research into the existing neighborhood conditions, both suburban
and urban, looking at the changing trends are and what they will mean for the future of neighborhoods, and examining what past neighborhood prototypes have been developed and their influence on neighborhood development. If these third ring urban neighborhoods are going to accommodate the future needs of the residents and the city, evolutionary planning must begin today before problems within the third ring neighborhoods get worse. This thesis will explore this realm and develop a neighborhood concept that will produce viable third ring neighborhoods for the future.
A neighborhood is a logical planning unit. People who live on one side of a neighborhood are near enough to the other side to care about what occurs. People can identify with a smaller area easier than they can an entire city. Once a neighborhood has been built and been established for a number of years, it should not be forgotten. Metropolitan wide demographic, economic, and many other changes occur that will effect the neighborhood. Neighborhoods must also evolve and change as their surrounding area and inhabitants change. A neighborhood is a dynamic area that will change and if it is going to change for the better some guidance is needed.
Many studies in the past have dealt with neighborhoods that have been blighted. This study will look at a fairly stable neighborhood and develop a future concept for the area that will incorporate the desireable parts of the suburban and urban environments for the individual, but at the same time create an environment that is good for society. What an individual desires is not necessarily what is good for society. Many increasing societal needs such as potential for mass transit to reduce air pollution, less segregation of income and ages, and community feeling and support will be incorporated into the neighborhood.
The end result of the study will not only be a future plan for Denver's Platte Park neighborhood, but a concept that could be applied to a variety of neighborhoods in the future. Population will continue to grow, and cities like Denver will continue to sprawl unless there are changes to the existing internal areas. This thesis will try to find those changes that need to occur.
The next section of this paper, chapter two, will look at the existing conditions of Platte Park, a typical Denver third ring neighborhood that will be used as the study neighborhood. Platte Park is a neighborhood that was generally built in the 1920's and is still a fairly stable neighborhood. It is located approximately four miles from the Central Business District of Denver. The boundaries are Mississippi Avenue and 1-25 on the north, Evans Avenue on the south, Broadway on the west and Downing Street on the east. This chapter will look at the existing economic and demographic conditions of the area, the trends of the neighborhood, and the future for the neighborhood without the new neighborhood plan.
The third chapter will develop standards and design to be used for future neighborhoods. Ideal neighborhood prototypes that have been developed by the "theorists" will be reviewed. Suburban and urban neighborhood planning will be examined to see what the focus of each is, if it occurs in reality, and what the residents of these neighborhoods find desireable and undesirable. Lastly, changes in demographic trends will be examined and what implications these changes have on the neighborhood. Literature that has been written about neighborhoods by Jane Jacobs, Clarence Perry, Victor
Gruen, and Susan Keller, will be reviewed for what they feel are the good and bad points of today's neighborhoods. Their literature will also be examined for what they feel the ideal neighborhood should be and why. This will show where the emphasis has been in the past on neighborhood planning.
The second section of this chapter will look at existing urban and suburban neighborhoods. It will examine the focus for the neighborhoods by the suburban and urban planning offices. Sample neighborhoods will then be looked at to see if the planning policy and goals of the city are being enforced and met by the actual neighborhoods. Also, residents of these neighborhoods will be inspected to see what they like and dislike about their suburban and urban neighborhoods. This section will lay the frame work of what individuals want in a neighborhood.
The third section of this chapter will look at how demographic trends are changing and how they are affecting different aspects of the neighborhood such as housing, transportation, schools, recreation, shopping, services, and facilities. This section will examine the societal needs of a neighborhood.
The last section of chapter three will look at the three different ideas on neighborhoods, the classical prototypes' views, the existing situation, and the changing demographic trends, and will then develop a new physical plan concept for third ring neighborhoods. This concept will be the framework that will be applied to the study neighborhood.
The fourth chapter will develop a neighborhood design and concept for Platte Park. This will take the framework that was developed in chapter three and apply it to Platte Park. The result will be a neighborhood plan that will incorporate an ideal for the future. The plan will include both physical design and idea concepts for the area. The plan of Platte Park will
be one that could be developed in the future from existing conditions. Methodology and Evidence
The methodology used in this thesis will be to first examine the existing ideas, conditions, and trends of neighborhoods, identify the pros and cons of these, and then develop a neighborhood concept that will be applied to an actual neighborhood in Denver.
The second chapter will use a variety of data sources for evidence of the existing situation in the Platte Park neighborhood. Sources will include census materials, previous planning studies, published sources, and observation of the neighborhood. The background information on Platte Park will be collected and then the trends of the area will be looked at, based on the existing conditions and assuming no drastic changes.
The third chapter will use different types of evidence for each of its sections. The first section on the classical prototypes' ideas will be a review of some of the existing literature on problems and ideals of neighborhoods. The second section on the existing urban and suburban neighborhoods will look at actual city neighborhood plans, neighborhoods in the suburb of Littleton, Colorado and the Denver urban area, advertisements of how people sell a neighborhood, and interviews with people who live in the urban and suburban environments. The third section on the changing demographic trends will use census materials, projections, and other studies to examine the changing trends in society that affect the neighborhood structure. The last section in this chapter will take all of the evidence presented in the beginning of the chapter and develop a neighborhood concept, using professional judgement methodology.
The fourth chapter will take the neighborhood concept and develop a plan for the Platte Park neighborhood. The evidence will be based on the previous parts of this study. The methodology will be to take each existing part of the neighborhood and from the neighborhood concept, develop a new plan using professional judgement, for Platte Park, or leave the present plan if it is sufficient.
Scope and Limits of the Study
This paper will do the research that is required for evolutionary neighborhood planning. It will look at the neighborhood prototypes and their influences on today's neighborhoods. It will look at what exists in the urban and suburban neighborhood planning, what this means to actual neighborhoods, and the reactions of the neighbors to their neighborhoods. It will also research the changing trends and what the new demographic situation will mean for the future of the neighborhoods. Then based on this research a neighborhood concept can be developed and applied to existing neighborhoods and make them a viable neighborhood.
The major limitation of this paper is that it only explores neighborhood development for third ring neighborhoods on the conceptual level. It does not look at the implementation in terms of economic, political, legal, zoning application, or at the community development process. It sets up the frame work and applies it theoretically to a neighborhood without exploring all of the ramifications of the implementation of such a plan.
Other limitations of this paper are due to time and the vast amount of outside influences that a neighborhood experiences. Only four neighborhood prototype planning theorists will be looked at. There are many more that have had an influences on neighborhood development. Those that were chosen
have been examined to obtain a variety of different "schools" views. In examining the existing neighborhoods, the plans for neighborhood planning were reviewed, but only the Platte Park neighborhood and others were examined if they met the goals and policies of the planning. There are many other types of neighborhoods within the city of Denver that were not looked at. This is also true in the suburban neighborhoods. Research was only conducted in one city, Littleton, and one neighborhood was looked at as representative of current suburban neighborhood planning. There were many other suburban neighborhoods that were not examined.
The Platte Park neighborhood was chosen because it is easily observed and not because it is a typical third ring neighborhood, though it is fairly representative. The final limitation is that the program was chosen by professional judgement and thus could be interpreted differently as could the application of the program to Platte Park.
Existing Conditions of the Platte Park Neighborhood
The purpose of this chapter is to conduct a neighborhood analysis of the existing conditions of the Platte Park neighborhood. It will examine the location of the area in regards to the surrounding communities and activities, the history of the area, the built environment such as; streets, transportation, public facilities, land use and zoning, and the socioeconomic issues. The chapter will then look at the trends of the area and what problems and opportunities these trends present. This will be used as the base to which the program developed later in this thesis will be applied.
Platte Park is an area of approximately 530 acres located 3.5 miles south of downtown Denver. It is bounded on the north by Mississippi Avenue and Interstate 25, on the south by Evans Avenue, the west by Broadway, and on the east by Downing Street The area is generally residential with a few areas of commercial and business activity, especially along Broadway, Pearl Street, and Evans Avenue Figure 2A gives the location of Platte Park in respects to the rest of the Denver metropolitan area, and Figure 2B gives a street map of the area.
NEIGHBORHOOD STREET MAP
History of Platte Park^
Platte Park was originally incorporated as part of the town of South Denver in 1886 which was created to restrict the saloons that were threatening the neighborhoods. James Fleming was the only mayor of the area and resided at Grant Street and Florida Avenue in a house that is now a designated Denver landmark.
The Town of South Denver was annexed by Denver in 1894. Platt Park, an existing park, was the center of South Denver. The park was named after Colonel James H. Platt who was the founder of the Platt Paper Company. Platte Park neighborhood, with an "e", named itself in 1860 either misspelling Col. Platt's name or after the Platte River. Many of the original settlers were part of a large Dutch community.
Streets and Traffic
Platte Park has a variety of types of streets, especially around its borders. It is mainly bound on the north side by Interstate 1-25, which is a major thoroughfare through the city of Denver and runs north-south through Colorado and other states. Broadway is a four lane road plus parking that bounds the neighborhood on the western edge and is a street that is lined by commercial establishments, mostly antique stores. Downing Street is the eastern border of the area and is fairly busy due to Washington Park which is just north of Louisiana Avenue. Evans Avenue is a four lane road and is the
l-City of Denver, Planning Department, West University Community Analysis (Denver, CO, December, 1979), pp. 3-6. The history in this paper was developed from this document. The history in the West University Community Analysis was prepared by Joan McCarthy a resident of the Washington Park Area.
southern boundary of Platte Park. It is a mixture of commercial and residential. It is currently under going major construction for the installation of new sewer and water lines.
On the inner streets, Logan Street and Louisiana Avenue are wider
streets that carry some of the heavier volumes of traffic. Washington Street
and Emerson Street were a pair of one way streets until April of this year.
Neighborhood groups had been trying to convert the streets for the last
decade and finally succeeded. Volumes along these roads are still fairly
heavy as commuters have not found alternative routes yet. The speed limits
in the area are generally 25 miles per hour. The other streets are mostly
used by residential traffic. Pearl Street, which has several blocks of
commercial development and a movie theater, has heavier traffic and is also a
bus route. The following table gives a traffic count for the area. Figure 2C
shows the locations and volumes of these traffic counts. Each count was for
a twenty-four hour time period. The first one was done in 1981 by the State
Highway Department. The counts in January and May of 1986 were counts done Table 2-a
Traffic Counts of Platte Park; 1981, January 1986, and May 1986
1981 Jan 1986 May 1986
Washington N. of Evans 3,250 1,638 1,765
Emerson N. of Evans 1,100 937 1,615
Pearl N. of Iowa N/A 2,282 3,080
Logan N. of Evans 8,300 9,824 N/A
Logan S. of Louisiana 9,400 8,007 N/A
Downing N. of Jewel N/A 14,551 N/A
Downing N. of 1-25 15,000 N/A N/A
Downing S. of 1-25 12,200 N/A N/A
Downing N. of Asbury 12,000 N/A N/A
Louisiana W. of Logan 5,850 N/A N/A
Louisiana W. of Downing 5,250 N/A N/A
Source: State Traffic Report 1981, Denver Department of Public Works
by the City of Denver Traffic Department with concern of the conversion of the one way streets of Washington Street and Emerson Street into two way Streets.
The Platte Park area is well served by the Rapid Transit District (RTD). Routes run on the periphery streets of Broadway, Evans Avenue, and Downing Street The routes also take buses through the neighborhood on Louisiana Avenue, Pearl Street, and Iowa Avenue Anyone within the area can walk less than five blocks and catch a bus into downtown Denver. Service at rush hour is very good. None of the buses that cross the interior of the neighborhood run out of downtown later than 8:00 in the evening. This makes it hard for the residents to enjoy the night-life in the downtown area without driving or walking many blocks in the dark to their home. The Evans Avenue and Downing Street buses both run until 11:00 P.M. and the Broadway bus runs until 1:30 in the morning. Figure 2D shows the different bus routes through Platte Park.
