The Barlow is a new development on the eastern edge of downtown Sebastopol. It’s probably the largest single development the city has seen in a long time, probably ever. The area was once home to agricultural warehouses and processing facilities. Crossed by train tracks and light industrial in nature, the
Every day, land use decisions are made that will have an impact on the emissions responsible for climate change for decades to come. The siting of buildings determines if they are accessible by foot or bike, or if we will be obligated to drive. I have been involved in a
It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged but I have a lot of ideas for entries so I hope I can keep up with it. I would like to start back up again by discussing Sebastopol’s Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) grant from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
As an architect, I have witnessed many occasions where the design review process has taken a good design and made it mediocre. Why is this? Isn’t the point of design review to make better buildings? Or at least prevent really bad buildings from being built. But it often does neither.
Sebastopol has a program called ‘Street Smart Sebastopol’ that has resulted in improved pedestrian features along the main routes through town. Most of these have been crosswalk improvements across streets in the downtown area. In general, these have been successful, and I feel better as a pedestrian having these improvements
One of the most common complaints made by Sebastopol residents is traffic. What I find ironic is that the people that complain about traffic typically complain because they are in cars that are creating traffic. I walk and bike around town as much as possible and am not impacted by
Sebastopol is in need of a strong vision and development policies that support that vision. The city’s general plan was last updated in 1994 and is required to be updated by 2014. The time is right to shape a vision for our future. Without a strong vision, Sebastopl will continue
I have been involved with a volunteer group of residents and business owners in Sebastopol in the organization of a international design ideas competition. The competition is called The Core Project and has been designed to generate ideas for the ‘vitalizing’ of our downtown. As I noted in my last
As I noted in my About page this blog will examine urban design issues as they relate to redeveloping our cities into more pedestrian and resource-friendly places. For the past 70 years our built environments have been shaped by the automobile. This has resulted in sprawling cities of separated uses