The New World suburban phenomenon can be contemplated from two otherperspectives: ﬁrst, in terms of it being a settlement innovation taken up for thatparticular small grouping of the global population which comprises these par-ticular settler societies; second, in terms of it being inherently a product of the twentieth century, in other words a relatively new, clean-cut, quick-ﬁx option andsolution. The suburban style of road building, plot provisioning, and separated-use zonings associated with higher levels of car ownership and expanding ratesof car usage arose, according to Hawken, Lovins and Lovins (1999) because‘Current zoning typically mandates land use patterns that maximise distance anddispersion, forbid proximity and density, segregate uses and income levels, andrequire universal car trafﬁc’. Kenneth Jackson’s Crabgrass Frontier (1985) identiﬁesfour ‘distinguishing characteristics’ of the settler society suburban experience:• A strong penchant for home ownership.• A widening disparity between residents of central cities…and those of theirsurrounding suburbs.• The (considerable) length of the average journey-to-work, whether measuredin miles or in minutes (and)• The absence of sharp divisions between town and country.Along the coded-in shopping strips en route to suburbia and ex-urbia lies com-mercial space, the ‘big box’ stores and cinema multiplexes and car saleyards sur-rounded by copious parking, which, at prime locations, has morphed into mallswhich now offer shopping as family entertainment. These compete against tradi-tional urban centre trade and commerce by providing what downtown used tooffer, out where the spending populations now live. What is forsaken is city centreliveliness, particularly for the ﬁrst generation of malls because virtually nobodylives there. What malls do offer is tough competition to the crime-threatening andoften dingy-dirty-scary traditional downtown city centre. Coming to the newer ofthese malls are clean service industries, ofﬁce complexes and some residentialaccommodation.Ex-urbanization now spreads well beyond the suburban fringe,extending as a quasi-urban penumbra to the further limits ofwhatever is regarded as the commuting range. Indeed ex-urbanization now represents the fastest-growing territorialchange to North American and Australasian landscapes. Enthusi-asm for ex-urbanization is identiﬁable as a wistful prolongationof the Arcadian ideal and an opportunity, for some, to removethemselves from urban crime, congestion, racial tension and pol-lution. The broad-acre (lifestyle) preference can be readily identiﬁed as also arisingfrom afﬂuence (unrestrained use of the automobile), good blacktop roading andlower vehicle operating costs (efﬁcient vehicles and modest petrol tax) and for twodiverse socio-economic groupings. The ﬁrst includes those wealthy and informedpersons setting out to live a technologically buttressed lifestyle of mock rusticityon some broad acres, with all mod cons close to hand. The second set includesUrban Growth Management 193Joel Garreau, Edge City,1992:The maximumdesirable commute isexpressed as forty-ﬁveminutes – notably not asa maximum distance or alimiting cost!
lower-income ex-urban dwellers, people living a low-cost rusticexistence beyond vigilant bureaucratic censure. For both sets ofex-urbanite dweller there is an avoidance of the costs of provid-ing conventional urban utilities (roads sealed, garbage collected,water supplied), and or also for social support services (districtnurse, welfare visitors, postal deliveries, policing). Many peoplebecome dispirited, some demented, by the isolation of the ex-urban broad-acre lifestyle, and householders soon tire of roof-water supply, septic-tank clean-outs, and dry garbage disposal,the concluding and frequent outcome being relocation back to theurban fold. The well-incomed category can organize all their socialneeds privately, but within the poor category the welfare require-ments eventually become a cost-burden to the adjoining city.This calls into question the economic disharmony and socialundesirability of ex-urbanization and low density suburbaniza-tion. Thereby rests the case for Growth Pattern Management(chapter 4); and the Urban Retroﬁt Clustering strategy attendedto later in this chapter.Urban ‘conformity patterns’ and ‘consumption cultures’ are nowoffered and reviewed.Urban conformity patterns seemingly furnish more space (biggerhouses, larger sites), more mobility (privately owned cars), dif-ferent houses (predominantly three-bedroomed), as though thisis variety, when in fact all that is available is replication. Formu-laic planning and building codes have delivered subdivisionadjoining subdivision, from which there emerges what Aus-tralians describe as ‘rat-run’ urban sprawl. Malvina Reynolds(1963) cuts to the quick of the matter with the often quoted, veryCalifornian, ballad Little Boxes:Little boxes on the hillsideLittle boxes made of ticky-tackyLittle boxes, little boxesLittle boxes all the same.There’s a green one and a pink oneAnd a blue one and a yellow oneAnd they’re all made out of ticky-tackyAnd they all look just the sameReﬂect again upon the fact that over 80 percent of settler society populations are urbanliving, and that in North America morethan half that population is staked out onhighly inter-visible noise-sharing plots at alow overall density, averaging – net of plots194 PracticeIn the early 1990s theAuckland UniversityPlanning School invitedsome overseascandidates for academicinterview. One of thesewas a woman raised andtrained in Russia, but bythen resident in theUnited States. A settling-in programme hadenabled her to visitseveral non-metropolitanmiddle-American cities.Flying in to each airportshe pointed a videocamera out the windowand simply recorded thequasi-urban scene thatcame into view. Thisvideo was part of herpresentation. The hum ofthe engines and a frankcommentary perfectlyunderscored the videoedconfusion and chaos. Forcity after city we wereshown a Dante’s Infernoof scattered housing,quasi-rural living,industrial farming,recreation patches, scrapyards, commercial stripsand an occasional horsestanding forlorn.