This section deals with the public facilities in the area. These include schools, parks and recreation, community centers, police and fire stations, libraries, and also churches. Figure 2E shows where all of the public facilities are located.
Platte Park has one elementary school, McKinley-Thatcher, and one junior high school, Grant Middle School, located within its borders. Students of the area also attend Rosedale Elementary school located just to the south of the area, Asbury Elementary located just to the east of Platte Park, and South High School which is several blocks east of Platte Park (see figure 2f). Some busing does occur within the neighborhood.
Asbury Elementary School is located at 1320 E. Asbury Avenue It houses grades kindergarten through third and it is paired with Whitter Elementary School in north-central Denver at 2480 Downing. The pairing indicates that student residents in the area are bussed to Whitter for grades fourth through sixth. At Asbury there are eighteen teachers^ and 328 students. The School has a capacity of 383 students.3 The school was originally called Evanston School and was built in 1925 and had an addition built in 1948.
McKinley-Thatcher Elementary School is located at 1230 S. Grant Street It has grades kindergarten through sixth. McKinley-Thatcher students who live in the area are not bussed outside of the area for any of the seven years, but there are other children from other areas that are bussed into the school. McKinley-Thatcher was built in 1972 and consolidated the attendance of McKinley and Thatcher Elementary Schools. It was the first school in the Denver district to be built with solar collectors. There are 17 teachers and
^Denver Public Schools Directory, 1985-86, School District #1. All of the information on the number of teachers in this section is from this source.
3 Denver Public Schools; Summary Report of Pupil Membership, September Reports (except 1970 May report). All of the information regarding enrollment and student capacity, unless noted, in this section is from this source.
279 students. The school has a capacity of 305 students.
Rosedale Elementary School is located out of the Platte Park neighborhood just to the south at 2330 S. Sherman Street It houses grades kindergarten and fourth through sixth and is paired with Fairview in west Denver at 2715 W. 11th Avenue There are 16 teachers and 229 students. The capacity of Rosedale is 285 Students. Rosedale was build in 1924 and had an addition in 1950.
Grant Middle School is located at 1751 S. Washington Street It has grades seven and eight. The residents of the area are not bussed to other middle schools, but some of the students are bussed in from outside th$ area. All of the neighborhood attends Grant Middle School. There are 31 teachers and an enrollment of 409 students. The capacity of the school is 763 students. Grant Middle School was originally locate at the corner of S. Washington Street and E. Colorado Avenue and was named for President Grant. It has housed all grades at some time. In 1919 it was both Grant Middle School and South High School. In 1926 the high school moved to its current location. In 1952 Grant Middle School moved to its current location.
South High School is located west of the area at 1700 E. Louisiana Avenue All of the high school students of the area attend South High School. There are 77 teachers to teach the 1338 ninth trough twelfth graders. The School is well below its capacity of 1724 students. The school was originally housed in the old Grant Middle School and moved to its current location in 1926 with an addition to the building in 1963.
Table 2-b Shows the 1985-86 ethnic distribution of the schools. Table 2-c shows the past trends in enrollment. The elementary schools had a peak enrollment in 1982, yet enrollment is far below the 1970's enrollment which
Ethnic Distribution of Pupils, 1985
Race Asbury McK/That Rosedale Grant South
Amer. Indian 3 3 6 4 15
Black 121 66 9 137 281
Oriental 11 10 4 2 43
Spanish 37 67 124 152 232
Anglo/Other 132 133 86 114 767
Total 328 279 229 409 1338
Source: Denver Public Schools; Summary Reports of Estimated Ethnic
Distributions of Pupils, Sept. 1985.
Table 2-c Enrollment
Enrollment Asbury McK/That Rosedale Grant South
1985 328 279 229 409 1338
1984 361 279 244 452 926
1983 362 259 229 457 2024
1982 374 287 258 443 1449
1981 335 183 221 407 1081
1980 285 199 239 395 1082
1975 237 286 303 504 1718
1970 621 616 463 876 2236
Source: Denver Public Schools; Summary Report of Pupil Membership,
September Reports (except 1970 May report)
was high at the end of the baby boom era. The Middle School and High School had recent peak enrollments in 1983.
There is one private school in the Platte Park neighborhood, the Denver Waldorf School. The school teaches grades pre-school through eighth and has an emphasis on education through art.
Water and Sewers
The only problem that Platte Park has with its sewers is that the land
is so flat it is hard to get any water to run off the streets and flooding
does occur. Flooding was a very serious problem in the area until Harvard Gulch was built to the south of the neighborhood. Broadway has a large, fairly new storm sewer, and Evans just had one installed earlier this year. The rest of the area has an older smaller system that seems to be adequate for the area.
Parks and Recreation
There is only one developed park in Platte Park neighborhood which is
Platt Park. It is a small 3.7 acre park that has a playground, a large
unmarked grass area, horseshoes, and a basketball area. The park has benches and big old trees and is enjoyed by all age groups. Adjacent to the Park is the Sarah Platt Decker Library and a Senior Center that is located in the old Fleming Mansion. Many of the neighbors do not feel that this is sufficient open space for the area.
Just outside the neighborhood there are many recreational opportunities. Washington Park which is well known for its bicycling and its ponds, is located four blocks east of the area at Downing Street and Louisiana Avenue and runs north to Virginia Avenue Harvard Gulch is another park that is located three blocks south of the area at Wesley Avenue between Logan Street and Ogden Street. Harvard gulch has several playing fields and a golf course associated with its activities. Both Washington Park and Harvard Gulch have recreation centers that have many different types of activities from aerobic classes to arts and crafts. Washington Park has a swimming pool.
Many people enjoy running and biking on the streets of the neighborhood. Designated bike routes include Pearl Street and Louisiana Street in the neighborhood and the Platt River Greenway with a bike path is located west of the area along Sante Fe Drive.
The only community center within the boundaries of the neighborhood is the Platt Park Seniors Center at Grant Street and Florida Avenue The center is open to people over 50. It provides a place for the many seniors of the area to meet, take classes, and maintain good health.
Outside the area there is the Washington Park Community Center that is located north of the area at Ohio Avenue and Washington Street The center offers everything from pre-school classes and field trips for children, to art classes and dance classes for adults, to lunches and discussions for the seniors.
Police and Fire Protection
Platte Park is protected by Police District #4 which is located at West Florida Avenue and Federal Blvd, approximately two miles west of the neighborhood. The station handles the area west of Downing Street and south of 6th Avenue The Platte Park area has a fairly low crime rate.
The area is located in the Denver Fire Station #16 area. It is located in the neighborhood at S. Ogden Street and Iowa Avenue The station will conduct fire prevention inspections and will inspect bicycles.
The Sarah Platt Decker Branch Library is located at Logan Street and Florida Avenue It is adjacent to Platt Park. The building is English Tudor in design and was designed after the home of William Shakespeare's wife. It has been open since 1913 and was designated a Denver City Landmark in 1984.
Platte Park has a wide variety of churches within the boundaries of the neighborhood. There is the Bethel Baptist Church (Conservative) at 1801 S. Logan Street, the Cameron United Methodist Church at 1600 S. Pearl Street, the First Christian Reformed Church at 1814 S. Emerson Street, the First Reformed Church (Reformed in America) at 1601 S. Clarkson Street, the Living Water Tabernacle at 1701 S. Sherman Street, the Praise Center Church (Non-denominational) at 2005 S. Lincoln Street, the Second Christian Reformed Church at 1895 S. Ogden Street, and the South Presbyterian Church at 1700 S. Grant Street
Zoning and Land Use
The majority of Platte Park is zoned for and used by residential uses. Table 2d shows that over eighty percent of the land is used by residential zones. There are some commercial and public uses and very little vacant
As shown in Figure 2G, the majority of the area to the west of the alley between S. Clarkson Street and S. Emerson Street is zoned R-2. This zone
FIGURE 2G ZONING:
permits the use of duplexes and triplexes in the area. The minimum lot size is 6,000 square feet for a single or duplex unit. An additional 3,000 square feet is needed with each additional unit. The area to the east of the alley is zoned R-l. This allows for single family units that may have a room let out to one or two persons.
The only major commercial area is the strip along S. Broadway that is zoned B-4. The B-4 section extends only to the alley between S Broadway and S. Lincoln Street This strip has a wide variety of uses including antique shops, known region wide, restaurants, used car dealers, and adult book and movie establishments. The buildings along this area come in a variety of sizes and conditions. There is also a B-4 zone along Buchtel Blvd. The uses along this area range from a 7-11 store to bars to a pottery shop.
1978 Net Land Use (in acres) for Platte Park.
Land Use Acres Percent
Residential 290.4 82.3
Single Family 244.9 69.4
Multi-Family 45.5 12.9
Commercial 22.2 6.3
Industrial 5.0 1.4
Public/Quasi Public 14.9 4.2
Parks/Open Space 3.7 1.0
Vacant 2.5 0.7
T.C.U. 14.5 4.1
Total 353.0 100.0
Source: Denver Planning Office, Neighborhood Planning Division, West
University Community Analysis, (December, 1979), p.16.
Other smaller commercial areas exist along Pearl Street in Platte Park. There are several small restaurants, hair salons, a vintage clothing store, a
stereo repair shop, and an Australian pacific goods store to show the variety of commercial uses. The Pearl Street area has a strong merchants association that supports a street fair with music and booths every year. Scattered around the rest of Platte Park are other small commercial areas with real estate offices, a weaving store, and a green house to name a few.
There are no industrial zones in Platte Park and only a few industrial uses, i.e., a green house. Gates Rubber Company is located just to the north of the area on the north side of Mississippi Avenue. Parking for the company does spill over into the Platte Park Neighborhood.
Platt Park is the only open space in the Platte Park Neighborhood. It is a small park bounded by Logan and Grant streets and Florida and Iowa Avenues. There are a few vacant parcels along Buchtel Blvd.
Platte Park had a 1980 population of 5,647 people which was down 21.4 percent from the 1970 population of 7,187. Platte Park has a large elderly population 1,784 persons or 32 percent of the population in the area is over the age of 50. The median age in the area is 32.9 years, which is slightly younger than the 1970 median age of 34.9. There does seem to be an influx of younger adults into the area as the 20 to 29 year age group and the 30 to 39
year group were the only age groups to have a positive percent
between 1970 and 1980. ^ (see table 2- e.)
Age Distribution in Platte Park, (Census tract 30.01)
1980 1970 % Change
Total Persons 5,647 7,187 -21.4
Under 10 570 1,023 -44.3
10-19 434 1,016 -57.3
20-29 1,542 1,126 22.3
30-39 983 594 65.5
40-49 345 631 -45.3
50-59 437 906 -51.8
60-69 610 820 -25.6
70-79 480 672 -28.6
80 and Over 257 264 -2.7
Median Age 32.9 34.9 -5.7
Source: Denver Regional Council of Governments, Regional Data
Population and Housing Characteristics Change 1970-1980, Oct., 1982, p. 131.
In 1980 Approximately 2478 people or 50 percent of the adult population was married, 1373 people were single (646 males and 733 females), 552 people were separated or divorced and there were 401 widows and 70 widowers. Of the married couples, 404 or about 35 percent had children.5
The majority of the residents are white. In 1980, 5,391 or 95.5 percent of the resident population was white. The non-white population did rise from 78 persons in 1970 to 256 in 1980. The lack of integration in the Platte Park Neighborhood means that most of the students in the area are bussed for
part of their elementary education.
^Denver Regional Council of Governments, Regional Data Series: Population and Housing Characteristics Change, 1970-1980, Oct., 1982, p. 131.
^U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census 1980, Census Block Group Information for Census tract 30.01.
