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White and Black, No Room For Gray: Why We Need Contrast To Be Green

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Title: White and Black, No Room For Gray: Why We Need Contrast To Be Green
Author: Aubol, Richard
Abstract: The American Dream is to have a good job in the city, a house and family on your own parcel in a good suburb and nice car or three in the driveway; the bigger the property the better. When one looks at the modern city in plain view, the largest area of developed land is devoted to residential use. It is the American Dream according to this standard that drives the dissipating and unsustainable sprawl of cities (commercial, civic and other developments catch up with pioneering residential areas). There usually simply isn’t room for everyone to have their own exclusive 2 ½ acres, or if there is, it becomes an apprehensive, inefficient, uncreative locking away of land from the rest of the world. Sprawl wastes more than exploitable resources, it wastes the inestimable, inherent value of the land itself. The desire for one’s own piece of property, pleasant and exclusive, is not the problem however, but rather the method by which it is provided. Thus, the question this research seeks to answer is: how may residential space be best arranged so that natural space, urban space, and human activity harmoniously contribute to each other, and no one space or activity is neglected to the detriment of the others? It is the hypothesis of this thesis that there are trends in site design, road design, and other aspects affecting density, land use and circulation within and away from neighborhoods which commonly produce superior results. If traditional development patterns are analyzed and then reorganized, the wasted space of today’s paradigms can be used instead to preserve natural and agricultural lands. Through research into and analysis of historical arrangements that have been tried, as well as prototypes to be invented based on this research, the resultant findings are trends in layout, proportioning, and connections. These form a base on which to begin building toward the goal; which is at least one fresh arrangement that can sustainably continue the standard of the dream; to provide the same sense of owning one’s own piece of the world yet preserve open space in the environment. Everyone should have the opportunity to wander in undisturbed nature.
Date: 2013-05
Subject: Open spaces.
City planning.
Cities and towns -- Growth.
Big Lake (Minn.)
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/10365/22815

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