Urban Growth Management 195and half the adjoining street – ten to twelve (Australian) and six to ten (westernUSA) detached dwellings per hectare.10These low densities make public transportuntenable, and, ironically, fail to meet either the privacy or accessibility ideals. Thesecan be portrayed as the attainment of privacy and insulation against ‘sounds sight-ings and smells’ yet within neighbourhoods of sufﬁcient density to support aviable public transport service which ﬁts in with daily journey-to-work, shopping,schooling, entertainment, community watch, and recreational needs.Change occurred for suburbs over the latter half of the twentieth century:throughout Australasia average plots halved in area, yet the houses built on themdoubled in size, and the level of ownership and the usage of cars increased enormously. The suburban ‘grey zone’ (Belmont 2002) became the delivered andreceived pattern, with no consideration of any variety or alternative to the free-standing house laid out with a front lawn and back garden on a freehold title, theautomobile transporting your body, and advertising transporting your mind. Andwere you in business to provide plots, houses, automobiles or appliances then,according to this prognosis, you would indeed be content as a supplier, for theresource supply has been captured and the market engineered. In short theformula suburb is a commercially corralled pushover, and urban dwellers insettler societies mostly ﬁnd themselves believing that their trussed-up conform-ity is good fortune; that is until they visit a worthy alternative! The average sub-urbanite may prefer to not admit that they have been staked out in accordancewith this pattern of urban conformity, but this is pretty much how it is in termsof the market-directed pattern on offer.Urban consumption culture shoots home the conformity point. Given a plot-house-car lifestyle structure as dominant, plot-holding, home-owning, appliance-operating and car-running concerns takeover suburban lives, pattern their con-sumption, and condition their thinking. Theliving-consuming-thinking pattern whichhas evolved is deﬁned by child needs (papfood), child pleasures (low-gratiﬁcation television), and child consumerism (play-thing cars and dinky houses). The concur-rent ‘freedom’ to take your mind anywhere (multi-choice television channels andaccess to the World Wide Web), and the availability of an automobile to transportyour person to all places as potential destinations, deﬁnes the supposed liberalityof the suburban condition. In fact suburban residents are mostly contained withinan ‘automobile culture’, ‘bungalow culture’, ‘mall culture’, ‘television culture’.In all of this television can be regarded as an essentially passive experience –although it is of course much more. On this matter John Friedmann (1987: 351)crackles with indignation and awe😃ay in, day out, individually or as a group, household members sit huddled in frontof the screen that glows in the semi-darkness, gazing at the commercial entertain-ment, the news, and the sport along with millions of other spectators equally mes-
196 Practicemerised, not talking with one another except for laconic exchanges during the numer-ous commercial breaks, each person silently absorbed into the images dancing on(their) retina.We now realize that television viewing is even less a sharedencounter, being more a solo experience with ‘laconic exchanges’taking place between the viewer and the TV set. Although slightlyhumorous in connotation, this situation also touches bathos, thepoint being that the ‘programming collective’ behind the screenis capturing the mass mores and inﬂuencing the mass preferencesof viewers electronically, dispassionately, and at fractional cost,with low-brow televised soaps interspersed with excellentlyscripted commercials for products which induce dietitians andsociologists to cringe! The cartel of companies selling properties,automobiles, gasoline, and consumer durables are all reaching captive audienceconsumers. With media-directed consumerism and mail-shot advertising, theretail industry is able to boost shortfalls in the ﬂow of proﬁts and manipulate con-sumer spending responses, all neatly separated out, zoned into, and deﬁned bycar-plot-house conformity.In pre-automobile times family needs had to be met locally,mostly from within the household and the local community.Hence home entertainment, kitchen gardens, soap- and sauce-making and all the other trappings of family nostalgia. Now thepostal service, courier van and household automobile enablessuburban dwellers to obtain their goods effortlessly. Producershave used advertising to narrow the band of ‘desirable’ optionsand make consumer selection ‘easier’. In this way manufacturersand suppliers arrange the mass production of a range of osten-sibly different, yet essentially similar, consumer lines. Thesegoods are always conveniently to hand in well-placed outlets,open seven days a week. And as the advertising volume can beturned up on command, the overall result is the conformitypattern and consumption culture outlined previously. All this, foran automobile-dependent, television-ﬁxated, population – withinwhich, an ultimate irony, settler societies put pride of emphasison individuality and inventiveness.11A characteristic of all that is conventionally suburban is con-formity. Indeed monotony toned up as conformity is structurallylaced and patterned into ‘grey’ suburbs displaying a repetitivepermutation of streets, houses, berms, yards and lawns – all dif-ferent, yet in reality very much the same. Always the questionsasked are site differentials – ‘what size of plot?’, ‘what width ofstreet?’, ‘what yard dimensions?’, ‘what ﬂoor area?’, ‘what price?’Seldom asked are the questions ‘why urban living in the plot-house-car replica pattern?’ Why each house different (notably inAustralia and New Zealand), yet all three-bedroomed stereo-For an interesting insightinto the decline of socialengagement andinterpersonalconnections largely as aconsequence ofelectronic homeentertainment, consultRobert Putnam’s BowlingAlone, 2000‘Are we, I wondered,increasingly a nation ofoverworked, lonelypeople?…ﬂeeingdisorderly and tensehome lives for the“reliable orderliness” ofwork (for) in the 1980sand 1990s the Americanworker’s work yearincreased by a month.’Robert Kaplan, 1998‘Maintaining a ﬂeet ofcars to navigate amongthe housing tracts,commercial strips andofﬁce complexes of theAmerican landscape nowtakes eighteen percent ofthe average familybudget’ [and all thewhile] ‘California’spopulation increasedforty percent [during theperiod 1970–1990] andthe total vehicle milesdoubled.’‘Paved Paradise’,Newsweek, 15 May 1995.
types? Why curvilinear illegibility imposed upon gentlelandscapes? Why so spaced apart yet lacking in privacy?Why so costly to maintain? Why no allowance fordiverse accommodations and cultural beliefs? Why solittle varietal mix of households by size, ethnicity andincome?It has also to be asked: is the received situation reallyall that bad, or all that wrong? Some American and Aus-tralian writing (Donaldson 1969; Stretton 1989; Bamford1992; Garreau 1992) applaud aspects of the suburbanlifestyle lampooned previously, and claim traditional-urban suburbs of the settler society kind to be the envyof people throughout the rest of the world. Britishwriting (Gwilliam et al. 1999) extols ‘the suburbs as vitalcomponents of the urban mix in economic, social, political and environmental terms’ but of course Britishsuburbs have been in place for a much longer period of time and are of intrinsically higher average densitythan those of the transpaciﬁc new world. French philoso-pher and sociological commentator Jean Baudrillard(Amérique, 1994) discerns, from a Euro-American per-spective, the vast North American urban and suburban experience as an unpre-tentious cultural freedom – which of course it once was, being now morphed intolow-rent ‘grey zone’ market-rate housing areas riddled with boredom, petty crimeand family violence.Strong pro-suburb reasoning is expressed in Greg Bamford’s ‘Density, Equityand the Green Suburb’ (1992) a conference paper which argued that the case madeagainst extensive urban sprawl is ‘deceptively value laden’.12Thecase for standard suburbia he makes out hinges very much on thebeneﬁts deriving from property maintenance and gardening.Bamford also has a rosy view of the active recreational potentialof low-density suburbia, and waxes lyrically on the value to chil-dren which low densities harbour for ‘redressing some of the disadvantages of class’.13Wider claims for the virtue of the house-plot-car arrangement is that for other reasons – mall shopping asentertainment, tooling around in the family car as recreation,security – suburbs are the housing preference to which bread-winning adults in settler societies aspire. A two-car garage, anoutdoor barbecue area, maybe a pool, access to a non-threateningmall – especially so in a sunbelt setting – deﬁnes an alluring settler society sub-urban ‘reality and dream’ combination.Settler society nation suburbs are proﬂigate of energy resources on account ofthe car-based organization of life within low-density layouts. There is also the highunit service cost for piped-in and wired-along supply utilities, the high disposalcosts associated with getting rid of the water-borne and dry-garbage wastes, andthe community costs and social damage. To appreciate these shortcomings, as aUrban Growth Management 197Large houses, small plots. West Auckland.All credit to Bamford(1992) for this shaft ofprescience; the need toavoid consolidationoutcomes which ‘look asthough someone put theplans for a conventionalsuburb in the photo-copier and pressed the20 percent reductionbutton’!
