Author Topic: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville  (Read 3500 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« on: March 18, 2009, 05:00:00 AM »
Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville



Suburban America as we know it may be coming to an end.  Here is an eight step plan that may possibly bring Jacksonville into the 21st century.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/1036

Bike Jax

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 06:23:01 AM »
"Great places need great planning."

Well we're done.  ;D

Abhishek

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 08:45:08 AM »
This requires vision.
This also requires a plan to turn existing sprawl into a more compact development, a plan for mass transit etc. Does anyone know of a committee in Jacksonville that is in charge of Urban Planning? Do we know what their vision statement and mission statement is? Do they even have one if they even exist?
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Deuce

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 09:13:10 AM »
Yea, I think it's called Invisible Committee of Non-Existent Members!

copperfiend

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 10:26:19 AM »
Sadly the picture of the Rowe's is a common one in Jacksonville. I have also noticed a large number of nearly empty strip malls, some of them practically brand new. One in particular is at the corner of Phillips Hwy and St Augustine Rd. There are at least a dozen parcels and only two (a dry cleaner and hair salon) are occupied.

Joe

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 10:43:54 AM »
I have a couple critical comments:

The Time Magazine quotation is a really dangerous attitude that's becoming annoyingly popular these days. The suburbs aren't dead. The suburbs aren't dying. At best, when gas went up to $4 a gallon, we saw a small but distinct shift away from the exurbs, and some pleasant increases in mass tranist use and urban core living.

The bottom line is that the suburbs were built by more than just low gas prices. Decades of misguided government subsidy (freeways, parking requirements, fannie mae) and failed social policy (zoning, public housing, public schools) are what made the suburbs popular - and will continue to do so even in the face of high gas prices.

The New Urbanist planner makes some great suggestions, but she's (appropriately) talking about what private developers can do to reinvent the suburbs.

For these predictions about the death of the suburbs to come true, we need a lot more than high gas prices. We need government action (or rather INaction) by stripping away all the nonsense subsidies and social programs that distort the free market by harming the urban and propping up the suburban.

Bike Jax

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 12:48:10 PM »
Sadly the picture of the Rowe's is a common one in Jacksonville. I have also noticed a large number of nearly empty strip malls, some of them practically brand new. One in particular is at the corner of Phillips Hwy and St Augustine Rd. There are at least a dozen parcels and only two (a dry cleaner and hair salon) are occupied.

I grew up in Bayard and it broke my heart to see the hotel torn down. But that is typical of Jacksonville isn't it? An empty strip mall with only a hair salon and cleaners is far more valuable on the tax rolls than a 100+ year old 3 story wooden hotel and the big beautiful oaks that surrounded it.

Article of Bayard Hotel's demise
http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/122901/ner_8196887.shtml

History Of Bayard:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki?title=Bayard%2C_Jacksonville%2C_Florida

thelakelander

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 01:09:43 PM »
Quote
"If that's not possible, we hope you will photo-document the building and give us copies for our archives."

Unfortunately, this has become to common in Jacksonville.  Most of the stuff ripped down in downtown has been photo documented.  However, a trip to Savannah, New Orleans, Charleston or any other city with building fabric still in place, proves its not the same as looking at history through picture books.
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Clem1029

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 01:44:08 PM »
I have a couple critical comments:

The Time Magazine quotation is a really dangerous attitude that's becoming annoyingly popular these days. The suburbs aren't dead. The suburbs aren't dying. At best, when gas went up to $4 a gallon, we saw a small but distinct shift away from the exurbs, and some pleasant increases in mass tranist use and urban core living.

The bottom line is that the suburbs were built by more than just low gas prices. Decades of misguided government subsidy (freeways, parking requirements, fannie mae) and failed social policy (zoning, public housing, public schools) are what made the suburbs popular - and will continue to do so even in the face of high gas prices.

The New Urbanist planner makes some great suggestions, but she's (appropriately) talking about what private developers can do to reinvent the suburbs.

For these predictions about the death of the suburbs to come true, we need a lot more than high gas prices. We need government action (or rather INaction) by stripping away all the nonsense subsidies and social programs that distort the free market by harming the urban and propping up the suburban.
Forgive me if I'm misreading you here, but you seem to be advocating the position that not only is it good if the suburbs die, but that policies should be in place that actively encourage the suburbs to be killed off? That strikes me as wrongly shortsighted.