The average family income in Platte Park is $18,649 which is slightly lower than the Denver average of $19,527. The per capita income is $8,163.
, The largest employment sector of Platte Park residents is the service sector followed by the retail trade sector. 3,016 people in Platte Park worked in 1980 at the time of the census and 128 were unemployed. Sixty-five percent of the resident population over 16 is in the labor force.
In Platte Park 75.8 percent of the housing units are single family. This is 3,270 single family units out of the total 4,162 total units. Four hundred and nineteen or 15 percent of the units are two family units, and 245 or 8.8 percent of the units are multi-family. There are no mobile homes in Platte Park. The average household size is 2.0 persons. Approximately 60
percent of the household are owner occupied and the rest are rented. The median value of a home is $57,237 and the median rent is $219.^.
The majority of the homes in the area were built before 1929. Many of the homes are brick structures and are in good condition. There is a mixture of type of residential buildings with Victorian houses mixed in with brick bungalows. Over forty-five homes are listed in the Denver Inventory of Historical Structures. The James A. Fleming house is a designated landmark and the Decker Branch Library is a Denver Landmark.
DRC0G, Regional Data Series, p. 104. ''DRCOG, Regional Data Series, pp. 43 & 131.
City of Denver, Planning Office, West University, p.15.
In general Platte Park is a fairly stable neighborhood. It does have a large elderly population which often means at some time they have trouble keeping up their homes either physically or financially. However, there is a recent trend to have younger couples move into the area which can mean that they fix up the houses. Platte Park has not seen the rapid increase in housing values that its neighbors in Washington Park have experienced, but the values seems to be steadily rising.
The number of children in the area has been declining. School enrollment is down in the past several years as is the number of children under 10 and people under 19. Both of the age groups have decline around fifty percent from 1970-1980. The chances are if there are more young couples moving into the area that the number of children will increase. This may by partially negated as many couple are choosing not to have children or are doing so later in life, possibly after they have moved out of Platte Park to a bigger house.
The trend will probably be not to build new homes in the area as many of the homes are in good structural shape and need fixing up rather than demolition. There is also no vacant land to build on unless demolition occurs. There will have to be an influx of young people with the money and drive to fix-up and upkeep the houses as the older people move out or die. Platte Park is a neighborhood that is fairly stable now but will need to be
watched in the future to be sure that it does not decline.
Problems and Opportunities
Platte Park is an area that is filled with problems and opportunities. Some major problems for its future development include: lack of open space, lack of vacant land, and few commercial uses and job opportunities. Some of its major opportunities for its future development include: located with
close proximity to downtown, residential character, and a fairly good transportation system.
Platte Park, as the residents already feel, does not have enough open space. There is one 3.7 acre park for 5,657 residents. There are some larger parks near the neighborhood, but when the residents have to leave the area to go to a park they are no longer neighbors. There is not a good chance for neighbor interaction without more parks space. The lack of vacant land indicates that there can be no "newness" brought into the area without destroying the old. This can often lead to stagnation of an area or to hard feelings in a neighborhood if someone wants to demolish an old building to construct a new building. There is also not enough commercial activity in the area to meet the daily need of the residents. All of the grocery stores, hardware stores, and other stores, in which the neighbors have a chance to interact, are outside the area.
Most of Platte Park's opportunities for the future are due to its location. It is located only a few miles from downtown Denver. It provides a nice residential setting, yet provides easy access to work and entertainment opportunities. The public transportation system is good for the workers that need to commute to downtown.
Without an evolutionary planning effort Platte Park may become stagnant
and decline. Its is a location that is very desireable, but without planned change houses may haphazardly be converted into multi-family and other changes may occur which lead to the decline of the neighborhood. If one believes in the dynamic process of neighborhood evolution, a stable neighborhood that begins to decline will continue unless something is done. Platte Park and other neighborhoods need to change as their surrounding environment and inhabitants change.
Standards for Good Neighborhood Planning
This chapter will look at the standards for good neighborhood planning from three directions. It will first look at the classical neighborhood prototypes by some of the major authors that theorize on neighborhood and urban development and what they believe are the standards are for good neighborhoods. Second, it will examine the existing suburban and urban neighborhood environments and discuss w'hat the policies and goals that are established by planning offices are and if these make the neighborhood desireable to the neighbor or not. Third, it will look at the changing demographic trends of American society and establish standards for planning neighborhoods that will meet these changing needs. The chapter will conclude with a physical plan program for third ring neighborhoods. This program will be based on the research conducted at the beginning of the chapter.
Classical Neighborhood Prototypes: Views on the Ideal
This section of this chapter will look at the ideas of several different developers of classical neighborhood prototypes and what they feel are the
standards that should be included in good neighborhood planning. It will look at the views of Jane Jacobs, Victor Gruen, Clarence Perry, and Suzanne Keller. Some of these theorists did not deal with the neighborhood unit as a single unit but as part of a city wide system. This section will try to deal only with their ideas on neighborhoods and look at the city as a whole only in the broadest terms.
Jane Jacobs wrote Death and Life of Great American Cities in 1961. Jacobs wrote the book as "an attack on current city planning and rebuilding."9 Jacobs saw that the results of city planning, with its urban renewal and slum clearance, often create worse situations and areas than those that they were supposed to help. Planners that were not doing urban renewal were planning large scale suburban developments, such as Clarence Perry proposed, that were spreading the city away from its core. Planners praised large open spaces that often were not used and were places of crime. Jacobs felt that what the planners were doing were mistakes and the planners were not learning from these mistakes but were continuing to make them.
Most of Jacobs theories deal with creating diversity, especially at the street area level of large cities. She is enamored with the street that has people out walking, sitting, and playing at all hours of the day. In order to have this activity, there needs to be a diversity of uses within a small area that makes different types of people use the same area for different purposes and at different times. There needs to be a variety of businesses
9jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York City, NY: Vintage Books, 1961), p. 3.
and residences to have the people present.
To have the diversity present within an area, Jacobs identified four generators of diversity. The first is to have more than one primary use and be such that the uses attract different people to the same facility for different purposes and times. The second is that streets must be short to provide many corners to turn. Third, the district needs a variety of building types, ages, and conditions to attract a variety of uses. Lastly, there needs to be a concentration of people that includes residences.^ These generators will attract a diversity of building, jobs, activities, opportunities, and thus a variety of people.
Jacobs feels that if cities are to plan for neighborhoods or districts, effective neighborhood physical planning should aim at these purposes:
1. Foster lively and interesting streets.
2. Make the fabric of these streets as continuous a network as possible throughout a district of a potential sub-city size and power.
3. To use parks and squares and public buildings as part of this street fabric; use them to intensify and knit together the fabrics complexity and multiple use. They should not be used to island off different uses from each other or to island off subdistrict neighborhoods.
4. To emphasize the functional identity of large areas enough to work as a district.H
The physical planning should be used to create diversity, keeping in mind the generators of diversity. The purpose of the planning efforts are not to create a monotonous sameness of the same use, but to create areas of crossuse that will bring people out of their homes for a variety of reasons. A
10ibid., pp. 151-150. nIbid., p. 127.
diverse neighborhood will provide diversity so that as people's circumstances, desires, goals, etc. change, they can meet their needs within the district and not have to move with each major change in their life.
Jacobs is fairly specific about the physical dimensions of a district or neighborhood. For the size of the area she believes that the neighborhood district should not be much larger that 1.5 miles square. Population in the area should be large enough to fight city hall yet small enough that each street maintains its identity. She puts the minimum and maximum population figures at 30,000 to 200,000. The layout of the district should specifically have many short streets creating corners at which people may turn, taking different routes. Commercial, business, industrial, and residential uses should all be scattered throughout the district with no separation of land uses. Open spaces should be usable by the residents. The parks should provide many reasons why one would go there. There should be buildings around the space to give definition yet not be so tall that they block out the sun to the park.
Clarence Perry was an early advocate of the neighborhood as a whole planned unit. Many of his ideas are still incorporated into suburban planning today. Clarence Perry wrote "The Neighborhood Unit" as one of three monographs in a regional survey Neighborhood and Community Planning, originally published in 1929. Perry saw different types of neighborhoods that people demanded, depending on the stage of their life. Many years of a person's life are spent in a family neighborhood setting either as a child or as a parent. Perry felt that many city neighborhoods were deficient for this
type of resident. Poor factors were traffic dividing areas, schools located so that children had to cross major thoroughfares to get to them, and businesses that lined corridor streets just because they seemed "appropriate" to business. Perry felt a better lifestyle and neighborhood could be incorporated into a neighborhood unit that was planned as a whole. Perry's neighborhood unit had the following unit principles:
1. Size: A residential unit development should provide housing for that population for which one elementary school is ordinarily required, its actual area depending upon population density.
2. Boundaries: The Unit should be bounded on all sides by arterial streets, sufficiently wide enough to facilitate its bypassing by all traffic.
3. Open Spaces: A system of small parks, and recreation spaces, planned to meet all the needs of a particular neighborhood, should be provided.
A. Institution Sites: Sites for the school and other institutions having service sphere coinciding with the limits of the Unit should be suitably grouped about a central point or common.
5. Local Shops: One or more shopping districts, adequate for the population to be served, should be laid out in the circumference of the Unit, preferably at traffic junction and adjacent to similar adjoining neighborhoods.
6. Internal Street System: The Unit should be provided with a special street system, each highway being proportioned to its probable traffic load, and the street net as a whole being designed to facilitate circulation within the unit and to discourage its use by through traffic.*2
Thus was created a prototype for almost every new development that planning offices approve today. The Unit was based upon a community focal point, the school. This type of planning is geared to the family with children.
12C1 arence Perry, "The Neighborhood Unit" Neighborhood and Community Planning, Regional Survey of New York, Volume 7 (New York City, NY: Arno Press, 1974), pp. 34-35.
Figure 3-a is a plan that was prepared by Mr. Robert Whitten that applied these ideas to a development. Table 3-a is the area relations of the plan.
This scheme in planning can be applied fairly easily to large open space, but there needs to be planning for the area as a whole as well. The Unit will provide local goods and services, but the outside area will still need to provide large goods and places of employment. Streets also need to be such that it is possible to have the arterial streets around the Unit, which means coordination with the area outside the development.
Area Relations of the Plan (by Robert Whitten)
Complete unit 160 acres 100 percent
Dwelling-house lots 86.5 54.0
Apartment-house lots 3.4 2.1
Business blocks 6.5 4.1
Market squares 1.2 0.8
Schools and church sites 1.6 1.0
Parks and playgrounds 13.8 8.6
Greens and circles 3.2 2.0
Streets 43.8 27.4
Trying to establish or build a neighborhood unit within an existing settlement is much harder. Within an existing area where the land is built upon and land values are high, Perry feels that since demolition must take place before new building the only feasible neighborhood unit is one that covers only several blocks and is composed of multiple family dwellings. Even in the urban context of a neighborhood unit the same goals apply. The development should be planned so that traffic by-passes the development at the periphery of the development. Garages would be placed under the
A Subdivision for Modest Dwellings Planned as a Neighborhood Unit. (Sec also Figure 1 and page 338 in Monograph Three)
buildings or adjacent garages used. Stores would be placed along arcades and would be accessible both to the residents and to outsiders. Figure 3-b shows an urban area redeveloped by Arthur C. Holden and Associates according to Perry's ideas. The development would accommodate approximately 1,000 families, cover five blocks (19.7 acres), and would include a hotel, an elementary school, a gymnasium and other sports facilities, and first floor areas of the buildings for shopping.13
The physical dimensions of Perry's plan are quite specific. The area of the development should be large enough to support an elementary school. This size can be calculated quite specifically given the size of the school, the number of children per population, and the dwelling units per acre. Population therefore depends on the number of children per population. The layout has the community center in the middle with the school, churches, and meeting areas. The retail is located at the corners of the development where the outside roads meet. Open space is incorporated into the school, community center and parks.