prelude to reviewing urban reform options later on, suburbs are now assessed via a social and environmental, as well as aneconomic ‘cost’ review.Suburbia and Ex-urbia CostedMost North Americans and Australasians live in suburbs; theywill, most of them, die in suburbs; and the next generation willalso mostly live and die in suburbs, although beyond that therecannot be certainty as oil shortages bite, new technologies evolveand populations possibly decrease. Cities are lived in and are ofcourse livable, the oxymoron ‘livable cities movement’ beingsomething of an admission of guilt about the monsters created,ostensibly for an exuberant and energetic family life – in realitysecurity fortresses inducing much unfairness and isolation. Thedensity component alone was speciﬁcally isolated in a Real EstateResearch Corporation study (United States 1974) as ‘costly’ inenergy, land resource and ﬁscal terms. Yet while it is a nationaland personal economic loss as well as an extravagance to bind intothe suburban lifestyle, there are also signiﬁcant social costsinvolved.This situation will be taken to prognosis later. For now, mindfulof the pattern of urban mistakes already reviewed, the cost rea-soning is represented as a categorization of the adverse causalrelationships which spring from the suburban way of life, and anunderstanding is sought as to how ‘grey zone’ suburbs learn, whysome improve into ‘green zone’ suburbs with age, and why othersdecline and decay.• Consider ﬁrst the ﬁscal-costs into which the plot-house-carlifestyle shepherds suburban families and individuals. Firstcomes plot provisioning, plus the costs of home construction,then the purchase costs of vehicles. The picture starts toclarify. This trap, which it proves to be in fact, is difﬁcult toavoid. Yet on the fringe of the larger towns and cities, cross-commuting suburbia is still being put in place on rural landslost to food and ﬁbre production forever!• Consider the time-costs, again particularly for the larger townsand cities, where some 80 per cent of the Anglo settler societyurban populations live. Obviously the breadwinner’s hour orso in the car each day is a waste of personal time. To this mustbe added the time-cost of child and other non-driver chauf-feuring, shopping-trip time, and recreational-trip time. We allhave an understanding of the time lost in getting to and from 198 PracticeRefer also to PeterWolf’s Hot Towns (1999)not necessarily equable,as in sunbelt, so much as‘places distinguished byﬁne climate, awesomephysical beauty, abundantrecreation opportunities,pristine air, pure drinkingwater, relatively fewsocial problems, and lowcrime’.An alternative take onurban desirability is givenin Richard Florida’s Riseof the Creative Class(2002) for cities whichproﬁle ‘a creative peopleindex’.‘©ommand over money,command over space,and command over timeform independent butinterlocking sources ofsocial power.’David Harvey, 1985.In contrasting perversionto the long-term ‘highcosts’ of suburban livingit was the short-term‘low capitalization cost’of suburban homeprovisioning which led toits proliferation in Anglosettler societies. Whatfollows is a précis ofKenneth Jackson’s seven-point ‘cheapness’summation (CrabgrassFrontier, 1985).• High per-capitawealth.• The low cost of money.• Low raw land costs.• Low fuel costs.• Inexpensive woodenframe construction.• Deductible taxallowances (US mainly).• Enterprise incentives todevelopers.
work; but this is only an individual component part of thepersonal time spent on the ten or more car trips generatedout of the standard suburban household each day.• Now consider the stress-costs arising from the way the preceding ﬁscal-costs and time-costs work. To live well instandard single-purpose suburbs, every driving-ageperson requires the use of an automobile; but when a second or third carcannot be afforded, or when a person is part of that one-third of society whichis ‘too young’, ‘too poor’, ‘too elderly’, or ‘too handicapped’ to drive, then sub-urban life becomes suburban detention. Worse, an inability to budget formothers to have discretionary use of a car induces a suburban neurosis thatis the bane of family practitioners. Quite obviously, that inability to be in aposition to drive away from the palpable boredom of the suburban homerestricts social contacts and reduces social horizons to the solace of the televi-sion square as a surrogate for interpersonal socialization.• Consider institutional costs in addition to the previously notedstress-costs, those expenses which come through as socialcare, involving the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse andthe institutionalizing of those psychologically unable to getby in suburbia. Here too must be considered the costs of hos-pitalizing and rehabilitating the families of those who sufferor die from car accidents, particularly those accidents whichresult from otherwise avoidable car usage. There are also thepolicing and custodial costs connected with crime.• Consider also the separation-of-function costs induced by a divi-sion of land users into speciﬁed-purpose cells (housing, com-merce, industry, schooling); and the ‘costs’ which result from herding thelowest incomed and some racially distinctive groups of people into otherspeciﬁcally underclass ghettos.• Consider energy-costs in terms of the proﬂigate use of fuelsources, particularly non-renewable oil and gas reserveswhich nature allows human society access to once onlyduring the course of recorded human history. Certainly theseenergy resources are there to be utilized by humankind; butapart from the pointlessness of wasteful use, their headlonguptake prejudices both future mobility and creates unsus-tainable places of residence for future generations. Simplyexpressed: lower urban densities generate proportionallyhigher levels of energy consumption. The most chillingprospect for cross-town commuting suburbanites is no auto-mobile gas at the pumps, and to a lesser extent gasolinecosting more than (say) ﬁve dollars a litre.14• Consider the habitat or environmental costs; the loss of indige-nous ﬂoral cover and the urban transformation of usable agricultural land –productive assets forever lost whenever the urban commodiﬁcation ofUrban Growth Management 199In the middle range$60,000 for a plot;$140,000 for a familyhome;$20,000 for a family car.For the United Kingdom(1970s): more than 80per cent of seven andeight-year-olds got toschool without adultsupervision.By the 1990s: less than10 per cent of seven andeight-year-olds travelledto school without adultsupervision.Ironically Neighbours,atelevision parody ofAustralian cul-de-sacsociability, and the latter‘suburban’ productions ofI Love Lucy in the UnitedStates, portray low-density suburbs associally exciting in amanner which grips itsalso suburban watchersduring the window oftime they might besocializing themselves, asin the programmes!
