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City Beautiful 21 » Urban Indicators

The Wrong Place for a Suburban Drugstore

The Wrong Place for a Suburban Drugstore

This is going to be a longer post. But I think it’s worth reading as I’m going to cover a whole bunch of issues that the proposed CVS at the corner of North Greensboro and West Weaver streets raises. The Project Proposal Before the Carrboro Board of Aldermen for their consideration on Tuesday night is a proposal to build a free-standing CVS drugstore at the corner of N Greensboro and Weaver Streets (public Hearing B1 on the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Economic Development, Parking, Real Estate Markets, Urban Indicators

Informal Urbanism Indicator #6: Food Trucks

Informal Urbanism Indicator #6: Food Trucks

Perhaps the most high-profile Informal Urban Indicator that can be spotted around Carrboro, Durham, and many other cities is the Food Truck. Whether committed to a regular spot or broadcasting its movements on Twitter, the repeated presence of one or more food trucks in a certain place is usually hinting at one thing: “this part of town could absorb more dining and perhaps more retail options.” If the place where the repeat appearances … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Culture, Data, Economic Development, Food, Uncategorized, Urban Indicators

Informal Urbanism Indicator #5: Outdoor Dining

Informal Urbanism Indicator #5: Outdoor Dining

One of the key features that differentiates an urban place from more suburban places is the number of people on the streets. While many of the people out and about are walking from one place to another, many of them are quite stationary, often at a table enjoying food and drink. In his masterpiece on cities and towns, A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander states: “We know that people enjoy mixing in public, in parks, squares, along … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Culture, Data, Food, Urban Indicators

Informal Urbanism Indicator #4: Yarn Bombing

Informal Urbanism Indicator #4: Yarn Bombing

Whereas the Super Strudel graffiti was likely the work of one artist, the February 2012 Yarn Bombing of downtown Carrboro was a coordinated work of many skilled artists who sought (and received) permission from the town of Carrboro to put their pieces in the public realm. Below are some photos of some of the Yarn-bombed sites, and a map of where they were ultimately located, which reflects the combined decisions of town representatives and artists. View … Read entire article »

Filed under: Art, Carrboro, Culture, Data, Urban Indicators

Informal Urbanism Indicator #3: Municipal Holiday Light Displays

Informal Urbanism Indicator #3: Municipal Holiday Light Displays

With Christmas 2012 quickly receding into memory, here’s an indicator that you need to measure while you can: holiday light displays put up by the town! Our earlier indicators from this week, Graffiti and Fliers, reveal mental maps of walkable space of a single individual and many individuals acting separately. Community holiday lights on telephone poles or buildings reveal what is probably a resource-constrained consensus decision made by several individuals together in our public works department, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Culture, Data, Urban Indicators

Informal Urbanism Indicator #2: Fliers

Informal Urbanism Indicator #2: Fliers

If you’re trying to determine where the hotspots of the urban fabric begin and end in a neighborhood, you would be hard pressed to find a better indicator than fliers on telephone poles, walls, and other surfaces.  Fliers are great indicators for the following reasons: 1. They’re usually time-limited.  The constant refreshing of flier locations re-validates that these locations are important to pedestrians. 2. They can be layered on top of each other.  Some flier locations develop … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Culture, Data, Urban Indicators, Walking

Informal Urbanism Indicator #1: Graffiti. Where Does The Urban Fabric Begin and End? Ask Super Strudel

Informal Urbanism Indicator #1: Graffiti. Where Does The Urban Fabric Begin and End? Ask Super Strudel

If a visitor asks a random Carrboro resident where downtown is, they’ll be almost certain to get directions to where the railroad tracks cross Main Street right by The Station bar. This is the undisputed center of Carrboro’s urban fabric, a.k.a. the place where the most people are walking around. But if this is the center of the action, where is the edge of the action? Where does it dissipate? When you are in downtown Carrboro … Read entire article »

Filed under: Art, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Culture, Data, Urban Indicators, Walking