New townhouses and narrow streets go together like...old townhouses and narrow streets

From New World Economics writer Nathan Lewis, via Old Urbanist: "Our theme here is to show examples of nice urban places for people.  They usually share the characteristic of a 'Really Narrow Street'.  There is a minimum of 'Non-Place', such as parking lots and 'green space'.  Everything is a Place for people to interact and do the things they do. "Here is a new development called Village Square in Burlington, Canada [pictured above].  It is, I think, the first example I have seen of Traditional City design used in new construction in North America -- at least, outside of an amusement park.  For one thing, the architecture is very good.  Once you make the streets Really Narrow, and appropriate for pedestrians, then everything tends to take a big step up because the architecture is designed for interaction with humans, instead of just fronting a huge parking lot.  Overall, it is a big success.  See?  It's not so hard to do.  You just do it.

"We have a few others joining the 'Traditional Cities' movement (it's a movement now!).  For example Small Streets.  [Gallery of small streets lined with townhouses, such as at right.]  These are traditional attached houses.  Note how they don't have the typical enormous front stair that characterises the 19th Century Hypertrophic townhouse.  That huge front stair is, I argue, a natural reaction of wanting to distance yourself from the noisy, automobile-dominated 19th Century Hypertrophic street. When you front a nice little pedestrian street, houses typically have entrances at ground level."  Full post dated November 6, 2011 here.