farming land takes place. Then there is the extravagance of wastefully large(under-utilized) residential sections; the extravagance of one- and two-personhouseholds in three- and four-bedroom housing; and the high cost of long-run utilities and water-borne sewerage and storm water disposal services.• Consider ﬁnally the physiological costs arising in low-density areas from the effects of toxins used in construction (such as formaldehyde andpolyurethane), in housework (cleaning and pesticide chemicals), and in thegarden (insecticides herbicides and fungicides). To these must be added therepair costs related to automobile usage – noise pollution, fume pollution, andother environmental impacts.The greatest failings are the separation of urban functions (includ-ing multiple housing zones), lack of attention to basic communityneeds, failure to green-link and community-focus neighbour-hoods, and the action of contractors to minimize their con-tributions to the public realm. This is a situation which mostcommentators observe as regressive in terms of community pop-ulations and the built form delivered to them. It is easy to blamethese unbalanced outcomes on the subdivider-developer, whenfrom their perspective they pick up land titles as would any otherbuy-and-sell speculator, with a view to adding value and maxi-mizing their return at the quickest ﬁscal velocity possible. If theoutcomes are unfocused, car-dominated, lacking in green accessways and com-munity facilities, they would argue that the ‘blame’ ought to be placed with localadministrations ﬁrst, and maybe planning incompetence second.The genesis of suburban conformity and social problems can be sheeted hometo the providers, those landowner, home-developer and local government per-sonnel and politicians who, along with the vehicle manufacturing industry, andthe beverage food and durable gadget industries, engineer and telecast it this way.Can we alter this conformity and the problematic list of ‘costs’ it generates? Noteasily: although it is practical to ‘work through’ an improved pattern of varietyand choice for greenﬁeld suburbanization, and ‘work around’ the retroﬁtting ofextant suburbia to attain a compaction which is well designed, carefully con-structed and sociable. This cost-consciousness is identiﬁed, increasingly, withcomments from the social welfare and security services, the medical and welfareemergency services, and the police, ﬁre and ambulance agencies: those whose jobit is to pick up the pieces and to console and band-aid the brokenlives and attend to community disorder in suburbia.Throughout antipodean cities and larger towns there exists ahome-builder handy-person commercial chain, supplying to thecommunity as place-makers. From their mega stores women andmen receive advice and take home materials for paving theirpatios, building barbecues, and for painting, planting, trimming,treating and generally adding lustre to their dream houses, yardsand gardens. What has taken place in settler society cities and200 PracticeAucklander’s (circa 1.1 mpop.) often point out tovisitors, with confusedpride, that the territorialextent of their city ismuch the same as urbanLondon, neglecting tonote that it replicatesthe lost in space lowgross density of LosAngeles.‘Place-making based onexclusion, sameness ornostalgia is sociallypoisonous andpsychologically useless: a(person) weighted withinsufﬁciencies cannot liftthat burden by a retreatinto fantasy.’Richard Sennett, 1995.
towns, following a nineteenth-century urban concentration, is atwentieth-century de-concentration, now tracking back again to atwenty-ﬁrst century reconcentration. This physical emphasis onconcentration (compaction) is one result of the lack of satisfactionwith city suburbanization, where all those ‘costs’ reviewed earlierhit the pocketbooks of the ‘placemakers’, make inroads upon theirrelationships and marriages, and destabilize their personal per-ceptions of worth and achievement. It is problematic enough thatmodern atomistic living induces all manner of individual dis-beneﬁts and dissatisfactions; what is additionally apparent is thatlow-density suburban ‘place-making’ seldom induces Gemein-schaft – community exchange and interaction. The prognosis is anegative double whammy: that in addition to the marginal social utility of theﬁxed-option (plot-house-car) suburban lifestyle there exists career uncertainty; andthat the suburban neighbourhood does not provide solace or support to individ-uals and families caught up in the tragedy of unemployment.Within the living memory of most middle-income and mid-life adults their jobsatisfaction has been the handmaiden to job certainty. Careers, once ‘for keeps’ arenow a feature of the past: and, ironically, just as people are living longer lives theyhave to make do with longer hours on the job (if they have one) and a shortercareer path! Indignity is heaped upon indignity for those at theintersection of community indifference and job denial. Thoseworst affected are left, mostly in suburbia, with failed marriages,job redundancies, and the isolation of longevity. Of coursesuburbs and suburbia cannot be blamed wholly for all this, anunderlying inﬂuence being the economic and employment sea-change. Service tasks, manufacturing skills and managementoperations are now transferable, transportable and transmigratory. A high pro-portion of the workforce is ‘on contract’ and ‘on bonuses’ for productivity. Theworkplace, now dislocated from the homeplace, has lost its central meaning. In aphrasing from Richard Sennett (1995) ‘the market(place) does not nurture thedignity of the worker’ nor, in corollary, does the suburban home place providemuch support for the jobless person.What is seldom realized by those who have grown up with generally dys-functional tract housing is that there are better ways to arrange residential living,the alternatives available from the European, Asian, and African prototypessketched out in ﬁgure 5.2 as Urban morphologies.Dysfunctional North American and Australasian suburbs are evident. The saleshype suggests usually the contrary, that all is well. At issue is a large bundle ofsocio-economic habitat questions. In terms of Urban Growth Management a majorchallenge is the seeking-out of different and better ways for constituting residen-tial living in a manner which facilitates exchange and interaction, reducing theamount of travel in order to get to work and school, and for enjoying the naturalenvironment. Additionally challenging is the retroﬁtting reinvention and re-expression of established suburbia. To engender – not of course for itself, but forUrban Growth Management 201‘The dream house is auniquely American (alsovery Australasian) formbecause for the ﬁrst timein history, a civilizationhas created a utopianideal based on the houserather than the city.’Ralph Waldo Emersonquoted in KennethJackson’s CrabgrassFrontier, 1985The Corrosion ofCharacter:The PersonalConsequences of Work inthe New Capitalism.Richard Sennett, 1998.
its inhabitants – focus, legibility, personality, security and sense of place as analternative to single-use residential patterns.Two interventions in the formulaic process which make up what is now thesuburban inheritance – neither of which I endorse – are the exclusionary ‘walledand gated’ suburban enclave, and the imported ‘mock historical’ styles of tract,although the latter, often styled as ‘theming’, does no social harm. Both are admis-sions of inadequacy arising out of new money and insecurity, explored in PhillipLangdon’s Better Place to Live (1995). A trading on fear emanates from gatedsuburbs, a notably North American phenomenon now common in Australia, anda phoney elegance wafts from revisited urban traditionalism. An evenly reasonedyet emphatic opinion from Peter Rowe on the matter of walled and gated enclaves(1991) puts the view that:they should be of concern. On the face of it there is nothing wrongwith similar people congregating together in a spirit of goodwilland common interest; in large part it is what neighbourhoodsseem to be about. There is, however, a problem when they bandtogether at the punitive exclusion of others. Less obviously,perhaps, there is the further question as to whether it is actuallyin the best interest of like minded citizens themselves to chooseto reside together at the exclusion of other members of society.On occasion both these abominations (exclusionary-gated andmock-traditional) are put together as a combination – mock-traditional behindwalls and gates. Maybe these arrangements, and the kinds of people who occupythem, simply deserve each other.15More functional and socially acceptable are the traditional ‘neighbourhood’themed, trafﬁc-calmed, medium-density and usually entry-monumented new-urbanist projects. Duany (in Krieger 1992; and in Duany, Plater-Zyberk, Speck,Suburban Nation, 2000), Calthorpe (1995), Langdon (1995), Barnett (1995), Charles202 PracticeFigure 5.2 Urban morphologies.European, Asian, African: different scales, perfect community creations contravening the planninglaws of Anglo setter societies?LOCAL OBJECTIVESNeighbourhood pride.School and workplacesatisfaction.Community identity.Flora and wildliferestoration.Compatibly mixedactivities.
