The Congress for the New Urbanism is holding its annual conference in Denver June 10-14, complete with bus tours of our most well-known new-urbanist enclaves. But how do you judge walkable, neighborhood-based developments? Is it by the diversity (or lack thereof) of their residents, the number of parks nearby, their stumbling distance to a local watering hole? Over the next few days, we'll explore and judge -- oh yes, judge -- six of these developments and find out which is the most urban of the new urban.
On a sunny summer morning, with the sun glinting off the nearby cornfields and recent rains having turned the parks a deep emerald green, Prospect looks too good to be true. But this is the reality of not-so-new urbanism.
Prospect, which is just down Main Street in Longmont, turned an eighty-acre tree farm into Colorado's first new urbanism community, winner of the Governor's Smart Growth Award in 1996. Developer Kiki Wallace hired Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ), the planners of Seaside, Florida, and Kentlands, Maryland, to make real his vision for his family's farm, and the results today are stunning. The architecture ranges from modern to Southwestern to victorian to old mining shack; the landscaping is mature, and trees shade the narrow, winding streets.
But there is trouble in this paradise: The project, now in its fourth stage, is still short of the planned 585 units, and many of the retail spaces in the charming little downtown are empty. Still, the long-term prospects of Prospect look good. Very, very good.More »