Urban design guidelines have much more to do with rigid enforcement of arbitrary rules by amateurs than they do vision. The North Shore review committee in 2012 is about as relevant to what is happening with Publix as eight track tapes are to listing to music. They impeached themselves with Walgreens while holding forth for hours over the de minimis of the development of several otherwise ordinary buildings.
When River City had the celebration recently recognizing our best and brightest who worked for virtually free for over a year trying to develop RCC’s surplus property, there were virtually no people of color in attendance, there were no poor people. The tens of thousands of our fellow citizens living in poverty in the light-industrial/residential communities between the Ridge and River from the Georgia line to Citico Creek are our greatest urban design challenge. Organizations like Glass House Collective are such a bright light on the horizon.
Who gets to decide what’s ugly?© Given time to attend meetings, may I suggest we sit respectfully in neighborhood groups in Piney Woods and Alton Park, East Lake and Bushtown, Highland Park, South Chattanooga and Amnicola-East Chattanooga. Perhaps we can ask about their vision for their neighborhoods. Perhaps becoming inclusive rather than exclusive should become “The Chattanooga Way.”
Andrew Smith, AIA, NCARB
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Lighten up, Francis.
Everybody knows that River City Company’s Urban Design Challenge is nothing more than a leisure activity for out-of-work architects and planners. At least, until something better comes along.
And what makes you think that the good people of Bushtown have more vision than the other amateurs at the North Shore Review Committee? Vision is in the eye of the beholder.
By the way, given the state of architecture in Chattanooga, apparently you architects are the ones who get to decide what’s ugly.
Robert H. Chappell, PE