Prince of Wales (1989), Krier (1979) are allexpressions of revisionist (traditional) styles:narrow streets, often with rear lane garaging,picket fences, meandering footpaths, tallwindows, front porches, tiny front yards,tiled roofs, pastel-toned exteriors, and localpocket-parks – that sort of mix. The layoutsare compact and well designed: not exclu-sionary, although there is an exclusivenessbased on price. They are an elegant riposteto the failings of post-World War II suburbanism, and a pleasure to visit, provid-ing networks of footpaths and narrow streets enticing car owners to park andwalk, and for many breadwinners to work from home.There exists, in settler societies, a notion of the countryside as ‘good, clean,worthy’ with the city as ‘bad, dirty, corrupt’. This parody shakes down further tothe within-city belief of ‘safety in the home’ and ‘danger on the streets’, the actu-ality being all too often a cruel reverse – fear, claustrophobia and intimidation athome, and freedom of expression and individualism out on the streets, albeit atthe right time!16Security within an enduring sense of place is all in public domainprovisioning. Local neighbourhood pride, satisfaction about the home as anadjunct to the school and workplace, sociability as a matter of community iden-tity, retention and restoration of residual wildlife and ﬂora, and compatible mixtures of activities – these ‘ﬁve worthies’ are urban outcomes to seek out anddesign. They cannot, and will not, just happen. Market forces, unfettered, will notproduce them. They have to be nurtured.17Planners, developers, bureaucrats are the ‘jobbers’ with the organizationalability and some of the design skills to fulﬁl this task – also ensuring that ‘form,focus, legibility, security, connectability, permeability, personality, security’ and soon are put in place along the lines detailed as Urban Social Design principles in the upcoming box 5.1. Although these precepts, in and of themselves, cannotproduce urban functionality as an instant mix, they are the proven basic ingredi-ents. It takes time, as much as or more than a lifetime, to achieve demographicvariety, a mixture of occupational and income classes, and racial heterogeneity formiddle Anglo settler society. This identiﬁes the importance of fashioning worthyplaces of residence, and aiding individuals and encouraging families grapplingwith job insecurity and adverse personal misfortunes to build and maintain theircommunity scaffold.Urban Reforms: Options and ActionsThe eight sections which follow examine operational urban situations, the inten-tion being to fashion recommendations for improving upon the general economicsubstance, the social wellbeing and the urban environments which comprise com-munity living places.Urban Growth Management 203Seaside, Florida. The best known of the new-urbanism projects,used as the outside set for ﬁlmingThe Truman Story.
204 PracticeThe recommendations start with a contextual scene-setting passage on overallurban social arrangement and style. They then track inward from the quasi-urbanperiphery to the centre, closing with shopping as entertainment.Urban social arrangement and style (p. 204)Ex-urban sprawl control (p. 211)Small town conservation with development (p. 217)Water’s edge urbanization (p. 221)Eco-village ideals (p. 223)Raw land suburbanization (p. 227)Urban retroﬁt compaction and clustering (p. 238)Shopping as a leisure activity (p. 251)Public housing policy and transportation provisioning, specialized accessorytopics, do not form a signiﬁcant part of these recommendations.18Urban social arrangement and styleRecommendations which address the overall urban design problematic are col-lated in box 5.1 as Urban social arrangement and style, rea-soning which owes much to Lynch’s Image of the City (1960),the Bentley et al. (1985) Responsive Environments, and the US-based New Urbanism Congress (CNU) modelled on theEuropean-initiated CIAM.Incorporating design as a social dimension into urbanlayouts assumes that planners, engineers, surveyors, architectsand to some extent landscapists are, or can be, trained andmotivated to address and provide for urban social needs. Inshort, consciously to fashion a socio-physical platform for anurban lifestyle, avoiding patterned-in sterility and searchingout designed-in sustainability.A problem, even when urban designers and planners aremotivated toward social goals, is that observational science hasdifﬁculty in identifying what neighbourhood morphologyactually is in terms of ‘appropriate’ design – to distinguish inKevin Lynch’s terms (1960 and 1970) between ‘practical auto-mobile’ city form and ‘organic growth’ urban form. Indeed,even when urban design (for a community, a subdivision, ahousing cluster) ‘appears’ good, there is little understandingof why this is so, and why any such arrangement works. To Hjärne (1986: 206 Swedish context) it is not possible todemonstrate ‘any simple or causal relations between physicalenvironmental characteristics and the functioning of neigh-bourhoods’ which, when considering Scandinavian enthusi-asm for design, from freeways to furniture, is an indictment ofSkintebo – Skiljebo!
Box 5.1 Urban social arrangement and styleForm: the achievement of community scale and local identity (edges); anda wholesome building and massing identity for the urban landscape, withrectilineality a norm.Focus: the attainment of a designed concept – inclining to some use of ‘axiality’ – for more densely fashioned urban places which enable the occupants to maintain a sense of ‘where one is at’ and what the districtpattern is.Safety and Sociability: the accommodation of a class, gender, family type,cultural, religious, by age and economic-class mix in secure urban communities.Interconnectability: modal interchange and, of course accessibility; on foot,with cycles, by bus and train and, discretely, by motor vehicle.Permeability: extending and identifying ways for people to gain access andmove into and through the urban landscape, in their overall enjoyment anduse of it.
Box 5.1 ContinuedEcological Harmony: good design, appropriate materials, wholesomelytextured, sustainably landscaped, representing lasting worthiness andenhanced proﬁtability.Secureness: the conscious design of safe public areas and accessways,speciﬁcally for children, women, disabled persons, and the aged. Incor-porating the privacy and personalization of home space.Variety with Compatibility: providing for a wide range and choice of socialand land-use activities and built-form options.Legibility, Personalization and Robustness: establishing urban deﬁnition,richness and character; along with an exhibited sense of belonging;including occasional ‘landmarking’.Liveability and Seemliness: a sense of wholesomeness and tidiness (trash-cans off the street, no lifeless cars on the berm or in front yards, nodead fridges on verandas); in short good manners associated with localgovernment support.Component details for urban needs, urban users, and urban elements are depicted in David Sucher’s City Comforts(1995). See also Lynch (1960) and Bentley et al. (1985).