In Perry's planned neighborhood the central goal is to provide a sheltered environment for its inhabitants. The community would be based around a single focal community point, most likely a school. The unit should provide many of the local goods and services for its residents from within the boundary of the Unit. Perry's ideas can be seen in almost all of the Planned Unit Developments that are taking place in the suburbs today.
l^ibid., pp. 43-44.
Victor Gruen wrote Heart of Our Cities in 1964. Gruen, as Jane Jacobs did, looked at the city as a whole. The city is an environment whose "primary purpose is to bring together many people so that, through direct communication with each other, they may exchange goods and ideas with undue loss of energy and time."^ Gruen views the city and its surrounding environs as a system, he uses the analogy of a cell that each part works together to create the whole.
Gruen believes the heart of the city has many problems including high crime rates, juvenile delinquency, and poor housing all leading to its demise. Gruen feels that many planners using slum clearance and urban renewal, are often only applying band-aids instead of looking into the causes of the problems. On the other hand Gruen believes an anti-city is being built. Sprawling houses are being built that are neither part of the city nor part of the country area. Vast areas of natural beauty are being covered by "massed produce sameness".
As development and redevelopment takes place it often hurts many existing areas. New areas are being built close to existing centers which results in over competition and disaster especially for the older area. With the rise of the automobile era came the loss of clusterization and thus the death of older areas. Gruen sees the only way to help the city and the surrounding area is to treat it as a cellular system.
This cellular system or a planetary system, another metaphor used, would have a population of 3,300,000 people. The system would consist of ten
^Victor Gruen, The Heart of Our Cities (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964), p. 21.
planets with populations of 280,000 each surrounding a Metrocore with a population of 500,000. In each planet there are ten satellite towns of 25,000 people each that surround a city center with a population of 30,000. Within each of the towns are further divisions, with a center of 3,400 people and four surrounding communities of 5,400 people in each. Within each community there is a community center with 900 people and five neighborhoods also with 900 people in each. Each neighborhood just as each community, town, city, and metrocore, has a center. Figure 3-c shows Gruen's plan. Each of the areas are separated by open space.^
Gruen only defines the neighborhood to exist out of the large centers and are centers of their own. Within these neighborhoods fifty-five percent of the population reside. The density of the neighborhoods is 50 persons per gross acre. Based on Gruen's calculation of 3.6 persons per family in the neighborhood there would be 250 families in each. Of the 3,300,000 people within the city, 1,800,000 would live in neighborhoods. Gruen does not consider the single family detached with the large space devouring yard to be appropriate within this structure. Much of the common open space occurs around the centers and not within them. Pedestrian travel would be encouraged, and cars would not be parked by each unit within a neighborhood but in special designated spaces or garages. Mass transit would provide easy access to the cities and metrocenter.^
Gruen does give a fairly specific physical dimension to his plan. The area of the neighborhood is 18 acres and has 900 people living in each area. There are no single family detached units in the neighborhood. In the center
15Ibid., p. 273. 16Ibid., pp. 273-281.
DETAIL OF A TYPICAL TOWN
It consists of a town center around which four communities are placed. Each community consists of one community center and five neighborhoods.
THE METROPOLIS OF TOMORROW
Ten cities surround metro core consisting of ten core frame units and metro center.
DETAIL OF A TYPICAL CITY
It consists of a city center and ten towns, each with its own town center.
is the community center with shopping, cultural and meeting spaces. The open space is outside the neighborhood and separates the different districts.
Gruen's neighborhood is part of a larger system, but would have its own individual life and local governmental influence. Each neighborhood would have its own center with pedestrian plazas and walks, and it would have easy access to larger centers, each separated by open space. Gruen's system is one of segregation of uses on every level, and segregation of levels, sizes of centers, and areas.
Suzanne Keller wrote the book The Urban Neighborhood, a Sociological Perspective in 1968. Keller felt that many of the problems that existed in neighborhoods today stemmed from the lack of communication between the fields of planning, sociology, psychology, and other fields that deal with people, interaction, and other parts that make up a neighborhood. Keller believes that studies must be done about the people and activities that occur with in a neighborhood before neighborhood planning can occur.
Keller sees neighborhoods actually consisting of three different parts. First there are the neighbors or the people that live in the area. Second, there is neighboring or the activities that occur between and by neighbors. Lastly there is the neighborhood itself, the physical area where all of this occurs. All the parts of the neighborhood must be understood when planning for them. Keller feels planning should be divided into different divisions of labor: "those specializing in the translation of evidence from auxiliary disciplines into practical planning measures and those devoted to carrying on
the day-to-day routines".^ Planning should not only foster good roads, residential and business areas, but good neighbors and neighboring as well.
"The essential significance of the neighbors are threefold: as helpers in times of need, sources of sociability, and information."I This means that the planners should know information about the general types of people that will be living in the neighborhood. Neighboring activities are many, but include those of rural-urban traditions and social class traditions in particular. This means for the planner that they must know how the people within the neighborhood will act. What are their needs and desires? Will they need a lot of recreational activities, social services, clubs, and community centers? The planner needs to know what type of activities the residents will need and plan for them. The neighborhood may have boundaries, but they are especially hard to plan for since everyone has different concepts of their neighborhood, and may be part of different districts such as historic or service areas that may be larger or smaller than the defined neighborhood area. Planners need to be aware of these differences and plan with the different perceptions as well as defined areas that exist within and around the planned neighborhood area.
In short, Keller feels that the planner should be much more in tune with some of the other aspects of a neighborhood than just the physical aspects. She is more a critic of the existing physical dimensions of a neighborhood than setting physical goals. Keller feels that neighborhoods should plan for a certain type of resident. The planner should learn all they can about
17S uzanne Keller, The Urban Neighborhood, a Sociological Perspective (New York: Random House, 1968), p. 149.
18Ibid., p. 152.
the potential neighbor and his neighboring ideas and plan to accommodate and foster the neighbor and neighboring.
The Classical Neighborhood Prototypes vs. Platte Park
Jane Jacobs would strongly believe that Platte Park did not have the population density or the diverse land uses that are needed to create a successful neighborhood. Platte Park would not provide the residents enough opportunities to interact and would not have the generators of diversity.
Perry would dislike and like Platte Park. He would not like the fact that there was not one central elementary school for the focal point of the neighborhood. Platt Park in Platte Park would be approaching his idea of the central community commons with its civic use of the library and social meeting of the senior's center. Shopping is on the outskirts of the neighborhood along the outside streets of the development which is where Perry would prefer this type of development.
Gruen would believe Platte Park, as a neighborhood unit, to be too
large both in land space and population. There would be too many "space devouring" single family homes to achieve the density that he would have in the area. The area would also be laid out too much in orientation to the streets and not the people. Though the public transportation is not as
efficient as Gruen would have it is still available to the residents of the
area. Again Platt Park would provide a semi-central community area, but the
retail around the area would not meet the daily needs of the community.
Suzanne Keller would need to study the types of neighbors living in Platte Park and the future trends to see if neighboring was occurring before
an evaluation of the neighborhood could be done. The Senior center does provide for the interaction of elderly people in the neighborhood and therefore is meeting their needs. A neighborhood organization would probably be necessary to complete the neighboring process in Platte Park.
The Classical Neighborhood Prototypes: Conclusion.
Jane Jacobs, Clarence Perry, Victor Gruen, and Suzanne Keller all have very different ideas on what the standards of neighborhoods should be. Jacobs and Gruen dealt with the neighborhood within the context of an entire city, while Perry and Keller dealt with the individual neighborhood unit. Perry and Gruen had some very definite ideas on the size of individual neighborhoods. Gruen stated the neighborhood would be 900 people while Perry felt it should be whatever size it took in the area to support one elementary school. Jacobs felt it should be what ever size was necessary to get the job done as long as the individual streets could maintain there identity. Keller did not deal with sizes or other physical aspect of the neighborhood.
All of the theorist felt it was important to plan for the people of the neighborhood not just the physical aspects. Keller was the most adamant about this point. She felt that the potential residents of the neighborhood should be identified and planned for rather that just doing the physical plan because its been done before or is accepted. Jacobs felt the planning should be done to create diversity so that the people of the neighborhood would have a variety of activities and different types of people. Perry felt it was important to plan for a community that would have a community focal point for the area, namely the elementary school. This indicates his beliefs that the neighborhood should be planned for the family unit. Gruen had the least
planning for the people. His plans for the residents were mainly for the residents to be able to identify with an area while still being part of a metrocenter. Table 3b shows the different neighborhood aspects of the Prototype theorist.
Neighborhood Prototypes Physical Neighborhood Plan Comparisons
"Theorists"_____Size_____________Density_________Land Use Mix Layout___________________Housing_________Open Space
Jane Jacobs 1.5 Sq Mi 30,000-200,000 Population Very High all Levels Diversity at Lots of Corners Short Streets Multi-family Parks Bound by Buildings
Clarence Perry Large enough to support one elementary school Lou Density All types necessary for the residents Division of Land Uses. Community Center. Elem. School focal point. Single Family Open Center Connect open spaces uith community for pedestrian access and tie in uith schools. Business and Apartments on periphery.
Victor Gruen 1B Acres 900 population Mid Density (population is concentrated uith little open space u/in the dev't) Just needs for the basic population Ped Plaza in center. Parking on outskirts. No Single Family Multi-Family Open Space is located Around the neighborhood
Suzanne Keller Suzanne Keller proposes no physical dimensions for a neighborhood. She feels the only way this can be accomplished is by studying the residents of a neighborhoods and determine their needs and then plan for the neighborhood based on these findings. The neighborhood needs to be a synthesis of physical and social planning.
Existing Neighborhood Conditions
The purpose of this section is to explore the existing conditions in the urban and suburban neighborhoods. It will identify what urban and suburban planning is doing in neighborhood planning, what the actual results are, and how the neighbors feel about their neighborhoods.
Denver neighborhood planning, an example of urban neighborhoods, was developed in 1967. "Denver's comprehensive plan proposed a neighborhood planning program that would develop action programs to enhance the desireable qualities of stable neighborhoods and reduce to eliminate their liabilities."^ Denver's neighborhood planning process is based on neighborhood participation, and hopes to prepare plans for each of the 73 neighborhood planning units. So far the neighborhood planning office has only been able to produce reactive plans, and currently has the attitude "if ain't broke don't fix it" which is not in line with the comprehensive plan.
Littleton's neighborhood planning was used as an example of existing suburban neighborhood planning. The community development department of Littleton has developed a Complan as a comprehensive neighborhood planning program for the city. The latest update was prepared in 1981. "In
Littleton's approach planning is a process of preparing for those things which are likely to happen, and it seeks to bring about those things which
^Denver Planning Office, Planning Towards the Future, a Comprehensive Plan for Denver, (1978) p. 90.
the citizenry wish to happen."20 It has developed general goals and policies for all neighborhoods, and has also divided the city up into 8 neighborhood planning units and has developed goals and policies for each of these neighborhoods. The South Industrial Neighborhood Unit was chosen to examine in detail as it has been developed since Littleton developed its Complan, yet there are parts of it that have been occupied for the last six to seven years.
This section will examine the goals and policies of the Littleton Complan for neighborhoods in the South Industrial Neighborhood region. It will then compare these goals and policies to Southbridge, a planned development that has been being built for the last six years. It will examine this planned development to see if the goals and policies of the neighborhood have been upheld. Lastly this section will look at the people in this planned development, and similar areas, and how they feel about their neighborhood.
The following goals and policies have been selected from the Littleton Complan. The list is incomplete as many of the community goals and policies as well as the South Industrial Neighborhood goals and policies pertain to specifics that do not apply to the Southbridge area. The goals and policies are numbered as they are found in the Complan.
