Good Urban Design

Green Building. It’s very important that new construction and building in Boulder be as “green” and energy efficient as possible. Leaps in building technologies have allowed the construction of tighter, better insulated, better designed structures. I believe we should also encourage solar-compatible buildings. I support Boulder’s Green Points program for construction.

Sensitive architecture. Good urban design also means building on a human scale that is sensitive to existing architecture and the values of our residents. Many Boulderites treasure our mountain views and I feel this should be respected. Similarly, I believe it’s important that buildings should take into account surrounding structures and architecture. People tend to have concerns when one building stands out, radically, from its surroundings. I don’t feel that is good urban design.

Form-Based Code. I think some of the answers may lie in form-based code and I would wish to explore the degree to which form-based code can help.

I also believe that good urban design is not a “one size fits all.” There is no single perfect answer in urban design. Urban design should take a local approach to its immediate context and surroundings. It is important to be sensitive to concerns of residents and neighbors.

15-Minute Neighborhoods. Good urban design should also take into account transportation issues and ensure that it will not increase traffic congestion and strain on roadways. I greatly support the notion of walkable, 15-minute neighborhoods defined as a place with convenient, safe, and pedestrian-oriented access to the places people need to go to, and the services people use nearly every day: transit, shopping, quality food, schools, parks, and social activities that are near and adjacent to housing. Of course, as the recent city survey illuminates, some neighborhoods want 15-minute walkable neighborhoods and some feel that they can demonstrate that they already have “walkability.” I support neighborhood input for these issues.

To this end, I would like the City to explore the various neighborhood areas of Boulder to discover what types of these commonly-needed services are lacking. We should encourage the development of neighborhood-benefiting services around neighborhoods, with input from residents, in places where residents feel needs exist. Doing so will help reduce vehicle miles traveled and encourage greater walkability within neighborhoods and parts of Boulder.

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