Urban Growth Management 207designer intent in relation to worthy social outcome.19Withal it has to be under-stood that little can be done to impose ‘good’ design upon urban projects as a regulatory condition.Many of those involved in urban design seem previously tohave been military prison contractors, in line with this quote fromthe recent (2001) Australian Planning Institute’s 50th Jubilee publication, that the Australian urban ‘composition often formsone big rectangle – a town of rectangles. That was early townplanning in Australia – planning undertaken by surveyors, oftenunder the direction of soldiers.’20Of course all that is ‘urban’ hasbeen ‘designed’ – even if with rulers, compasses and set squares,and the more inadequate the input to that design the more easilythis can be detected.The ‘ideal’ suburban pattern, depicted in ﬁgure 5.3 as Premiersubdivision: Wellington 1960s, begs many questions, one that is outstanding.This is, whether the people involved with producing these layouts at that timehad any opinion about social goals of a community kind as they pulled this kindof physical arrangement into a curvilinear and podded outcome. One thing iscertain, the planner-engineer-surveyor-architect-landscapist quintet implicatedhistorically in outcomes of this kind were not trained to design for social effect,The best way to becomeappreciative of ‘good’design is to visitacknowledged ‘uplifting’urban places; and also tostudy model examplessuch as the 14 projectsdepicted in StevenFader’s Density By Design,2000.Figure 5.3 Premier subdivision:Wellington 1960s.The street toponomy (not shown) for this subdivision was based on exotic Caribbean republics,a choice marginally better than the selection of street names based on the now eviscerated ﬂoraand fauna! Automobiles in use to access all schooling, entertainment, shopping, repair and workfunctions.
let alone meet the recreational needs of the ‘baby strollers’, the‘soccer mums’ and ‘frisbee dads’.It is of course easy to decry replica suburban layouts after theirreplication! Those engaged in urban design should be able, whenso trained, to discern the essence of good community outcomefrom physical layouts drawn on paper. We all have it within us to suggest and uphold ‘key theme’ excellence (the pursuit ofneighbourliness, higher densities, urban design) believing orassuming that attention to these factors will ‘magic into being’future improvements and higher on-sale property values. And weall, from time to time, harbour perceptions of designs which ‘gotit right’ although we are less certain about the actual essence ofthat design correctness – be it street width, plot sizes, public spacesecurity, housing diversity, the landscaping, or a combination ofthese elements. And for well-styled neighbourhoods recognizedas such, we are made aware of a connection between good designand social wellbeing without always understanding how thiscame about.Additional to the box 5.1 principles it is important to ensurethat urbanists exhibit ‘good neighbourhood manners’. To that enda Basic residential componentry is presented as box 5.2. From aregional perspective the information given represents settlementdetail: from an urban perspective these are core residentialarrangements akin to the forethought of guilds in earlier cen-turies. The components given in box 5.2 all warrant elaborationin detail, although in the context of outcome, the key issues tohighlight are sound policy and good design. There is also thematter of densiﬁcation. The aim is for new suburbs to have morethan 50 persons per hectare (more readily understood as 20households per hectare – 8hh/ac – ‘net’ which includes adjoin-ing access and excludes peripheral amenity spaces). This targetdensity would generally be less, for practical reasons, in retro-ﬁtted suburbs; and preferably more for new development.The box 5.2 litany implies cultural workability. In order spe-ciﬁcally to identify the ‘social’ elements in urban residentialdesign, it is helpful to centre in on the following four core designcriteria.211 That for each doubling of intended density there should be at least a fourfold increaseto design input (or design care) – in other words a quadrupling of design effort for adoubling of density relative to a subject community, subject site complex, and indeedfor the design of each subject building. As a rule of thumb, practitioners areenjoined to ‘design, design, design’ higher-density projects in order to ensurethat the living offered at those greater densities is indeed ‘higher’ living. Thisstricture is crude, but taken on board as social design effort it highlights theneed for lavish inputs of time for handling the siting massing and materials208 PracticeOn design, Alan Kreditor(1990: 160) observedthat the staff of planningschools ‘are valued onthe basis of theirresearch andpublications’ whereas thestaff of architectureschools ‘seem mostlyvalued for the buildingsthey have built’ with theresult that ‘plannersseem to have diminishinginterest in design exceptfor some broaderenvironmental concerns;and architects remaindilettantes when itcomes to serious urbananalysis’.A quietly voiced ﬁeld tripcomment: ‘An hour outhere on site is worth tenhours in lectures.’People are known to bewary about densifyingtheir way of life. In factfor the Anglo settlersocieties the post-WorldWar II preference andprovision has been theexact reverse, leadingﬁrst to suburbia then ex-urban sprawl.
The following ten-point listing cannot bring about ‘urbandelight’: but what follows are the key ingredients of goodurban form, identifying both the policy parameters andthe macro design principles appropriate to future urbancommunities, particularly at the time of rural-into-urbancrossover.1 Street patterns consciously, purposefully and logi-cally focused, with some axiality, on a school-localshops-health clinic ‘community’ element; with publictransport and put-down exchange points at eachsuch focus (also encouraging reduced private carusage). Deﬁning the identity, through walkability, ofneighbourhoods.2 Each residential urban community chunked intoplace (subject to topographical constraints) – with(for the raw land context) an outer farming ‘broad-acre’ or amenity green belt, breaking down to arobust high-density residential ‘band’ around com-munity clusters: the residential occupancy of sub-urban neighbourhoods being ideally at a density ofaround 70 persons per hectare – 28pp/acre – net(no less than 30 households per hectare – 12hh/acrenet) with a view to creating sufﬁcient opportunityfor social contact, to induce an urban communitylifestyle, and to attract the installation of a publictransport service.3 Planning and design to triumph over zoning. Theobjective is to establish a mechanism of ‘landownercompacts’ suited to a community purpose, leavingsome land with native wildlife and ﬂora or in agri-culture, in exchange for a density increase or cashpayback from some other part of a project. Allow‘double-designation’ and ‘deemed to comply’ provi-sions, enabling well-designed proposals to exceed an‘as of right’ zoned density.4 Overcome discordance by setting out ‘with the grainof the land’ designs which heed what the landscapecomprising each locality has to ‘say’, and ‘listening’ to the community into which it is to ﬁt. Staggeredgridding works well over ﬂat-plane topography.Avoid the scraped-earth approach to subdivision,working with and deferring to land form.5 Street patterns generally are best if interconnectingand formalized (straight and legible) rather thancontrived on a curvilinear basis (unless this is dic-tated by topography). Also ‘calmed’ streets runningin orthogonal sectors, generally of less than 15metre (50 ft) overall width (down to 5 m (16 ft) forthe