Tag Community

Urban Land Institute Discusses Haywood Road

On March 17th, I participated in a ULI (Urban Land Institute) meeting in Greenville, S.C. The session was led by Joe Pazdan, AIA of McMillan Pazdan Smith, and the topic of the discussion was the Haywood Road Master Plan. About 100 people attended.

Dan Roberts, AIA (Clark Patterson & Lee) and I made a presentation on the master plan process and recommendations. It was a special day for Dan, since he is Irish, and the session was held on St. Patrick’s Day. However, no green beer was available.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion. The panel consisted of Kevin McOmber (Clark Patterson & Lee), Jeannine Bowers (Duke Energy), Nancy Whitworth (City of Greenville), Michael McNicholas (Carolina Holdings) and Gaye Sprague (Sprague & Sprague Consulting Engineers). Bill Misiaveg of Carolina Holdings was the moderator.

Urban Edge Studio and the Greenville office of SW+A were on the design team for the project, led by Clark Patterson & Lee. About a year or so ago we facilitated a week-long charrette held in a vacant storefront in the study area that was very well received and attended.

The solution involves marketing the area as Greenville, S.C’s  “Uptown” and guiding the suburban redevelopment through a hybrid form-based code. Some of the first initiatives include a signage program, a model intersection improvement, and placing utilities underground in what amounts to a “pilot project” between the City and Duke Power. My part of the presentation focused on the form-based code aspect of the project and the important of getting the streets right – and knitting the street network back together.

Even in this economy, the general mood in the session was very positive concerning the future of the Haywood Road area. While the mall is aging but strong, everyone realizes that could change in the future and they need a good “road map” for how the area evolves. After all, there is an entire Web site devoted to dead malls and everyone in retail knows malls are not the way of the future.

Haley, Russ and I enjoyed leading the charrette effort and planning process and are thrilled that the city of Greenville is moving forward as quickly as they are with some of the early initiatives. Greenville does not mess around when things need to be done! We see a great future for Greenville’s Uptown!

Bill Eubanks, FASLA

A Real Biker's Dream

If you happen to be one of the 57 million Americans who ride a bike on a regular basis, you were probably just as excited as I was when Google announced the addition of biking directions to the already popular Google Maps.

If you bike anything like me, this additional application will help with a regular daily ride to the grocery store, church or riding with my son’s bike trailer. Then new application includes integrated bike lanes, bike friendly roads, trails and greenways. Google also built in its own power-exertion calculator, avoiding any and all “unreasonable degrees of exertion.”

Care to take a ride from our office in Greenville, SC to eat lunch in Travelers Rest, SC?  Google maps will place you on a 30 minute ride along a Vardry Street bike lane (designed by SW+A), to a gracious 14′ travel lane on Augusta, to a bike lane on River Street (designed by SW+A) and finally to the Swamp Rabbit Trail (designed by SW+A).

Anyone up for a ride to San Francisco?  It’s only 10 days, 19 hours of straight biking! Not only is bike riding good for the environment, it’s also good for your health and well-being. Google Map your way to a more environmentally-friendly and healthy lifestyle today.


Post by Richard Sanders of SW+A

Community Walkability

Pedestrian and bike friendly communities used to be the norm in the United States, but for the past several decades municipal design has favored the automobile. That trend is changing. People are voicing their concerns about our dependency on cars and asking for more opportunities to walk and bike around towns and neighborhoods.  Planning boards and design professionals are listening and the result is many more sidewalks, hiker/biker trails, bike paths and greenways showing up in development projects nationwide. Connectivity to retail outlets, grocery stores, libraries and parks are other elements that impact community walkability.

If you are interested in getting a read on just how walkable your neighborhood or one you are considering moving to is, this is a cool website to visit.  https://www.redfin.com/how-walk-score-works