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The Urban Advantage

Urban Advantage (http://www.urban-advantage.com)

I continually find myself going back to this site for inspiration. While the City of Saint Louis has progressed leaps-and-bounds from where it was even just 7 years ago when I decided to become a full-time resident, I still dream of the day when every major street corner such as the intersection of
Kingshighway and Chippewa oozes of the true urban spirit like one might see in Chicago: walkable features, wide sidewalks, pedestrian-friendly features, mature trees and street landscaping, bike-friendly features, vertical (rather than horizontal) development.

The site at Urban Advantage (http://www.urban-advantage.com) really gets my blood going. The question I ask over and over when I watch these animated suggestions of creating "urban" spaces is -- why is this considered unique? It makes, to me, so much common sense. Yet day after day, we see buildings being razed and tracts of land reproportioned for wide, sprawling 1-story horizontal strip-mall type develoepments. Is it just so outlandishly more expensive to build UP than build ACROSS? Not to mention the sea of lovely asphault that is created in a horizontal development.

I am not really as "brick-hugging" as I think at times I might consider myself. I am totally of the mindset that development is better than decay. But development for the sake of a quick dollar and no forthought into the future? That's not better than decay in my opinion. We live in such a disposable world. So much of what I often see appears "disposable". One 'dead' strip mall next to the brand new one (example: the north and south side of Chippewa just east of Kingshighway). Why do something "fast and dirty" when, with a little forethought, you could create something that could be a legacy.

*sigh*

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