carriageways.6 Establish a walking and-or-also cycleway inter-connectedness (particularly between culs-de-sac:conscious of topography and focused on transportpick-up points and the community core.7 Adopt a precautionary approach to residential secu-rity. Design in a way which molliﬁes the crimino-genic capacity of suburbs, mindful that ‘permeability’can facilitate criminality, creating a challenge fordefensible yet permeable design.8 Accept chunkier smaller plots: 300 square metres(3,200 sq. ft), even 200 square metres (2,100 sq. ft)per plot for household clusterings which are welldesigned and accompanied by strata titling and othermulti-level dwelling and ownership arrangements.Promote the living and aesthetic advantages ofparty-walling and building to boundary (zero lot-line construction) in designated instances; installcommon trenching for utilities, and make car garag-ing integral to the building frontage line, or to therear.9 Accept variably sized lots, mixed housing sizes andstyles and compatibly mixed (adaptive) land uses:accommodating home-commerce, home-servicing,home-outwork and light home-fabrication.10 Accept a mixture of houses and ﬂats, comprisingsingle to four-bedroom layouts, meeting all mannerof household living preferences. Granny ﬂats (‘car-riage houses’ attached – and 60 square metres (650sq. ft) maximum if detached) and loft conversionsare acceptable. Housing to be organized in focusedclusters as urban community artifacts which engen-der a sense of community.Also consult App. ‘A’ (Traditional Neighbourhood Devel-opment) in Duany, Plater-Zyberk, Speck, Suburban Nation,2000.Box 5.2 Basic residential componentry
inputs at increased levels of density – and for resolving urban complications(through design) against noise-intrusiveness, unsafeness, and conﬂict.2 Involves consciously providing a community focus and having a sense of identity inmind; to include a mixture of compatible urban land-use types, and to allow residen-tially compatible functions to be incorporated into higher-density suburban layouts.The objective is to work proactively to ensure in every situation that the noise,glare, smell and vibration effects of small homework businesses are mitigated.The most common among the totally unacceptable uses being the likes ofbackyard repair shops, ﬂeet parking and gas stations. Design is engaged asthe means for enabling residents within an urban neighbourhood to feel thatthey are also part of a community that is characterized by consonant vitalityand variety. Such a community would comprise all manner of functionalhouseholds and compatible work practices, along with an accommodation ofa variety of places for cultural expression and interchange.3 Involves a harnessing of design consciousness to provide physical infrastructural ease-ments and open space networks within communities in a way which facilitates ‘per-meability’, ‘connectability’ and household ‘defensibility’ (refer to box 5.1). Safety isalso an issue here, the overall objective being to avoid the separation andatomizing of suburban people, and to provide them with access to a varietyof workplace opportunities and services. In terms of ‘detail’ it is important tofashion and craft street pavements, street furniture and ﬁttings, public art,plantings, heritage conservation, mixed land uses, signage, new buildings and trafﬁc ordering in well-mannered and neighbourly ways (refer to DavidSucher’s City Comforts, 1995).4 To increase the overall density of greenery along with increases in density [!] and toresist any suggestion that this challenge is mutually excluding. It is also an aim toprotect existing shrub and tree planting, and to install additional street andpublic realm tree planting at every opportunity and in every available space.Beyond 30 households per hectare this challenge intensiﬁes. One useful criterion is that the end result ‘outcome’ fulﬁls the pre-project landscapingparameters set for a project.Physical design for pulling together a socially worthy urban outcome is a chal-lenge for those managers, planners, engineers, landscapists and surveyors whowould plan. The engagement of good design, along with an acceptable site-utilityand land-use mix, induces the best that constitutes vibrant, wholesome and joyfulurban living, accommodating work-at-home preferences, house-type mixturesand offering social choices. A difﬁculty with this emphasis on urban social designis that it works through as an aestheticism which is sought out, and in effect paidextra for, by those wealthy enough to afford it; but of course the need for gooddesign is imperative for poor communities because it induces ‘pride of place’.Urban social arrangement and style leads to a consideration of the global edictsgiven out by Agenda 21 (1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development: précis given in the Appendix to this Chapter) although thisdoes not come to the universal aid of the urban cause because the urban design210 Practice
directives are not always clear, and the urban policy recommendations are far fromspeciﬁc. One reason for this is that Agenda 21 is essentially a low-income nation‘agenda’; and in low income nations well over half the population is rural-living,leaving the lesser urban population to get by as best it can.22Thus rich and poornations alike should not seek much in the way of direct urban social direction oractionable urban reform from Agenda 21.23Ex-urban sprawl control(Refer also to the Urban-Rural Patterning passage in chapter 4.)Rural-residential settlement on land of marginal utility to farmingis the only circumstance for accepting a discrete quasi-rural styleof rural land occupation for city-focused dwellers desiring to livebeyond the city fringe as an option of democratic choice in anopen society.24Given the water-conserving, waste-managementand solar energy collection technologies now available, it hasbecome feasible for ex-urban lifestyler’s to have no publicly pro-vided and maintained services – aside from access to a legal road.This means that whatever utilities householders connect to, they can be expectedto make full payment for installation, including any requirement or preference forutility under-grounding. On-site services must of course be installed in accordancewith local government conservation, building envelope, impact control rules, andresidential-rural building codes. This consti-tutes the exceptional case for allowing discretely sited residential buildings in low-density forever, self-serviced, residential-rural broad-acre (lifestyle) zones, but againonly for locations where the soils or topog-raphy are declared useless for agriculture.Much housing already built in the ex-urban landscape is poorly sited, highlyproﬁled, garishly decorated, awkward ofaccess, neglectful of its landscape setting,and construed antagonistically in relationto any neighbours. Yet, in contrast, someresidential-rural dwellings are placed as if by the hand of God: carefully proﬁled,sensitively clad and effectively landscapedinto their setting. Additional to the physi-cal considerations is a raft of socio-eco-nomic concerns, particularly for poorerfamilies situated in remote quasi-urban locations where this is a lowest-costoption. The problem is that ‘Out in two-acre (0.8 ha) zoning country old ideas ofneighbourhood and neighbourliness are hard to sustain’ (Barnett’s The FracturedUrban Growth Management 211Ex-urban: a band, ring orbelt – but more usuallycorridors. The quasi-urban (also peri-urban)residential-rural livingbeyond the suburbanedge of larger towns andcities, most notablywithin settler societies.‘Scenic’ Highway 16, NZ. A shifted on city housedumped on a hilltop.Again shifted on, but discreetly sited and landscaped.