20dty of Littleton Department of Community Development, Complan, The Neighborhood Comprehensive Planning Program, (March 1981), p. 2.
4. Acquire and maintain sufficient park and recreation land to maintain a proper balance between developed and recreational land use and to make recreational opportunities easily available to all residents.
5. Preserve existing neighborhood values while encouraging new development to make the most efficient use of land, resulting in the highest possible standard of living and the best use of natural resources.
5. Continue to explore new techniques that will make housing more
affordable and available to a broader segment of the community.
8. Insure that low and moderate income family housing is dispersed
throughout the community and compatible with surrounding residential development.
1. The City shall emphasize the use of Planned Development (P.D.) technique
for all new development within the City and provide incentives for developers to use this technique.
3. New development in the interior of established neighborhoods, not adjacent to arterial streets, should respect the existing densities and land uses of the neighborhoods in order that the character is preserved.
1. Improve transportation facilities and traffic controls to provide safe and efficient traffic circulation.
2. Provide traffic controls on internal residential and collector streets to improve safety and to maintain proper levels of traffic speed and volume.
Parks and Open Space Policies:
1. The City shall promote an active park and open space land acquisition program that will assure present and future Littleton residents of ample recreational opportunities.
4. The City shall continue to work cooperatively with South Suburban Metropolitan Recreation and Parks District in acquiring and developing active and passive park sites appropriate to the requirements of Littleton Residents.
5. The City shall have a minimum park and open space standard of 10.5 acres of park/open space per 1000 population,
7. The City shall encourage development of an active recreation community park facility in the South Industrial Neighborhood.
9. The City should protect McLellan Reservoir as an attractive recreational facility in the South Industrial Neighborhood.
South Industrial Neighborhood Goals:
1. Develop a Regional Employment Center in the South Industrial
Neighborhood while assuring adequate buffering of adjacent residential and recreational uses from adverse effects of commercial and industrial uses.
3. Provide adequate vehicular access to and from residential uses in the neighborhood without introducing commercial or industrial traffic onto existing residential streets in adjacent neighborhoods.
4. Provide transitional land use around commercial and industrial uses to buffer residential and recreational areas.
7. Require the dedication of open space by the development to provide
adequate land to protect and enhance the recreational uses of McLellan Reservoir and Highline Canal.
South Industrial Neighborhood Policies:
1. That separate residential and industrial street systems be provided so that commercial and industrial traffic does not use residential streets.
6. That separate pedestrian linkages be provided connecting the residential and recreational areas with industrial and commercial uses.
Land Use Policies:
1. That any development in the neighborhood include a "buffer", to protect residential areas from anticipated commercial and industrial development.
3. That the portion of the neighborhood east of the Highline Canal be designated as a regional employment center, with residential development in that portion limited to the area adjacent to Heritage Neighborhood.
5. That residential development provide a mix of housing types, with comparable densities and quality of housing located adjacent to existing Heritage Neighborhood.
Parks and Open Space; Public Services Policies:
1. That adequate provisions be made by developers for dedication of sites for schools, fire protection, and public recreation.
2. That McLellan Reservoir be abutted by open space uses as a buffer from industrial and commercial uses.
4. That a community park with formalized recreational facilities such as swimming, golf, ball fields, etc., be encouraged to serve new development in the South Industrial and surrounding areas.
5. That the Highline Canal be surrounded by Open Space throughout the neighborhood to protect and enhance its recreational opportunities, in conjunction with preservation of the area around the "Horseshoe Park" segment of the canal as a natural, passive recreation area.
The Southbridge P.D. was approved in 1979. It is located to the west of Broadway and the north of West Mineral Avenue. It encompasses almost 440 Acres. It provides a variety of uses including residential, commercial, office, and open space. Table 3.C gives the detail of the land distribution.
Southbridge Land Use, Acres, Density, and Dwelling Units
% of Tot % of Tot
Land Use Acres Density Units Land Use Units
Single Family 168.9 3.5 591 38.6% 38.0%
Cluster 61 7.0 427 13.9% 27.5%
Townhouses 46.3 11.6 537 10.6% 34.5%
Subtotal 276.2 5.6 1555 63.1% 100.0%
Commercial 16 3.7%
Office Park 76 17.4%
Future Dev't 1.6 0.4%
Parks/Open Space 67.7 15.5%
Total 437.5 1555 100.0%
Southbridge is fairly representative of the type of development that is
occurring today in suburban areas. It consist of residential neighborhoods, both single family and multi-family, shopping, and employment. As of today, several of the single family subdivisions have been built, some of the townhomes, the shopping center, and one area of offices. Prices for the residential homes range from just over $70,000 for the townhomes to over $200,000 for the Knolls, a semi-custom "designer" single family development. The shopping center still has many of its stores vacant. Thus far there are theaters, a fitness center, a liquor store, a travel agency, a toy store, two computer stores, a dry cleaners, three restaurants, an ice cream parlour, an arcade, a beauty products store, and a bank in a separate building in the front corner of the center.
When comparing the Southbridge development to the goals and policies of the community and the South Industrial Neighborhood, it complies with them in many areas. The development meets the requirements of providing open spaces and land for schools if one is needed in the future. If the number of units, 1555, is multiplied by 3.5 persons per dwelling unit, there will be approximately 5450 people in the Southbridge development. At the 10.5 acres of park per 1000 population the development will require 57.2 acres. This is meet by the 67.7 acres of parks and open space in the plan. Even if the 10 acres is used for an elementary park, the minimum requirement will still be met. The parks are well buffered from the commercial and industrial areas, but they are near the edge of the development and thus are not easily available to all residents. The highline canal has been left as a natural open space. There is also a clubhouse with swimming for the residents.
The development itself has been developed as a plan development which is one of the community development policies. The area in the north section has
been developed as single family so it is in character with the existing densities with the Heritage Neighborhood to the north.
The main road system has been developed so that it does not encourage through traffic as there is only one entrance off of S. Broadway and two off of Mineral. None of the routes through the development would save people time if they did not live in the development. Many of the streets are curved and have cul-de-sacs which further reduces the speed and volume on these streets.
Other iteips following policies in the development include open space paths that acts as a pedestrian link between the commercial and residential and also as a buffer for the residential from the commercial and offices.
The housing in the development does comply with the South Industrial Neighborhood policy of having mixed densities, though most of the densities are on the low side. The housing does not follow the community policy of providing more affordable housing and having low and moderate income family housing dispersed throughout the community. There are not policies by the Planning Department to encourage this directly. Prices beginning in the $70,000 range, and the majority of the housing being much more expensive, is not an option to low and moderate income levels. There are also no rental units in the development.
The major goals in neighborhood development are to have open spaces and parks available to the residents, leave natural amenities in their natural state, have division of land uses with adequate buffers, and keep traffic from one use out of another, yet still have the whole development act as a whole unit with residential, commercial, and office. Diversity of housing is also a neighborhood goal but does not seem to be upheld when providing for
low and moderate income groups in the newer subdivisions in Littleton.
The people who live in the development seem to be fairly homogeneous to the type of housing in which they live. Residents in one single family subdivision generally are from the ages 35 to 50 and with an average of 4 people per household. The "typical" family of a couple and two children is very prevalent here. Most of the residents of this neighborhood have been transferer by their company to the area or they have moved to be closer to their jobs. People have chosen this area because of the houses and the homeowners association that not only provides maintenance of the common areas, but provides social events as well. The community clubhouse and swimming pools also offer chances for neighbors to meet.
The multi-family townhomes include one model that has two master bedrooms with private baths. Seventeen out of the first 28 units sold were sold to single women who then could have a roommate to share the expenses.21 In the sales model of these townhomes, there is a painting of the club house and pool with couples in "scanty" bathing suits and very few children around, again catering to the young single and couples.
A handwritten flyer in the sales office advertises the units first by location, selling the neighborhood with mountain views, isolated yet close to shopping, jobs, and public recreation. They also advertise that they are part of an excellent school system (though the students are bussed to school to the north of the area). The developer also emphasizes that they build a community with greenbelts, pedestrian and bike paths, parks, swimming pools, tennis courts, etc., selling the whole community and not just a house. All of these amenities attract the neighbors to the neighborhood.
^Denver Post, Friday Home Section, July 4 1986.
What people want in a suburban community is people to which they can relate, of the same age and family situation. They like the quiet streets where children can play safely. People also like the sense of community where homeowners organizations often have newsletters, baby sitting co-ops, and social events. Mothers like the parks and recreation centers where they can take their children and meet with their neighbors. Many of the residents of such neighborhoods fit the more "typical" model of a family.
What the residents do not like in the areas is the dependence on the car. Shopping usually is too far to walk, and mothers often become chauffeurs to their children. Some of the residents also miss the diversity of people. Most neighborhoods have few people over 50. People would also like a bigger variety of housing types and more mature landscaping, but feel this will evolve with time. Some neighbors also resent the control of the homeowners association especially with an architecture review board. People do not like to be told what they can and can not do with their homes, but are glad when the review board tells their neighbors that they can not paint their house lime green.
As indicated above, Denver neighborhood planning is done on an area by area basis. The neighborhoods concentrated on by the Denver Neighborhood Planning Offices are those that are most in need. Therefore, The Denver Comprehensive Plan, Planning Towards the Future, has neighborhood goals of how neighborhood planning should be conducted with neighborhood participation. The policies that will be looked at in this section are those that deal with the different aspects of neighborhoods such as housing,
residential areas, etc. Those policies that most concern neighborhoods are listed below and are numbered with the policy numbers as they appear in the Comprehensive Plan.
Established Residential Neighborhoods:
Rl. The density-related character of residential neighborhoods should be preserved.
R2. Existing public facilities should be well maintained to help preserve the livability and stability of existing residential areas.
R4. Although mixed land uses are acceptable and desired by residents of some neighborhoods, the neighborhoods should be protected from commercial developments and their related parking areas that threaten residential stability.
R7. The revitalization of older neighborhood commercial centers that provide shopping within walking distance of residences should be encouraged as an aid in stabilizing residential neighborhoods.
R8. Residential land uses along the edges of industrial areas should be protected from industrial intrusions that threaten the stability of residential neighborhoods.
Rll. Transportation impacts on residential neighborhoods should be lessened.
R14. Development of vacant residential land in the outer areas of the city should be encouraged for a mix of residential and compatible commercial and office uses.
Downtown Denver and Adjacent Neighborhoods:
R16. Residential development should be encouraged within downtown.
R17. A variety of housing types should be provided through preservation and selective redevelopment of the existing mixed-density residential neighborhoods adjacent to downtown Denver.
R19. New high-density residential developments should be well served by public transportation and should be in close proximity to employment centers and shopping facilities.
Planning For Land Use: Housing
H3. Measures should be taken on a case-by-case basis to preserve the existing residential density and character of numerous areas in Denver zoned for moderate- to high-density or mixed uses.
Hll. Efforts should continue to preserve historic residential structures.
H12. New construction of both multi-family buildings and single-family houses should be encouraged with in the city.
H15. Additional public housing and other subsidized housing for families in denver should be compatible with surrounding areas and should not increase economic and racial impaction.
H16. The special needs of elderly and handicapped households should be met with particular attention given to choosing locations that are well supplied with services, mass transit and public facilities.
Denver has a wide variety of different types of neighborhoods. There are very wealthy neighborhoods such as the Country Club, poor neighborhoods such as Curtis Park and Five Points, high density neighborhoods like Capital Hill, and new low density neighborhoods on the fringes of Denver. The policies on neighborhood planning are thus very broad and only when an individual neighborhood plan is created can a neighborhood be thoroughly judged against the criteria.
