The theoretical city would boast rock walls, ponds, and ski
Lovers of all things
bike-related, a new city from scratch could be just for you: A
Netherlands-based urban design
firm has partnered with money blogger Pete Adeney to brainstorm a
bike-friendly planned community in Colorado.
The proposed community would be located between Longmont and
Boulder—about 30 minutes from Denver—and is currently known as
Forbes, it’s the brainchild of Amsterdam-based B4place, a property development
agency run by Americans Tara Ross and John Giusto.
Partner Pete Adeney is more commonly known as “Mr. Money Mustache,”
and writer of a blog of the same name that proselytizes financial
freedom through frugal living. Crucial to Adeney’s debt-free
living is reduced car use, something he admires about European
countries like The Netherlands.
While other planned communities like
Sidewalk Lab’s smart city in Toronto have to manage the
constraints of existing infrastructure, Adeney wants Cyclocroft to
be built from scratch on a one-square-mile plot. Although currently
a theoretical concept—or what B4place calls a “property
experiment”—it will advocate “debt-free, light-weight
living” for approximately 50,000 people.
That means no traditional city grid. Instead the plan uses Dutch
easement and platting standards as a model, envisioning an
80-person-per acre average density that will feel far lower thanks
to parks, public squares, and short distances to the countryside
outside of town. Each street will prioritize cycling and
pedestrians while parking lots will only be built at the edge of
the city. Meanwhile, the center will consist of three to nine-story
buildings of row houses, urban flats, micro-apartments, live-work
spaces, and neighborhood retail.
A small district of mid to high-rise buildings would make up a
mini-downtown, all with heights ranging from 10 to 40 stories. The
plan floats innovative building materials—think mineral foam
technology, 3D-printable walls, and cross-laminated timbers—and
advocates for ADA accessibility through first-floor residences,
ubiquitous ramps, chamfered curbs, and slow-speed streets. Other
design features include dark-sky compliant lighting, underground
utilities, and extensive use of gardens and terraces.
And while some might call the idea ambitiously unrealistic,
Cyclocroft would also emphasize recreational opportunities and
embrace Colorado’s sometimes snowy winters. A large pond
makes for summer fishing and winter ice skating, hiking paths will
ascend terraces and rooflines, and B4place says that innovative
built-in rock climbing routes could go across building surfaces.
More traditional spaces like pump tracts, skate parks, and
playgrounds will come standard, while a dry ski slope and terrain
park point to the state’s strong ties to the skiing.
Forbes that some will deride Cyclocroft as a “high-tech
hippie commune,” but he believes a people-first,
eco-friendly-designed town is the city of the future.
Source: FS – All – Architecture 10
Could a car-free, Dutch-style city work in Colorado?