212 PracticeMetropolis, 1995). Low-pension adults immobilized in retirement, and the denialof opportunities for children in younger families to socialize and enjoy outsideplay during the slush of winter, are also problems for poor families in ex-urbia.Well-understood ex-urban policies can render it possible to achieve rural-residential conservation with development, involving no land taking, an aesthet-ically acceptable and environmentally benign outcome being the end result. Ofﬁ-cial controls are necessary simply because the operation of individual moralconscience is partial. There exists an exhibitionist-commodiﬁer will on the part ofa majority of ex-urban stakeholders to not conform, to proﬁle their presence wellbeyond the title boundary, and also to take in what ambience they can enjoy ‘free’from beyond those boundaries. Quasi-urban development on land not suitable foragriculture is acceptable and workable provided clear rules for siting, access,proﬁle, appearance and landscaping – set out in ﬁgure 5.4 as Ex-urban buildingperformance guidelines – are well understood, appreciated for what they are, andget enforced.Care is necessary for this is the urban frontier, there are few watchdogs and nocraft guilds at work here. Indeed Tom Daniels provides a ﬁve-page appendix tohis When City and Country Collide (1999), entitled ‘A Warning About Living in theRural Urban Fringe’, covering such matters as access and shared access, utilityrights, ground water purity, noise (such as weekend go-karting), spray drift. Andin a box he sets down a few notes on ‘How to Tell if You Live in the Rural-UrbanFringe’ (25-plus minutes’ commute, on-site septic tanks, less than 500 people persquare mile).An advocacy for a ‘rules’ approach is contained in Randall Arendt’s well-crafted Rural by Design (1994). His sliding-scale alters the rate of dwelling numbersMuch reference is given to Oregon in the rural-residential ‘resistance’ literature.Also noteworthy, relative to the Connecticut River Valley, are the innovative ‘work with theﬂow’ guidelines put out by Yaro and Arendt (1994).For any construction allowed under either a ‘resistance’ or a ‘work with the ﬂow’ situation it isimportant, for the sake of local appreciation as well as the wider beneﬁt to tourism, to conserveexisting woodlands, retain arable and pasture land for agriculture, group any allowed housing into‘clusters’ and to prohibit building on proﬁled ridges or close to roadlines.Tracking down from these general design parameters: the attainment of rural building harmonypredicates that attention be accorded the following on-site design and harmony factors for eachindividual siting situation:• Setting: co-considerate discrete siting and clustering• Grouping: buildings, garages, tanks, structures all-of-a-piece.• Positioning: unobtrusive location, and heeling into the landscape• Proﬁling: low-rise buildings, low-angle rooﬁng; all below the skyline• Texturing: surfaces low-sheen and non-reﬂective• Colouring: use earth and woodland colorations on all buildings and structures• Parking: out-of-sight, unobtrusive, screened• Utilities: all within-site utilities under-groundedFigure 5.4 Ex-urban building performance guidelines.
Urban Growth Management 213within larger rural holdings – placing constraint on the division of large farmsinto minimum units by controlling the density of permitted dwellings. With this approach ‘rural’ plots less than ten acres (4ha) in extent – the recommendedminimum – are intended for sole single-household occupancy. Thereafter, throughillustrations depicting ‘Dwelling Yield and Acreage Protected’, Arendt arrives atan array of the kind retabulated here as an Ex-urban density formula (ﬁgure 5.5)which could be elastically amended or compressed for sparsely wooded localities– my preference being that Arendt’s ‘acres’ were applied as ‘hectares’! This is nota quibble, for time and again in Barnett’s ‘two acre zoning country’ the neigh-bours are in dispute about noxious, to them, land uses (intense chicken, goat, andpig penning), oversized buildings (feeding sheds, glasshouses), spray drift, andalways noise. If you want peace and tranquillity, be advised to build in the middleof a large plot and take on some agri-silviculture, for, excepting well-wooded non-farm tracts, I would recommend the minimum desirable urban-rural retreat as 8ha (20 acres) and advise that the ﬁgure 5.4 performance guidelines prevail as aminimum.The ﬁgures 5.4 and 5.5 prescriptions work out acceptably for some landscapes,fail with others – notably coastal zones and sparsely wooded uplands – and areusually not sensitized to accommodate the vagaries of good-to-bad soil types,open-and-wooded treescapes, and ﬂat-to-steep topography. It is always aestheti-cally desirable to cluster (group) the dwellings of adjoining titleholders togetheras much as possible, and to site all dwellings well back from public access roads,and also to closely regulate and monitor all manner of detail – massing, proﬁle,colour, reﬂectivity, texture in accordance with the ﬁgures 5.4 and 5.5 criteria. Theprocedural basis for achieving a rural-in-character outcome involves adhering to a ﬁxed exclusive rural zoning minimum – the economically viable farm size foroperational and viable farming relative to a subject landscape. For large rural tractholders the only development option then comes down to assessing an estatebreak-up into minimum-sized economically viable farm units – thus far and noTract (acres) Dwellings permitted Acres per dwellingUp to 10 1 10 or less10 to 21 2 5 to 10.521 but less than 35 3 7.0 plus35 but less than 65 4 8.75 plus65 but less than 105 5 13 plus105 but less than 145 6 17.5 plus145 but less than 185 7 20.7 plus185 but less than 225 8 23.1Thereafter an average of one dwelling per 50 acres of landholdingFigure 5.5 Ex-urban density formula (patterned on Arendt 1994).Applied in association with the performance guidelines given in ﬁgure 5.4.
214 Practicefurther – reinforced by binding all farm holders into a ‘right to farm and nothingelse’ rural tax base.At its most offending, ex-urban land commodiﬁcation presents as ‘ribbondevelopment’, an Australasian expression which transcribes expressively in North America as ‘road stripping’. Figure 5.6, Rural road stripping: the clusteralternative, illustrates the recommended layout approach. Approval within such a compact involves acceptance of a deep frontyard set-back (50 metresminimum from the road boundary), designing multiple access and pan-handledrear siting, and achieving effective clustering, avoiding ridge-lines and hill-tops –and landscaped withal.The most direct instrument to apply for averting the costs to a nation of takingelite soils out of food and textile production for ex-urban residential development,is simply to enforce an urban growth boundary decree, a rural tax-based growthprohibition against urban expansion onto land of either high productive characteror high conservation value. The only ex-urban uses permitted beyond the urbangrowth boundary would involve pockets of agriculturally less productive soils ofmarginal agricultural utility. This approach accommodates the fact that thosemotivated toward an ex-urban lifestyle cannot be easily dissuaded from thatchoice, leaving this as a selective compromise option.25The backgrounding to an extensive method of ex-urban sprawl control wasexamined in the ‘Urban-rural patterning’ section in chapter 4, signalling theravages of sprawl and the beneﬁts of growth management. Turning growth man-agement principles into growth management practice – in effect initiating extensive land-use planning – is one of the most exacting challenges of a planning kind confronting Anglosettler societies. ‘Exacting and demanding’ because the emergence of growth man-agement policy involves political partnerships, inter-governmental associations,technical competency, years of lead time, and the formulation of legal proceduresof a magnitude unfamiliar to most local planning practitioners. The whole-of-territory imperative established in chapter 4 predicates that the growth manage-ment mandate exhibits a whole-state (whole province) attribute. In a text with theFigure 5.6 Rural road stripping and the cluster alternative.Left: Scenic Highway 16 again. Right: not to be encouraged, but much better – a 20 per cent housingand 80 per cent rural ratio, retaining most of the land for agriculture, yet producing a bonus numberof discretely sited, gravel-accessed plots for sale.