Upzoned

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August 25, 2021  

We Cannot Rely on Large-Scale Development

August 25, 2021

Our modern, conventional city-building approach for both infill and greenfield development is overwhelmingly geared toward a broad-scale master planning approach, where a single developer or developer group takes control of a large area to implement their plans.

Such developers are not only in charge of constructing buildings, but also investing in all of the infrastructure, laying out streets, etcetera, etcetera.

A recent article, titled “Against Master Developers,” argues that this all-at-once, large-scale development doesn’t offer the environment in which resilient economic ecosystems emerge, and that the lack of risk distribution among the developers and public entities is inherently fragile. Clearly, it’s a take that’s relevant to the Strong Towns approach, which often contrasts this type of development pattern with traditional, incremental development.

So, this week on Upzoned, host Abby Kinney and special guest Daniel Herriges, Senior Editor of Strong Towns, “upzone” this article—i.e., they look at it through the Strong Town lens. They parse out the development process and all the components involved in developing a site, in general. They also discuss some of the nuance around how we define the terms “master developer” and “master planner,” and how that relates to the specific usage of these terms, in this article.

Then, in the downzone, Daniel took some time off of work to bring his daughter back to his old stomping grounds, and Abby is getting ready for next month’s Parking Day festival.

Additional Show Notes