Out With the Ugly Infill

Snobbery isn’t a trait I find very attractive in many people, especially when it’s directed at superficial things like cars, house’s, school districts, and clothes.  And yet, I can’t help but take full ownership of my own snobbery regarding urban forms and how easy I believe it is to implement them properly.  It may be the snob in me, but I honestly believe developing and maintaining good urban forms is really a simple concept:

  • Step One – Open your eyes
  • Step Two – Take note of the streets, neighborhoods, and cities that attract investment, have strong sense of place characteristics, and are aesthetically pleasing
  • Step Three – Emulate them
  • Step Four – Done!

And yet, my recent move to the Northern Liberties neighborhood in Philadelphia has brought me back to reality and made me realize that maybe this isn’t such a simple concept and maybe my snobbery has clouded better judgment.  Essentially, my first impression is that the neighborhood has been inundated with urban infill that diminishes the great forms that already exist and therefore threaten the very reason the area has attracted so much investment to begin with.

Read more at Urban Out

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About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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