Tag Archives: development

Designing Our Future 016 | Designing for Tourism

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-3-49-04-amThank you Jack Thompson of the Preservation Society for sending out this article from The Post and Courier. It is a good little read to reflect on cities that struggle under a tremendous growth of tourism and worth considering given our own growth. For the full article go here. Cheers!toursim“Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, however, recognizes the importance of keeping a diverse mix of residential, business and tourist uses on the peninsula. Earlier this year he proposed that the city hold off for a while on approving new hotels while the city assesses the situation. More and more are being built on the peninsula to take advantage of Charleston’s popularity as a tourist destination.”

Asheville Infill Housing Survey

thumb_AVL_City_Logo_-_long-589d8974-4de0-4c81-937e-45781366ada8The City of Asheville’s Planning Department is exploring options for removing barriers and allowing for more small-scale residential infill housing types. They are looking for your input so go HERE and take the survey. This is your chance to influence the future of your community. Cheers!ss-1

Designing Our Future | 014

A Regionally Inspired Parking Garage

masstimber1As always, we believe we could be far more innovative in designing and constructing a living and sustainable downtown. I came across this little story on NPR and just wanted to share it as inspiration from the Northwest. Here is a snippet, “Employing a unique engineered wood product only recently produced by Oregon mills, a UO student team has won an Honorable Mention in a competition hosted by the American Institute of Architects Northwest and Pacific Region.dt.common.streams.StreamServer

The students in Professors Judith Sheine and Mark Donofrio’s spring studio designed a parking structure using Oregon’s newest structural wood product—cross-laminated timber, or CLT—an exceptional accomplishment in architectural education and design practice.” Go here for the rest.

Wouldn’t it be great to see some of our own designers be able to participate, use regional inspiration and resources, in the design and construction of our downtown buildings and community. Cheers!

Designing Our Future | 011

maxresdefaultThanks to Kelly for sending me this video. There are some really beautiful points within this that offer us good perspective of the development of our own beloved Asheville. It is worth the fourteen minutes to watch.

What Makes a City Attractive? Try These 6 Points. Challenging the notion that beauty is subjective, Alain de Botton has made a case for attractive cities, believing that a city’s beauty is key to its success and citizens’ quality of life. The Swiss philosopher, author and founder of London’s The School of Life believes that attractiveness is the primary reason why many choose to vacation to Paris, and not Frankfurt.

“We think beauty is subjective, and so no one should say anything about it,” says Botton. “It’s a very understandable qualm, but it’s also horribly useful to greedy property developers.”

So, what makes a city attractive? Find out Botton’s six points for beautiful cities. Watch the video here. Cheers!attractive-Buffalo

Designing Our Future | 010

Less Charlotte | More Copenhagen

As a designer, realtor and resident of Asheville I have had fantasies that the development of our city was influenced by more European lifestyle models, as opposed to, American ones.

I’m not alone in this thinking given multiple conversations with business partners, friends and neighbors. I’m particularly drawn to the design, cultural and sustainable influences of Scandinavian countries. Many times I’ve attempted to capture these thoughts over the years, but recently found these articles by Build LLC out of Seattle that seem to pick up on the spirit behind these thoughts.

“The principles that the Danes operate with and the philosophy that they exude seem to make for an ideal environment — a deliberate environment. What we learned about life and design while living in Scandinavia influences every house we design and every dinner party we throw”

As you read through these two articles, Studies, Scandinavia & Schnapps & 10 Things We Learned in Scandinaviathink about how it could apply to both the environment, culture and spirit of the city we love and the evolution into our shared future. How do you want to live and what do you want us to become? Proost!BUILD-051-500x375


Designing Our Future | With Porches and Parks

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.09.23 AMHi Folks. Here is a short audio segment {5 1/2 minutes} from NPR’s “All Things Considered” Cities Project capturing the planning behind a community outside Austin. The community is designed to be convivial, walkable and energy-efficient. Click here to read the article and listen to the podcast.

As I listened to this I considered and compared it to some of our newer communities such as Reynolds Mountain or Biltmore Park. What could we do to add more community and cultural value to new growth and rediscovered neighborhoods? Can we make use of these opportunities to make growth less painful? Last, can we as a community get involved and influence our future? Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.09.36 AM

Designing Our Future | Food for Thought

Typically, my brain likes to keep itself busy looking at issues from many angles. This includes development and the built environment. As I consider Asheville, it is easy for me to consider things like architecture, transportation, culture, usage and development. Admittedly, here is something I hadn’t considered — food.

Before agriculture, permanent settlements did not and could not exist. Architect Carolyn Steel discusses how food has shaped the cities we live in, urging watchers to realize that our world is made from what we eat. Estimating that the population of cities will double by 2050, she frames food as a powerful tool to positively shape our future urban environments.
Asheville seems to be doing better at this than most cities with its variety of market options inclusive of community and developing urban farms. I simply share this video to bring this thinking into my own and other people’s consciousness and, also, as another layer to stewarding our developing town in a sustainable and enriching way for those of us who live here. Obviously, there are already many folks thinking about it here. Cheers to them!


Designing Our Future | Promiscuous Hybrids

Promiscuous Hybrids

I’m kicking off a new series of posts inspired by the new construction in Asheville. Being both a designer and realtor I’m hyper-conscious of the changes occurring with our built environment. Kelly, myself and our chosen families witness discussions by both designers and citizens regarding the new hotels, apartments and commercial structures that are stamped out and replicated here along with other cities. What do these new constructions say about Asheville that is different than…say…Charlotte, Milwaukee or Tampa?Asheville Bad Comp

We have a unique past, including architecture, that is part of our cultural fabric and economic draw to the area. Furthermore, we are here because Asheville is incredibly rich in geography, history, spirituality, creative talent, environmental consciousness and an independent desire to do things differently and want a different life. Change is a given. I welcome the business and what it affords both my intimate circle and the community I love. However, I find myself wondering what our buildings could be doing that help steward our town into its own unique future inspired by what is here and the vision of our local talent? What life, culture, brand and future do WE want for ourselves decades from now?

Yes, I’m a bit of a dreamer and I don’t know all the complexities {yet} that create these results. However, for me and others, Asheville has the resources to lead the way for something new. I simply ask the questions — are we missing an opportunity? Could we do things differently and what would that look like? For the moment, I leave you with this video as an opportunity to step outside the box we know and offer a different vision of architecture within a particular community. Please enjoy! Troy