The general concern of neighborhood planning in Denver is to stabilize neighborhoods, keep neighborhoods from deteriorating, and helping those that have already deteriorated. Denver's policies try to encourage a mix of residential and commercial so people can walk to shopping in their neighborhood, reducing the reliance on the automobile.
Many small shopping centers do exist such as the S. Pearl Street area in Platte Park, the E. 12th Avenue area in Capital Hill, and the Gaylord street area in Washington Park. Each offer a different variety of goods, yet are an important part of Denver's neighborhood policy to use such centers to develop
and revitalize as part of the neighborhood stabilization. There is still a concern that larger centers do not encroach on the neighborhood, such as the parking for the Gates Company has done in Platte Park.
Denver's policies also try to encourage a mixture of housing types and densities, both in new development and redevelopment. Denver's policy indicates that some case-by-case review is needed on development in existing areas as much of the zoning is such that it will allow much higher densities and may not be in line with the character of the neighborhood.
Policies also indicate that there should be more public housing and subsidized units, but it should not be developed as a large project. A recent subsidized complex along Speer Boulevard did not follow this policy, but it was not developed as all subsidized units and included "normal" priced units as well.
The people in Denver live in their neighborhoods for a wide variety of reasons. People in Capital Hill have chosen this neighborhood because it is close to downtown, has RTD service, a variety of housing types and costs, interesting architecture and mature landscaping, close to cultural events, a variety of people, and it is an active neighborhood. Strong neighborhood associations such as Capital Hill United Neighbors, and Congress Park Neighbors do everything from holding a "People's Fair," to rape prevention, to fighting pornographic establishments. Many people who live on Capital Hill like this feeling of involvement and some control over their neighborhood environment.
Many people live in the northern sections and western area because of ethnic association and/or cheaper housing. There are problems with crime in many parts of the inner city that deter people from the urban neighborhood.
Other dislikes of the urban neighborhood in Denver include; the school busing system, traffic, and noise.
Existing Suburban and Urban Comparisons and Conclusions
The major differences between the suburban neighborhood planning, such as Littleton's and urban, such as Denver's, are mainly due to the suburban focus being on new development and urban focus on redevelopment or stabilization of existing areas. Both like a mixture of residential and commercial, but the suburban commercial is often orientated to the passer-by as well as the residents, and the urban neighborhood commercial is orientated to the residents of the area.
Both planning efforts often stress providing a mixture of housing types. The different outcomes of the same efforts are that the suburban often has clusters of multi-family in one section and the single family in another, while the urban mixture can often be seen in a multi-family beside a single family.
People, whether they choose a suburban or urban neighborhood, have the same needs and desires. People generally want a safe, quiet, neighborhood where they can feel part of a community, yet still have privacy. Suburban and urban neighborhoods can offer some or all of these. Residents will
reside in the area that offers the most of what they desire, giving up some amenities for others they feel are more important.
People chose an urban neighborhood for its location, housing choices, unique architecture, transit systems, community groups and support, and the variety of cultural activities. People in urban neighborhoods dislike the crime, traffic, noise, and often a feeling of not really knowing their
neighbors, but to the urban neighbor the pro's out weigh the con's and they choose the urban area.
People choose a suburban neighborhood for its single family houses, a safer, quieter environment, quiet streets, family atmosphere, homeowners associations, and school systems. People's dislikes of the suburban neighborhood include; dependence on the car, far from employment and cultural centers, and the sameness of housing.
Changing Demographic Trends and the Responding Changes to a Neighborhood
In today's ever changing society, the average family no longer is the average. What was true in the 1950's when the suburban development began in earnest is no longer true today. Longer lives, smaller families, divorces, later marriages, if marriage at all, and working women and mothers have all become a part of the "norm". Yet today we still see the same type of housing being built for the "average" family with a father, a housewife, and two or three children. This section of this chapter will look at what have been the changing demographic trends, what are the specific needs within neighborhoods to meet these needs, and if the existing neighborhoods can fulfill these needs.
Over 11.3 percent of the population is over 65 as shown in table 3d. This is expected to increase to 13 percent of the population by the year 2000 and will further increase when the baby boom generation turns 65. This increase in proportion of elderly population is due to an increasing life expectancy rate. In 1900 a person born could expect to live to 47. Now life
Age Projections for the United States 1980 base census through 2000
Population in Millions Percent Change
1980 1990 2000 1990 2000
Under 5 16.4 19.2 17.6 17.1 -8.3
5-9 16.6 18.6 18.8 12.0 1.1
Total Children 33.0 37.8 36.4 14.5 -3.7
% of Total Pop 14.5 15.1 13.6
10-14 18.2 16.8 19.5 -7.7 16.1
15-19 21.1 17.0 19.0 -19.4 11.8
20-24 21.6 18.6 17.1 -13.9 -8.1
Total Youths 60.9 52.4 55.6 -13.9 6.1
% of Total Pop 26.8 21.0 20.8
25-29 19.8 21.5 17.4 8.6 -19.1
30-34 17.8 22.0 19.0 23.6 -13.6
Total Young Adults 37.6 43.5 36.4 15.7 -16.3
% of Total Pop 16.5 17.4 13.6
35-39 14.1 20.0 21.7 41.8 8.5
40-44 11.8 17.8 22.0 50.8 23.6
45-49 11.0 14.0 19.8 27.3 41.4
Total Middle-Agers 36.9 51.8 63.5 40.3 22.6
% of Total Pop 16.2 20.8 23.7
50-54 11.7 11.4 17.3 -2.6 51.8
55-59 11.6 10.5 13.3 -9.5 26.7
60-64 10.1 10.6 10.5 5.0 -0.9
Total Empty-Nester 33.4 32.5 41.1 -2.7 26.5
% of Total Pop 14.7 13.0 15.3
65-69 8.8 10.0 9.1 13.6 -9.0
70-74 6.8 8.0 8.6 17.6 7.5
75-79 4.8 6.2 7.2 29.2 16.1
80-84 3.0 4.1 5.0 36.7 22.0
85-plus 2.3 3.3 4.9 43.5 48.5
Total Retirees 25.7 31.6 34.8 23.0 10.1
% of Total Pop 11.3 12.7 13.0
Total Population 227.5 249.6 267.8 9.7 7.4
Source: Census Bureau, Robey, The American People, p.33.
expectancy is over 74 years old, women can expect to live even longer.22
People over the age of 65 have a variety of needs. Though this is supposed to be when a person retires, often the elderly person is not ready to sit back in the old rocker. But since the income is drastically reduced for most people over 65 that have retired, they cannot travel around the world for activities in their retirement years. This is especially true for the widows, which there are many of since women can expect to live seven years longer than their spouses, and often were not the wage earners of the family. The need for recreational and intellectual activities are increasing for the elderly population.
Housing is also a need that changes as a person grows old. A house that once had two, three or more children in it, may no longer be appropriate for an elderly person. The upkeep, both in maintenance and in payment, may be too much for the person living on social security or other benefit payments. The old family homestead may often have many stairs, and other barriers that are harder for the elderly person to use everyday. The elderly person may be ready to leave the old homestead but is not ready to move into a retirement home. Elderly people have the same needs as anyone else. They want to be able to see children running around, walk to shopping, and go to a movie. Just because one is ready to change the living unit does not mean that one wants to move from the neighborhood, where many friends might be and memories of many years in the area.
The needs for the elderly in the neighborhood include: different
housing options for moves after a single family home becomes too expensive or
22Br yant Robey, The American People, (New York: Truman Talley Books, E.P. Dutton, 1985), p. 23.
too difficult to maintain, shopping and convenience goods within walking distance, and activities within the neighborhood where the elderly can fill up the day with activities, which used to be filled with work.
Options for neighborhood development that are sensitive to the elderly's situation reflect these needs. Housing needs to be adapted for some of the problems facing the elderly. Letting the elderly live in part of the house and rent out the rest of it, often known as a granny flat, can help the elderly person remain in a house that is dear to them for a longer time. This may also have the advantage of providing a home for a single parent family to share the house which would lower the housing cost for both parties, allow young children to interact with an elderly adult, and may allow the mother to work and the elderly person the useful job of taking care of the children if the situation is right.
Another option for the elderly adult is sharing a home. This would allow more active elderly adults to live together sharing a kitchen, family room, and other common rooms, and sharing the payment and maintenance that goes with the house. This option also provides a buffer to loneliness that many elderly people experience. This option can be extremely successful if it is located close to shopping and community activities. This option can also fit right into an existing community without too many disruptions as the elderly tend to be quiet and each person would prpbably not have their own car which are often complaints of neighbors when many people live in one house.
Another part of neighborhood development that is sensitive to the elderly's need is to have shopping for the basic needs nearby and convenient. Shopping for everyday needs for the elderly could include a grocery store, a
drug and variety store, a hair salon, a restaurant and other goods stores. It is important to the elderly to be able to get to these items and purchase them without always having to rely on someone else to help them.
The elderly need to have community activities and places to go that are geared to their age group. Many of the elderly are bored with life after retirement and are lonely when their children have moved away and a spouse has died. A place where elderly can go to and interact with other people is important. Again if the elderly person always has to rely on someone else to get them to and from a community center it is not as effective. The community center should be located in the neighborhood near the elderly. This also lets people meet other people who are in the area and who they would be able to see on a regular basis.
Many of the new developments do not gear to the elderly person. Many of the townhomes at Southbridge have stairs both leading into the house and inside. The single family homes were very large and expensive which would not fit the widow living alone on a fixed income. The activities and amenities such as the parks and clubhouse, while they can be enjoyed by the elderly, are really geared for the children and younger adults of the development.
The urban neighborhood offers a larger variety of housing for the elderly person. Much of the housing that they can afford are in areas that have high densities, and often high crime, noise, and traffic which are not desired by the elderly person. A place such as Capital Hill, while having some of these undesirable aspects can also provide amenities such as close to mass transit, shopping, parks, and cultural events. Many of these areas also already have a larger elderly population thus they have centers and activities for the elderly person.
One of the most drastic changing trends of the "average" american family is the ever increasing number of single parent families. Female headed family households with no spouse present comprise 10.5 percent of all household in 1983. This is an increase of over 72 percent since 1970 it is the fastest growing type of household. Divorce is the usual cause of the formation of this type of household. Twenty percent of the children today live with their mother only.23 This means that a large proportion of american families are not fitting the family mold of a mother, father, and two children. Still most of the advertising shown in weekend home sections show the happy father, mother, and two children at their happy new home. This changing trend calls for changes within the neighborhood especially for housing.
When families are split the cost of maintaining the same people increases. Even if the money is divided equitably among the family members, there are now two households to support instead of one. The parent with the children, generally the women, often has to worry about whether she will receive the payments for her children, and even if she does she often has to enter the workforce. This creates a new problem of children coming home alone after school or pre-schoolers needing child care while the mother is at work. Even the new ideal family, the Huxtibles, on the TV show "The Cosby Show" has four of the children coming from single parent household in real life.
This brings up several needs for the single parent family. The most
23p0bey, The American People, pp. 42, 62.
obvious need is affordable housing that will be safe and a healthy environment for a women and her children. Another pressing need is child care that is convenient for the mother to drop off her children and pick them up or for the young school age children to go after school. Since a mother's life is now working several jobs as a mother, house-cleaner and as an employee of a job, time is very scarce. This new household needs to have a variety of services and goods available to them conveniently.
A neighborhood setting can be especially conducive to the single parent family. It can provide the healthy environment for the woman and her family. Housing for the single parent family can be provided as apartments with two to three bedrooms, part of a house, or sharing a house with another single parent family or even an elderly person who has rented out part of their home as described above. All of these are typically lower cost than a single family home and can often provide more to the family such as adult companionship nearby for the parent.
Child care is most often effective when provided near the home of the parent. Having the care in the neighborhood instead of near the work place or somewhere in between, allows the parent to be flexible on what is done between work and home, i.e., shopping for food on the way home. This setup also allows the children to develop friendships with other children in the neighborhood where it is easy for the children to visit their friends without the parent having to do much chauffeuring. Many friendships are formed by adults through their children. Providing this opportunity for single parents to meet other people in the neighborhood is a boon not only to have adult interaction, but to swap sitting when the mother cannot afford a sitter, or an element of safety when she knows people who live around her and could
assist her in times of need.
Having shopping for the family nearby is often a great help for the
single parent. Older children can be sent to the store for last minute items, without having to cross busy streets.
Community services which could be available are classes dealing with the problems of single parent life, activities for children, and even a neighborhood co-op assistance program such as neighbors or youths of the area volunteering to do painting and minor fix-ups that the single mother has not learned or does not have time for with her many other jobs, but can not afford to have a professional do. All of these community services can be incorporated into the neighborhood.
Just as many of the "typical" families desire the suburban neighborhood so does the single parent. The amenities such as parks, good schools,
community recreation facilities, and day care are all desired by the single
parent. The major problem for the single parent living in this type of
neighborhood is the cost. Houses, that have to be bought not rented, starting in the $70,000 are often hard to obtain by the single parent as found in Southbridge.
The cheaper housing that is found in the older urban neighborhoods is often the only alternative.. While the cost is right, the desirability of the area for a single parent and her children is not what the parent prefers. More traffic, crime, noise, and undesirable school bussing programs are all problems for the single parent in an urban neighborhood.
Working Women/Dual Career Families
Sixty-three percent of married women ages 25-34 are in the work force.
This is up from only 28 percent in 1960. Many wives chose to work either because they find housework unfulfilling or to help support the family. In either case there is no longer a housewife at home to take care of the house and the children. Fifty percent of preschoolers' mothers work. This is up from less than one-third in 1970.^ These new trends of mothers and wives create new needs for the neighborhood.
Working women in a dual career household often do not have the financial worries of the single parent, but they have many of the same needs such as child care, help with housework, and a very busy lifestyle. Many working couples desire less maintenance of a home so they can enjoy their free time in other ways.
Neighborhoods can accommodate the working parents in a number of ways. First, by providing day care within the neighborhood so that either parent can drop off or pick up their child with ease. Housing cost are usually able to be meet by a dual career couple but they often want to have less maintenance of yards, walks, etc. Neighborhood cooperatives of cooking, cleaning, and child care can also be a help to the dual career family.
Some suburban neighborhoods with strong homeowners associations that do much of the maintenance can be ideal for busy couples. Many townhome areas offer a small amount of private outdoor space that can easily be maintained, but have large common areas when more room is desired. The urban neighborhoods have a variety of housing types, but with high crime rates and traffic, many dual career families are hesitant about having their children come home alone after school.
2^Robey, The American People, p. 62.
One fourth of all households are occupied by only one person. This is up 8 million people since 1970 to 19 million singles. Two-thirds of these are women and more than half of these are women who have been widowed. More than half of the men who live alone are under 45. The widows experience the problems of the elderly people as previously described. But, there is an increasing population of young singles. The median age for a woman's first marriage is 22.5 years up from 20.8 years in 1970. Men median age of first marriage is up two years from 23.2 in 1970 to 25.2 in 1982.^5 With the older median marrying age and the increasing number of divorces, there are many young singles who have needs other than what the single family detached house can provide.
A single person needs a smaller living unit. Not all young singles want to live in a large complex with many other singles, but they may desire some of the amenities that they provide such as recreational and social opportunities. Many of the singles are active in things that are not home orientated. They desire to have access to recreational activities, dinning, theaters, etc. If the single is not going to be home they also desire less maintenance on their home. Singles also need affordable housing as there is only one income to support them.
Incorporating neighborhood amenities into a neighborhood can be accomplished in a number of ways. First smaller apartment buildings and split houses can be ideal for singles as it provides smaller units, lower costs, some privacy and usually less upkeep. Recreational activities such as
25R0bey, The American People, pp. 44-45.
tennis courts and drop in sports or exercise classes at a recreational center allow for singles to get out and meet other people around the neighborhood. Neighborhood bars also facilitate the interaction of singles.
Suburban neighborhoods such as the Southbridge area can accommodate the single person in its townhome units. Prices in these areas often require that the single person find a roommate to help with expenses. The Southbridge area does not have a supply of smaller units that many of the singles can afford such as apartments. Other suburban neighborhoods for singles are often large condominium or apartment complexes. These are advertised to the singles with their health clubs, and party rooms that are perfect for meeting people. Many singles would prefer not to live in such complexes.
Many singles like the urban neighborhood because they are close to cultural and entertainment activities. There is also more of a variety of housing types. Many large homes are converted into small unique apartments, and there are apartment buildings. The draw backs to the urban neighborhood for the single person are the same as for any other person. High crime rates are especially frightening for those living alone. Traffic and noise are also problems.
Changing trends are effecting all aspects of American life and lifestyle. Shared housing and smaller apartment complexes can be used by the elderly, single parents, and single alike. Child care facilities in the neighborhood make life easier for the single parent and the dual career couple.
If there is an urban or suburban neighborhood for individuals to choose to live in, why bother changing a third ring neighborhood? There are several answers to that question. One is to keep the neighborhood from stagnating and deteriorating. The second is because the third ring neighborhoods offer a vast amount of potential for the future of a city such as Denver. Denver has many problems that have been created because the city was developed during the automobile age. Sprawl of both residential and commercial has created a dependence on the automobile that will continue as the sprawl does. This form of development has also developed several major employment centers that have created competition and hurt the centers, especially the older centers. First there was downtown Denver, then the Denver Technological Center, now Castle Rock wants an employment center. Each new center continues to aggravate old problems and create new ones. Continuing sprawl and dispersement of employment practically guarantees that the Denver-Metro area will not be able to build an economical and efficient mass transit system, and will continue to have pollution and congestion problems. Making a neighborhood more desireable to a larger segment of the population that is already close to a major employment center, can help to reconcentrate the people and thus the employment centers and slow the sprawl. The third ring neighborhoods are the key in this process.
This final section of this chapter will develop a program for third ring neighborhood development to increase the viability and the desirability for a
wider section of the population. This program will be based on the three previous research sections, the prototypes of neighborhood development, the existing suburban and urban development, and the changing needs of today's society.
Neighborhood Layout and Land Use
As emphasized by the urban and suburban neighborhood planning and Jane Jacobs, diversity of uses is desired. The neighborhood should provide the residents with land uses that are required on a daily basis. This requires a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational land uses. The land uses, as Susan Keller emphasized, need to be geared to the residents of the neighborhood and not the outsiders passing by the neighborhood. The land uses should be orientated in such a way that the commercial and recreational areas are accessible with ease to the highest number of people.
The size of a neighborhood does need to be large enough to fight city hall as Jane Jacobs proposes, but it is also important that it be large enough to support a neighborhood commercial center, and community services and facilities that are located within the neighborhood. Yet on the other hand, with all the problems that the automobile has created and continues to do, the neighborhood should be compact enough that the neighbors can walk to the shopping and facilities that are located within the neighborhood. To accomplish this pedestrian level a neighborhood that is one square mile will assure that even a person in the furthest corner will only have to walk just three-quarters of a mile to get to the neighborhood center. As with the case of many third ring neighborhoods there are traffic routes and other defining boundaries that are already established, and these boundaries should also be
considered when defining the neighborhood.
The neighborhood center should be the focus of the neighborhood. It should go beyond Clarence Perry's community center with the school and civic activities to include commercial. When the commercial areas are put at the outside of the neighborhood, often at the junction of two arterial roads, it becomes more convenient to the passers-by, than the residents of the neighborhoods, which is one of the complaints of the suburban dwellers. This center can be used to help stabilize and develop the neighborhood as Denver neighborhood planning proposes. The neighborhood center should be a mixture of commercial, civic, residential, and recreational uses.
The commercial center needs to be a focal point of the community. People should be pulled to the center for a variety of reasons. One of the best designs for such a center would be a square that is enclosed by the shops. Such a design would provide the park space that is usable as Jane Jacobs prescribes. It is not so vast that people feel lost and don't venture into it, yet the buildings around the square are shops with apartments above them and do not block out the light to the square. The stores within the commercial center should include those that are needed by the local residents. Stores such as food, drug and variety, hardware, laundry mats, and dry cleaners should be located here. A center that has cute little boutiques and specialty stores will make an attractive square but will attract more outsiders than people from within the neighborhood. Suzanne Keller is adamant in the point that the neighborhood should be planned for those neighbors that will be living in the neighborhood.
The highest density of housing should be located nearest the neighborhood center so that the largest number of people, and those with the
least amount of private space can be closest to the amenities of the neighborhood. Figure 3.D shows a conceptual idea of the land use layout. Smaller living units and cheaper costs that are found in higher density regions are often most appropriate to the elderly, singles, and single parents that need to be near the center for convenience and other activities. The land use should then continue as residential, but decrease in density as it gets further away from the neighborhood center. Table 3.E gives the sizes that each land use could be, based on the one mile square neighborhood.
Neighborhood Land Use
Land Use # of Acres Percent
Neighborhood Center 30 4.6
High Density Ring 100 15.6
Medium Density Ring 250 39.1
Low Density Ring 250 39.1
Community Spaces Outside Core 10 1.6
Total 640 100.0
Housing and Density
As both the suburban and urban neighborhood planning propose, there should be a variety of housing types. This mixture is more important than ever with the changing trends that are occurring to smaller households. Currently in Denvers third ring neighborhoods the majority of the housing is single family. Some may have been divided into two units. There needs to be an increase in multi-family units in these neighborhoods so that the increasing number of elderly, singles, and single parents can choose from a variety of housing types.
The development of more multi-family units in these neighborhoods cannot
"TtfiEo ffiRu Mti&wvoL'toDv
borhood Ce>rc- (Lonrrurc-ioJ, Lemmunify YcUuA\c>rx>^, %i5tAcr E)^'. 7Â£> V O/ftt- lacHhorru^ /Jpxr-WWs.
Lou) Ln^j 6> iW^i>
1W.C: f^-fWÂ£>r^ IV on 4 fa
)4> yLtrwbik traffic, n^jkWtaso
| Mii_Â£- 'D-A^t-ra^
be done haphazardly. To assure that this does not occur, zones should be designated that are designed appropriate to the neighborhood and not just to the city as a whole or to the exact existing land use. For the third ring neighborhoods the appropriate zones would include a high density zone in and around the neighborhood center, surrounded by a ring of medium density, surrounded by an outer ring of low density, much like a small scale city. This would encourage the variety of housing types, yet still promote the interaction of different sections of the neighborhood.
The high density area would include residential units mixed in with the commercial in the core and surround the core with small complexes and apartment buildings. To keep the neighborhood scale, the high density core would best accommodate 18-20 dwelling units per gross acre. This would then be clustered so that open spaces and community facilities and services would also have a portion of this area. This level of density is not really dense, but it is important to keep the development on the same scale as the existing neighborhood, and thus this density is high relative to the rest of the area, but not out of proportion. This has been indicated as a concern of Denver neighborhood planning that redevelopment fit in with the character of the existing development.
The mid-density ring can be accomplish for the most part by leaving the current housing structures in place and dividing them into smaller units or adding small units. Many of the third ring neighborhoods have a nice supply of older well built housing. With the current density of a neighborhood such as Platte Park at 5.5 units per acre, division of these homes can yield about 12 dwelling units per acre. These divided single family homes can be ideal for the elderly person who needs help with maintenance and payments, and for
the single parent who will find cheaper rents, yet still have a yard where the children can play in.
