Urbanism is Not a Four Letter Word

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Design Excellence is about urbanism! This does not mean turning Montgomery County into an expansion of Downtown Bethesda. It is more about raising the quality of life through the creation of better, more interconnected places to live.   Montgomery County has several great historic examples of urbanism, including Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda or East Diamond Avenue in Gaithersburg at the urban scale; Brookville Road and Taylor Street in Chevy Chase and Ridgewood Avenue in Bethesda at the suburban scale; and Grove Avenue in Washington Grove at the rural scale.     Peter Calthorpe, one of the founders of the Congress for New Urbanism and author of the book Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change describes urbanism as: “I define… Read more »

Peter Calthorpe on Transit-Oriented Development

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Via Fast Company Portland has long been one of the most celebrated cities in terms of planning and sustainability. Peter Calthorpe is one of the original pioneers of transit-oriented development. In this video, Calthorpe does a nice job of succinctly laying out the principles of transit-oriented development, namely walkability and diversity of population and land use.

Urban Life

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Before moving to the DC area two years ago, I had lived in New York City for the previous 18 . Never owned a car there (or a local driver’s license!),and it wasn’t until I relocated here that I realized how effortless it was to live a pedestrian life there…Stores were abundant and usually well stocked; restaurants, museums, and galleries were everywhere (…mostly frequented by tourists that we locals had to put up with); and in general whatever you needed ), was at your disposal 24 hours a day. It’s been a bit of a struggle for me to sustain a similar pedestrian life here. I am still coming to terms with giving up an almost zero carbon footprint to… Read more »