I know I've expressed this opinion around here before, but I can't think of a good reason to want the suburbs to die in this town because I can't think of a good reason to want to live in the urban core of Jacksonville. And setting things up to be core vs. suburbs for who deserves what becomes very dangerous.

Joe

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 03:30:36 PM »
No, you absolutely missed my point.

Hundreds of policies are already in place that actively encourage the urban core to be killed off. They have been for 50+ years in most cases. The reason "you can't think of a good reason" to live in the urban core of Jacksonville is because the government has destroyed it with decades of bad policy.

What I'm suggesting is that the government needs to take away ALL of its misguided policies that favor either the city or the suburbs.

Now, as a side point, I am suggesting that in a true free market scenario, the suburbs would probably shrink. But I don't see anything shortsighted about eliminating market distortions.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 03:32:40 PM by Joe »

kellypope

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 04:11:53 PM »
I think that the planners need to see the city as a body with multiple vital organs. Not just the urban core as the heart, but the surrounding areas as being the liver, the hamstrings, the lungs, whatever metaphor suits you. The suburbs are too spread out--if I wanted to find a center of interest in Mandarin, I couldn't.
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mtraininjax

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 05:06:15 PM »
Simple fix, raise gas prices to the point where people live and work in their community. St. Johns Town center is its own community. You could live, work, shop and never leave it. You could do the same downtown, with the Winn Dixie there. At some point, you can do the same at Cecil Field when it is fully developed.

I think we have communities all over town, but we don't see them for what they are, a community. If all of my needs were met for shopping (and I could shop online to augment them), I could live downtown, but I choose Avondale, which is its own community as well.

The people I really feel sorry for are those who live in a subdivision with one way in and one way out, or one of the first Ramsgate in Mandarin. It had over 1000 households with an entrance on Mandarin Road and another on Loretto. All zoned residential, so you had to travel to work and back, shopping when it was built was non-existent (although there is more now in Mandarin), but developers built this place back when Jacksonville growth stopped at I-295 and SR13. This was back when the developers really had no vision, other than money in their pockets.

Now, when I think of Palencia, there are shops, commercial, and restaurants all in that small area, same with Nocatee, there are communities everywhere if you look for them. But a lot of the old communities were built without ANY vision and only built to house people, as if no one could have predicted that business would move from downtown?!
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zoo

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 07:07:08 PM »
Everyone interested in this urban vs suburb issue, which imho already exists in Jacksonville, would find "The Option of Urbanism: Investing in the New American Dream" by Christopher Leinberger interesting and educational. It's a quick read, but gives historical perspective to how and why the suburbs happened in the first place, and makes some suggestions about where we are going.

tufsu1

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 07:49:09 PM »
right on kelly...the fact is cities have districts, some with more density and mixed-use than others....in urban planning theory, its called the multi-nuclei model....and it works for regions too.

The fact is we need to start looking at northeast Florida as a whole and not just Jacksonville proper....and there should be multiple centers (St. Augustine, Green Cove Springs, Town Center/Tinseltown area, Fernandina, downtown, etc.) with land uses emanating from them....

Now I will agree that what's good for downtown and the urban core is most often good for the region, while the reverse may not always be true.....but we need everybody! 

stjr

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Re: Reinventing Suburban Jacksonville
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 07:56:45 PM »
It seems to me the rules for rebuilding the suburbs in this article are essentially the same rules for rebuilding the inner core.   What is the real difference?  Humans are humans, whereever they live.  In large part, most humans want from their communities amenities that foster socialization, convenience, intellectual, emotional, and psychological stimulation, a degree of escapism, a way to make a living to support all of the above, the option to commune at times with nature, a secure environment, etc.  Whereever you find all these ingredients, you will find a successful community.

What is amazing is how poorly our society, governed by these very same humans, can't seem to get it right.  Really, who better to know how to give humans what they want than humans? - you would think!  Another example of the absence of common sense  :)  And maybe, the perversion of our political process.

P.S. I have heard the Rowes pictured (formerly Albertsons at University and St. Augustine Road) is in the hands of Publix.  They were supposedly having some code or other building issues delaying moving the store they have across the street to this larger location.  Not sure what the latest is though.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!