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Martin Michael David

Conference theme: Design for all 2 / Social Inclusion and Public Space
Title: Designing the Next Radburn: A Green-hearted American Neighborhood for the 21st Century
Keywords: Neighborhood Landscape; Radburn; Village Homes; Wildwood Park
Abstract: As an open-space-based residential planning archetype, Clarence Stein/Henry Wright’s Radburn in Fair Lawn, New Jersey (1928) is familiar, enduringly successful (as evidenced by measures of resident satisfaction, local home-buyer demand, resident tenure and resale value among comparable local properties), and almost never faithfully replicated within the North American suburban landscape. In the extremely rare instances when it has been copied in North America, these economic and social successes have been repeated – but these innovative neighbourhoods, oddly enough, seem to have scant influence on subsequent suburban developments. In this paper the author will compare and evaluate the design programmes and evolved landscapes of Radburn and two of its post-war progeny: Hubert Bird’s Wildwood Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba (1947) and Michael/Judy Corbett’s Village Homes in Davis, California (1974), and will distil a hypothetical generalized design programme for a 21st-century Radburn, based on prior case studies and on consideration of contemporary culture.

 

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