The low density zone would stay as is with single family homes. This allows the larger families or shared housing for the elderly to live in the neighborhood. This would stay at the current density at approximately 6 dwelling units per acre. This zone is much like ones that would be found in suburban development, yet more established and would have the variety of housing looks and mature landscaping that many suburban dwellers would like to see.
The emphasis in housing is variety. There is not a "typical" family structure anymore, thus there cannot be just a "typical" house. This variety that should be found in these neighborhoods include a mixture of apartments, townhomes, duplexes, split-homes, and single family. Singles, single parents, elderly and the "typical" family can all have choices in housing within a neighborhood.
The density would range from six dwelling units per acres to twenty. Table 3.F gives the number of units based on the acreage found on the previous table. Assuming an average of 2 people per unit the population of the neighborhood would be 13,720.
Table 3.F Densities and Number of Dwelling Units %
Zone Acres Density D.U. D.U
Core 30 12 360 5.2
High Density 100 20 2000 29.1
Mid-Density 250 12 3000 43.7
Low Density 250 6 1500 21.8
Other Uses 10 0 0 0.0
Total 1450 9.2 6860 100.0
Community Facilities and Services
Community facilities and services which would include child care, community meetings, elderly services, and other programs, can often best be provided at a neighborhood level. The major force behind the services should be a strong neighborhood association. Many third ring neighborhoods lack a homeowners association because it is not new enough, or a neighborhood association because it has not had to rally together to fight a big intrusion into the neighborhood. Yet many of the suburban and urban dwellers enjoy their neighborhood because of such organizations. With a population of over 13,700, larger than some towns, the neighborhood should be able to provide a variety of services at the neighborhood level.
One of the most needed community service is child care. With the large number of working parents and single parents in society, daycare becomes a part of many children's childhood. Provided within the neighborhood, the parent can easily drop off and pick up their children. Children can meet other children from the neighborhood. The child care center should be located in the middle of the neighborhood so it is convenient to everyone and can make use of the other amenities in the neighborhood center. The center should be able to take care of children with minor ailments so the mothers can still work, and be open at night for those who work at night, or take classes. The child care center can make it a policy to hire helpers from the neighborhood to help people who have children and need to earn extra money.
Another important community service that is becoming increasingly important with today's changing trends is elderly programs. A senior center can help the elderly in a neighborhood to get out and have a place to go and meet with other people. Many elderly people do not know how to fill up a day
with activities that was once occupied with work and family. A senior center can help people deal with their loneliness and boredom that they may experience from time to time. A senior center can help with meals, classes and networking of people that may link an elderly person with a mother who needs occasional sitting, or with a youth that can do some of the odd jobs around the house.
Neighborhood organizations can be instrumental in providing some of the new neighborhood needs, due to the changing trends, by facilitating the above activities and especially by networking. Networking can include matching youths with people who need help or don't have the time to maintain there homes. Baby sitting co-ops, as found in suburban neighborhoods, can be started through such an organization. Also more innovative co-ops such as cooking co-ops possibly pairing a mother at home who would like to earn extra money with people who do not have time to prepare dinner. Neighborhood organizations help a new person to the area to get involved and acquainted with the neighborhood.
Parks and Recreation
The major emphasis on parks and recreation for the third ring neighborhoods should be on useability. This was an essential part of Jane Jacobs neighborhood and parks. Hugh expanse of open space parks in this type of neighborhood are not appropriate as it would be in the suburban neighborhood. A more appropriate park system is one that has some open areas, passive and active recreation areas, and pathway systems that can be used for recreation and for getting from one place to another. To meet the suburban standard of 10.5 acres of park for 1000 population, this neighborhood would
need 145 acres of park or over 22 percent of the land devoted to open space. This is not viable for a third ring neighborhood. It is more important that the park and recreation systems work for the people in the neighborhood.
To meet the resident's needs, a system of parks needs to be established. A large park in the community center or high density ring would allow the most people access to this area. A series of pathways could then connect this area with smaller parks, and provide areas where people could run, wralk, or ride a bicycle for pleasure or to do errands. Greenbelts, and other pathways are often emphasized in suburban planning. While a third ring neighborhood can not have wide grassy areas a version of bike lanes and pedestrian areas can accomplish the same idea of having an area for non-motorized traffic. Ball fields that take a lot of room could be incorporated into the schools in the area and used by the community at night and on the weekends.
A recreation center or program should also be provided within the neighborhood. Recreational activities are becoming a way to meet other people. Many people of all age groups are realizing the benefits of staying in shape. The recreation center could offer a variety of activities from team sports to exercise classes to dance classes. Child care should be available at the recreation facility or available at the child care center while the adults work out. The recreation center should be located by the park or other recreational areas close to the neighborhood center.
It is important that the elementary schools be located within the neighborhood. This is desired by almost any parent of a school aged child.
There is mandatory busing in Denver which means that the students may be bussed out of an area. Since this is a federal ruling it cannot be changed, but the school should still be situated to best accommodate the resident school children. Providing a variety of housing and amenities will attract a larger variety of people than a homogenous neighborhood. This may lead to a racial mix where busing would not be needed, making the neighborhood even a more desireable place.
The school should be located in the residential rings. This will put the schools at places that are convenient to the children. The children do not need to have commercial areas with their schools and thus the schools should not be located in the neighborhood center, unless the school is drawing pupils from the entire neighborhood. The schools should be linked to the pathways so that the children can have a safe walk to school, as emphasized by the suburban neighborhood planning, and desired by the parents.
Streets and Alleys
As the suburban planning emphasizes, streets should be laid out so that the proper volume and speeds are maintained. It should be difficult for the people who are just passing through to go through the neighborhood. Instead traffic should go around the neighborhood on the arterial roads as Clarence Perry planned for in his neighborhood development.
Several things can be done to an existing neighborhood to accomplish these goals. First, traffic controls can be placed on the streets that do go through the neighborhood to slow down the traffic. Second, roads that are not needed for entrance to and from the neighborhood can be closed off to make cul-de-sacs which many people desire for the quiet streets and safe
areas for children.
A third ring neighborhood, as is found in Denver, currently consists of mainly single family homes on a grid pattern with commercial at the junction of busy streets. Community and recreational activities are not currently geared to the neighborhoods. School districts are often set-up so that children have to cross busy roads. There are many problems with the third ring neighborhoods that are desireable and need to be changed for the future of Denver and the metropolitan area.
These changes come from the research done on the prototypes of neighborhood planning, existing urban and suburban neighborhoods, the residents desires and needs, and the changing demographic trends and there implications on neighborhood planning. The major changes within the third ring neighborhoods are the development of a neighborhood center, increasing densities around the neighborhood center, bringing community and recreational activities into the neighborhood, and putting the emphasis on the neighbor pedestrian instead of the automobile. With these changes the third ring neighborhood will be attractive to a variety of different types of people. The increased densities will mean that more people are living closer to the downtown employment center. This may help to support the downtown center and make mass transit more feasible by having a concentration of people which will lessen congestion and pollution problems.
Platte Park Neighborhood Plan
Platte Park is an existing stable neighborhood as described in chapter two. Its location as a third ring neighborhood puts it in a key role for the future of Denver and its development. Neighborhoods must not stagnate or else they will die. With the changing demographics, and society that is occurring both in and around Platte Park it is important for the neighborhood to also evolve. The most successful changes are those that are planned for and do not occur haphazardly. This chapter will apply the neighborhood program that was developed in chapter three to Platte Park as a goal for the future development of the neighborhood. The program is applied to Platte Park as an existing neighborhood. The program will take into account the existing conditions of Platte Park, leaving them when possible and desireable, changing them when necessary.
In this chapter the program will be applied to the neighborhood by first describing the general aspects of the neighborhood layout, land use density, etc. Then the different areas of the neighborhood will be developed such as the neighborhood core and the residential rings. Lastly the parts of the neighborhood that have and effect on all of the different parts of the neighborhood, parks and recreation, streets, and community facilities will be discussed. Even though the discussion is done in parts for clarity and organization, the neighborhood must be thought of as a whole unit with all of the parts working together.
Layout of Platte Park
Platte Park has approximately 530 acres as opposed to the 640 acres in the neighborhood prototype program. Looking at the roads that create the boundaries, 1-25, Broadway, Evans Avenue, and S Downing Street, the boundaries and consequent size are appropriate because of the large amounts of traffic that these roads carry, and their importance to metro wide traffic patterns. The Platte Park neighborhood is defined appropriate for the neighborhood plan.
The land use zones would be defined as shown in figure 4.A. The neighborhood center includes a commercial center and civic activities along S. Pearl Street, and the community and civic activities at Platt Park and the 1600 South Block of S. Pearl Street Existing conditions of the library and Seniors Center at Platte Park and the Commercial along S. Pearl Street, make the center spread out more that would be desireable, and thus make it very important that they are linked by safe pedestrian ways. Existing conditions also place the center one or two blocks south of what would be optimal for the neighborhood.
The commercial strip along S. Broadway, while not desireable if the neighborhood was started from vacant land, is part of a metro-wide strip and will stay as such in the foreseeable future. Efforts must continue to remove the pornography theaters and to be sure that the stores and parking do not further encroach into the neighborhood past the alley.
Three residential rings would circle out from the neighborhood core, decreasing in density as the distance increases. Table 4.A indicates the acreage and densities that would be found in each zone. The commercial
NEIGHBORHOOD PROGRAM FOR LAND USE
Figure 4. A
Platte Park Neighborhood Plan Land Use, Acreage, and Density
Land Use Acreage Density D.U. D.U.
Commercial Center 27 12 324 6.2
Commercial/Broadway 26 0 0 0.0
High Density Zone 57 20 1140 21.7
Mid-Density Zone 210 12 2520 48.1
Low Density 210 6 1260 24.0
Total 530 9.9 5244 100.0
acreage is larger than the neighborhood program because of the existence of commercial along S. Broadway. The rings also differ slightly in size due to the existing conditions and the layout of the neighborhood. Density per acre is slightly more than optimum, and increases the existing dwellings per acres by about 4.
The neighborhood center is the core of the neighborhood. It brings together the neighbors, provides the goods and services and is the focal point of the neighborhood. The core consist of commercial, community and recreational uses, along with some residential incorporated in and around the core. It is important to develop the center so that people can not only identify with it, but can also use it for a variety of reasons. The neighborhood core is for the residents of Platte Park. The stores, services, recreation, etc., should first be orientated to the residents of the neighborhood, and then if outsiders want to use them they can come to the
center of Platte Park.
The shops and restaurants along S. Pearl Street are the beginnings of a commercial center in the neighborhood core. Many of the stores are specialty and restaurants and do not fulfill the basic needs of the residents. Expansion of this area to provide for more of the needs of the residents and to build a center for the neighborhood is necessary. The center should be built and design as a whole to provide a focal point for and unity to the center. The center also needs to be tied in wdth the community facilities, parks, and other parts of the community. A commercial center design that would accomplish these goals would be to extend the commercial area along S. Pearl Street with a square in the blocks between E. Florida and E. Iowa Avenues. Figure 4.B shows an example of such a commercial center. The square with pedestrian and bus ways along the perimeter, in front of the stores, would provide a focal point for the neighborhood. The square would attract people out for walks, to meet with friends, to just sit, or for children to play while parents shopped in the stores. It would be attractive to people of all ages. South Pearl Street running through the center would be split and run along the edges of the square, and closed to automobile traffic, providing a mall for the people to walk along, and the busses that run along S. Pearl Street into downtown to pick people up in the center.
The walkways should continue the light-post scheme that exist along S. Pearl Street, to tie the commercial center together. This encourages people to walk to this area at night and gives a warm welcoming feeling to the area. The square needs a focal point such as a fountain at the south end. The square should be used by the merchant associations street fairs and other types of neighborhood activities.
J01U0Q |B!OJ9UJUIOO >|JBd QU^Id