Jason Morejon's Outline

Jason's Outline

Disclaimer: This page is still heavily under construction.

Jason Morejon's Chapter

Contents

1. Goal
2. Questions
3. Thoughts
4. The Next Step

My Goal

I am interested in how the location of buildings, utilities, necessities and roads affect the people directly linked to them.

My Questions

Is it better to have small, privately owned convenience stores on every corner, or to have big corporate super stores and arrange residential areas around those?

Is it better to zone exclusively for commercial and for residential, or to allow the two to meld?

Should roads extend radially from points of interest, as in European countries such as Spain? - or utilize the grid-matrix pattern that many major American cities such as New York have adopted.

Should roads be constructed with preference to vehicles, made to accommodate walking and vehicles, or made so that vehicles aren't necessary in the first place?

Thoughts

In Toms River, NJ, residential and commercial properties are interspersed, but never overlapping. People all have their own houses and their own properties, but commerce is never very far away. In the Southside, by contrast, the ground floor is often a small store, with the 2nd, 3rd (and sometimes 4th) floors getting rented out as apartments. In this way, every street-front property is a business, and people are never removed at all from the commerce. The third option is when residential and commercial areas are block-zoned, so that all houses are in one place and all businesses are in another. Although it would likely improve neighborhood relations, it would also cause a great deal of inconvenience to people distant from the Commercial border.

I think that Lehigh's involvement in Bethlehem is important in injecting money back into the local economy. However, if they are encouraging entrepreneurship but not helping to fund it, then they will fail to realize their potential helpfulness to the community.

The roads that lead up the mountain through "the Hill" are very tortuous and time consuming to navigate by foot. Although roads can't go straight up the face of the mountain for obvious reasons, I believe that stairs or terraced footpaths should take a more direct route so that the multitude of people without cars can still feasibly move around the campus in a timely manner.

The Next Step

There are four main types of zoning property. In order for us to think about how Lehigh operates, and how to possibly make it operate more smoothly, we will need to understand why things were built where they were.

Euclidian Zoning

Also know as "Building Block" zoning, this is your classic Residential, Commercial, Industrial zoning codes. They are the most widespread, rather easy to use, and enforce setbacks such as height, lot size, etc. Many insitutions use Euclidian zoning because of its long-standing legal precendent, effectiveness, familiarity, etc.

Euclidian II Zoning

This is the second iteration of Euclidian zoning. It uses the three original classifications, but with planned building it allows them to be nested within one another. It also separates Residential a bit more thoroughly… defining where multi-family houses can be and where they cannot. Euclidian II includes transportation and utilities, and the classifications are then pared down to Public, Semi-Public, and Private. This does not seem to fit the bill for a university.

Performace Zoning

Performance zoning uses a goal-oriented criteria to establish parameters for construction. This often leads to a form of a points system, where developers can use their earned credits to mitigate rules, such as environmental impacts. This is highly flexible, rational, and accountable zoning plan often avoids what some people consider to be what is arbitrary about Euclidian Zoning. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to implement and can be a struggle to keep everybody living in it happy.
++++Incentive Zoning
Started in New York and Chicago, this simply offers rewards for developments that build towards a common goal. This is one of the most flexible zoning codes, but also extraordinarily difficult to administer and maintain. The value of the incentives must be balanced with the value of the properties, etc. So a careful eye must be kept.

Form-Based Zoning

Design-based, or form-based zoning does not regulate what the land is used for, just how the land is used. For example, in a middle class suburban residential area, offices and small retail stores could be integrated as long as it "fit-the-bill" for the area. Other common restrictions in Form-Based Zoning include high pedestrian accessibility, low setbacks, high density, etc. With this style, things tend to be grouped in terms of how urban or how suburban they are.

Chapter Outline

Jason’s Outline PROBLEMS FOUND

• Introduction
o Paragraph 1
• Questions
• Why here, why there, etc.
• Why are things named the way they are?

o Paragraph 2
• Town Square Model
• People end up too far away
• Organic growth
• Leads to disorganization

o Paragraph 3
• City model
• Business on first floor, people on 2+
• More efficient
• less aesthetically pleasing

o Paragraph 4
• The Rub.
• Do we plan 100% ahead?
• Do we set a size limit so it never becomes disorganized?

o Paragraph 5
• The Lehigh Tie-in
• How do these issues affect us here?
• Beginning of Chapter

o Paragraph 6
• Bethlehem is the sixth most populated city in Pennsylvania (2000 US Census)
• Divided by river, north – south
• South Side decayed due to loss of steel business
• Stark juxtaposition
• shady city with low-income and homelessness
• Lehigh University, full of rich white kids and towering Gothic Structures.

o Paragraph 7
• Bethelem is the City Model
• Tight Row buildings, mostly run down
• Small privately owned businesses on the ground floor, with rental space above.
• Due to this compression, many people live there quite comfortably, with easy access to groceries, banks, and restaurants.
• Even a bus terminal that runs into New York and Philadelphia.
• Maybe not the nicest place to live, but certainly convenient.

o Paragraph 8
• Lehigh has doesn’t fit this bill for many reasons
• On a Mountain
o Roads cannot be straight lines with easy patterns, it must follow topography
o Here, though, paths should not follow the roads.
• As a university, it does not follow regular rules
o its Zoning is classified as Institutional
o it is all classrooms, res halls, offices, libraries.
o Without the services that are specifically provided for this would be a terrible place to live.
• The food is brought in from the outside, but not for retail
• It is pretty, but inconveniently sprawled and with no room for cars

o Paragraph 9
• It can enforce its own size limit by accepting only as many students as it wants.
• Penn State has 84,000
• Moravian has under 2,000
• If it chooses to grow, it won’t know how much is needed until they begin needing more room. Growth MUST be organic
• Wherever there is room, put the new building that’s needed
• The best they can hope to do is look forward into the future and try to plan long term.


Comments
I think some of what you're working on could tie in directly with Mario's vision for redesign. Do you see Lehigh's entrepreneurship programs as symbolic of the stance it has taken toward the Southside?


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