Can you build a city in a day? That’s a question that University of Connecticut administrators are struggling to answer as they try to build their own College Town in Storrs, CT. The developer chosen for UMD’s East Campus will face the same dilemma as they try to overcome the Disneyworld-like appearance that plagues almost all new large-scale developments. Okay, so maybe the Storrs project (build out: 2013) and our own East Campus project (build out:2015+?) won’t be done all at once, but developers inevitably will wrestle with both the “place-making” and “vibrancy” question. UMD’s project, mind you, is even more ambitious.
The developer for the UConn project openly acknowledges the difficulty in building a new town all at once:
“We don’t have that 300 years to create a place that has that organic quality,” said Macon Toledano….. But, he said, the careful study that has gone into what the community wants and how the buildings will be used will eventually produce a place with most of the virtues of more seasoned college towns.
Below: In addition to our recent post about some of the characteristics of the New Rockville Town Square, we’d like to point you to some pictures of the Downtown Silver Spring project. Note the repetition of similar materials combined with a poor use of varied façades. Many critics decry the type of pedestrian streets used in the project: