About a month ago I wrote about three models of urban growth: low-rise suburbs; high-rise clusters amid a sea of existing low-rises; and the magic Paris model of six storey buildings.
If you’ve forgotten the plot, follow this link: http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/what-are-the-alternatives-to-too-tall/.
I think those that romanticize Paris do so from the perspective of visitors (not residents) and focus on the main streets, not the miles of six storey apts behind. Six storey Paris main streets function well because of the abundance of residents within a short walk, also in six storey apartment buildings. These wonderful Paris streets are not backed up by 50×100′ lots with single family homes and two or three cars parking. Ours are.
I made this point in light of our (Ottawa’s) model of preserving low-rise neighborhoods by simultaneously promoting high-rise clusters. Alas, the ungrateful buggers in the low-rise zones don’t even want to look at high rises in the distance, and squawk loudly every time one is proposed.
I was surprised to read in Councillor Hume’s blog that he thinks of the Paris model in a similar way: http://peterhumeottawa.blogspot.ca/2012/06/busting-paris-myth.html
As my mother used to say: Great Minds Think Alike.
When I tried that on my kids, to promote consensus, they always chimed back: Fools Seldom Differ.